A community meeting was held this week to address Rogers Park residents’ concerns about upcoming construction at the Loyola Red Line stop.
The first proposal calls for the demolition of the vacant one story building immediately north of the Loyola “L” station that once housed a McDonald’s and a Harris Bank facility. In its place, Loyola and the CTA will construct a plaza and renovate the facade of the “L” station.
The second proposal by Loyola calls for the demolition of the vacant one-story building that once housed Beck’s Book store. In its place, the university proposes the construction of a four-story, mixed-use building with 41 one-bedroom apartments over approximately 15,000 square feet of retail space. Six parking spaces will be located behind the building and an additional 25 parking spaces will be reserved for the building on the surface parking lot immediately to the west.
Jennifer Clark, Associate Vice President of Loyola University Chicago’s Campus and Community Planning, lead most of the meeting through updates on the first of two major development proposals.
The first proposal is the creation of a Loyola L station plaza, which will replace the building that once housed McDonald’s and Harris Bank.
The current crosswalk underneath the viaduct, which reports one car-pedestrian accident a month, will be gone. Instead, planters will direct pedestrians to cross at Loyola Avenue while also discouraging jay walkers. The L tracks will also be water proofed and fire proofed.
“We’ll be making significant improvements, but it’s not going to be the next Belmont or Howard stop,” Clark said.
“This is a 10- to 20-year fix. It’s a $10 million project for now, but a multi-billion dollar project in the future. It’s a large Band-Aid, not a complete renovation,” Clark said.
The second development proposal is a four story, multi-use building where Beck’s Bookstore once stood.
Ground floor storefronts will display canopies and possible sidewalk tables and chairs to enhance street activity.
The second, third and fourth floors will have 600 square foot one bedroom apartments, sold at market rate. These apartments will not be limited to Loyola students, though it is meant primarily for them, as graduate students, married students and non-traditional students do not have designated on-campus housing.
The building’s brick design will match that of the buildings around it. Local resident and photographer Tony Arriola, 29, was not keen on this idea.
“The buildings look kind of bland; suburban-like. It’s something to get used to. Maybe they should add more public art to keep the Rogers Park flavor,” he said.
Arriola and other residents still have a chance to impact these development proposals, as they in the process of approval from local zoning boards. Construction at the CTA is slated to begin in late June or early July.
To send suggestions, comments, or questions about these proposals, direct your concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org.