Planners OK 26-story Elliot Park tower

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June 14, 2004 // UPDATED 2:03 pm - April 25, 2007
By: ah McKenzie
ah McKenzie

The city's Planning Commission has approved a rezoning application by a Chicago-based developer proposing a 26-story condo tower at 907 Portland Ave. S. in Elliot Park.

On June 7, Tandem Developers received permission to build its Elliot Lofts project as high as 28 stories or 291.5 feet. The parcel had been zoned for buildings up to six stories, or 84 feet.

Tandem has hired Built Form, a Chicago-based architectural firm, to design the 250-unit building. Local architects with the Cuningham Group and Close Landscape Architecture have also consulted on the project.

The condo tower, located next to the Grant Park condos, 500 E. Grant St., will feature units averaging $200,000. Retail is planned at street level.

The developer faced some opposition from the neighborhood this summer when it first presented plans for a 25-story tower. Some argued a building that big would be out of context with the neighborhood's historic brownstones that top out at three to four stories. However, after neighborhood meetings in the fall, the area's neighborhood group, Elliot Park Neighborhood, Inc. signed on the tower concept.

Under Tandem's plans, the condo tower would be joined with street-level town homes designed to blend in with the brownstones -- similar to Grant Park's flats.

The Planning Commission approved all of Tandem's requests except for one variance on "impervious surface" coverage (i.e. parking lots), said City Planner Hillary Watson. The city requires Tandem to cap the impervious surfaces at 85 percent of a development's surface area; Tandem requested 90 percent.

The city will allow Tandem to use a green roof to filter storm water that would otherwise run off impervious surfaces such as asphalt.

The rezoning application will now go before the City Council's Zoning and Planning Committee on June 24.