Waguespack being highly praised for Logan Square's Mega Mall redevelopment process

Date: 
05/15/2015
Landphoto

Looking from east to west the land is outlined in yellow. Upper right corner is Logan Blvd.

Logan Square residents and organizations give high praise to 32nd Ward Alderman Scott Waguespack for handling the ongoing redevelopment process of the almost three-block long (900 feet) Mega Mall property starting at Sacramento and  Milwaukee Avenues going north to just short of Logan Boulevard. 

RenderingNorth

Rendering shows same space as above. Left building is segment e

LkngUpMilLogan

Currently looking up Milwaukee toward Logan

LkngDwnSacramento

Currently looking south down Milwaukee toward Sacramento

Mega Mall Project 

Located between Milwaukee Ave. and Linden Place, the property is owned by Terraco, Inc., who proposes to develop a mixed-use project for residential and commercial tenants. Technically one building, the proposed design by Antunovich Associates is broken visually into 5 segments (a, b, c, d and e) with different articulations giving the sense that they are separate buildings.

JAntunovich

Joseph Antunovich

With one segment (8 floors) topping off at 106 feet, the complex is proposed to be a Planned Development of 250-275 residential units with a mix of studios, one-bedrooms, one-bedrooms with a den and larger units.  

Indoor parking on two levels will provide 343 spaces with 130 reserved for residents and the remainder for retailers. Outdoor parking could add another 90 on grade spaces (23 under the tracks and 67 on the other side of tracks by Linden. Terraco sees the outdoor spaces for use by retail staff. 

Their retail plan is to include a maximum of approximately a 42,000 sq. ft. grocery store space on ground level on the south end (segment e) with a health and fitness club on two separate floors above. One is 20,662 and the other 21,022 sq. ft. In addition, they have allowed for 8 other retail spaces on ground level. 

SGendell

Scott Gendell

Terraco announced at Waguespack's May 7 public meeting, that they have determined that they are going to have an incubator space that would allow for possibly 10 companies. "We see it as an ode to the Mega Mall concept of 10 stalls and an incubator space. We want those companies not to be just companies that you can find anywhere. We want those companies to be unique to Logan Square where people are producing something or maybe is the next great company. We want them to be extraordinary not ordinary, " said Scott Gendell, founder and President of Terraco. 

Amenities are to include a roof deck with an outdoor pool, dog wash area, dog run, residential storage units, bike station, bike parking and balconies on some units. They are also exploring the possibility of making part of their green roof a tenant herb garden. 

LogansCrossing

A stoplight requested for this parking entrance on Milwaukee

They have committed to onsite affordable units as required by the City, which is 10% of the units spread across all unit types. That percentage along with the calculations for the affordable units have still not been determined. 

Developer Asks
In addition to a zoning change, yet to be determined, Terraco asks include one curb cut instead of the two existing. That would be located midway along the Milwaukee expanse where they request a stoplight. This would be for the indoor parking entrance. 

LSPSIte

Part of Logan Square Preservation's Site Plan

They have one other request which is turning a small part of Linden into two-way traffic for entrance and egress to the outdoor parking at the Sacramento end of the building. 

They do not want and are not asking for Tax Increment Financing (TIF). 

Waguespack's Project Process
Eight years ago when Waguespack was sworn into office for the first time, he started work on Zoning and Development Guidelines for the 32nd Ward. A proponent of being clear and fair, he states in the beginning of the guidelines that they are: "To promote new investment that increases our City’s vitality and tax base, yet protects current residents, is compatible with existing land uses, fosters harmony and balance in our neighborhoods, celebrates our architectural heritage, and abides by the City of Chicago Zoning Ordinance." To that end, he lists what his administration will do. 

KGazley

Kevin Gazley

For this project, Waguespack identified two organizations, Logan Square Neighborhood Association (LSNA) and Logan Square Preservation (LSP), as being important to engage as Terraco planned their project. They met with them as well as other community groups who requested meetings, starting around the beginning of 2015, explained Kevin Gazley, Terraco's Senior Vice President. They purchased the land in fall 2014. 

The May 7 Community Meeting was yet another step in encouraging  dialogue and a community process that will help define the best outcomes for the diverse population in Logan Square, which is rich in the traditions of the immigrant populations that built Chicago. 

Community Input
Two major concepts were put forth by Logan Square Neighborhood Association (LSNA) and Logan Square Preservation (LSP) to developers regarding the project being called Logan's Crossing. The May 7 meeting also facilitated more ideas being presented by residents as many voices were heard. 

ScottWag

Alderman Waguespack

"There are two opposite and opposing extremes for the project," said Waguespack after the public meeting. 

"One grouping wants far less units, one wants more with half affordable. So we just need to take the community input and developer needs; sit down with the Department of Planning and Development; and go over the needs of the City. Community input needs to be taken seriously by the developer.

"The timeline is not set for the next meeting but depends on how the developer responds to input from this meeting."

Praise for Process
"He advertised the meeting [May 7] well and had the information presented well in the space where the development is to occur," said local resident Kelly Tarrant about Waguespack. 

"Presentations went  well," said long-time resident Joe Kopera. "Scott took control and let people speak. He listens too." 

Both Kopera and Greater Goethe Neighborhood Association's Sally Hamann expressed how pleased  they were that Waguespack invited both LSNA and LSP to speak. 

MotoRow

This is a reminder of the era when Milwaukee was home to car dealers and theatres

"I feel good about the process," said Andrew Schneider, LSP President. "It is gratifying to have a meeting conducted where developers are receptive to talk about changes. So far, the process has been a positive experience." 

LSP's key concerns are scale and density. They also feel that the side facing the Boulevard should be more in keeping with the character of the  historic square. 

LSNA's Daniel LaSpata, Co-Chair of Housing & Land Use Committee, Board Vice President and a leader at New Community Covenant Church, said, "The Alderman was very intentional in giving the Chamber, LSP and LSNA a chance to speak. That was helpful. I see this as needing a lot of compromise and collaboration." 

JMcDermott

John McDermott, LSNA, offered translation devices for audience members as Waguespack's Chief of Staff Paul Sajovec takes a photo

While he expressed that he was not "fine" with the density, height and process in the 1st Ward's Two Towers project by Rob Bono., LaSpata said he leaves height and density to LSP for this project. 

"We want to focus on how to collaborate in keeping 'affordable' units affordable, in line with the community's needs priced and sized in a way useful for working class Latino families in Logan Square," said LaSpata. 

Results
While some people were "high spirited" at the May 7 meeting, the tone of the meeting was one of wanting to work together. 

Community members were using words like collabortion and compromise and developers were talking about maintaining a balance of what is wanted, needed and affordable. 

In Waguespack's Ward, there is little doubt that everyone's concerns will be listened to and actions will be taken for the good of people, community and the City.

LargeAud

The audience included over 150 interested residents

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