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Raise a glass. Build a Park. Come to the Summer Fund Raiser for Friends of West Edgewater Park Sunday, June 23. Marty's Martini Bar, 1511 W. Balmoral Ave., 2-5 pm. Help in the greening of our new park on the site of the old Edgewater Medical Center. Marty's Martini Bar will donate profits of all drinks purchased from 2-5 pm, Sunday, June 23rd.

Raise a glass. Build a park.

There is an update about the Summer Fund Raiser at Marty’s Martini Bar this Sunday between 2 and 5 PM.

Vea Cleary’s idea for an adaptive reuse of the EMC site continues to mature. A concept visualization done by Vea and her design team from marqardt+gridwerk (www.mpgwa.com) (www.gridwerkarch.com) was recently presented to Heartland Housing, a Heartland Alliance company (www.heartlandalliance.org).

From the alley west this plan is essentially identical to the current planned development proposal, which removes the buildings and parking garage west of the alley and replaces them with the neighborhood park and 19 single-family homes. From the alley east this plan differs from the current planned development proposal, which removes the existing buildings and replaces them with 12-story mixed-use building. For the existing buildings from the alley east to Ashland, this plan guts and re-purposes them as a community center and a senior LGBTQ-friendly residence.

This concept, or something like it, is being promoted and explored by both the design team at marqardt+gridwerk, a chicago interdisciplinary design and architecture firm, and Pappageorge Haymes (www.pappageorgehaymes.com), the well know architectural firm specializing in adaptive reuse, as well as Heartland Housing, a non-profit corporation experienced in acquisition, funding, and management for projects like these.

Members of the marqardt+gridwork design team plan to be at Marty’s this Sunday to show and discuss the concept visualization.

For more info about Heartland Housing’s LGBTQ-friendly project in Lakeview or adaptive reuse, please follow this link.

Hope to see you there.

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Raise a glass. Build a Park. Come to the Summer Fund Raiser for Friends of West Edgewater Park Sunday, June 23. Marty's Martini Bar, 1511 W. Balmoral Ave., 2-5 pm. Help in the greening of our new park on the site of the old Edgewater Medical Center. Marty's Martini Bar will donate profits of all drinks purchased from 2-5 pm, Sunday, June 23rd.

Raise a glass. Build a park.

Come to Marty’s Martini Bar on June 23rd at 2 PM for FoWEP’s 3rd Annual Summer Fundraiser.  We’ll be there between 2 and 5 sharing good drinks like the Parktini and talking about where things stand with the February 6th, 2013 offer — almost an entire acre for the Andersonville/West Edgewater neighborhood park — and how the site could be an excellent candidate for the adaptive reuse process.

Unlike the planned development proposal presented by Waveland Partners, which would demolish all of the existing structures on the site and put in their place the neighborhood park, 19 single-family homes, and a 12-story, mixed-use, commercial building with 214 rental apartments, Vea Cleary’s plan for an LGBTQ-friendly senior community relies on the adaptive reuse process.  In addition to a neighborhood park, Vea’s proposal also includes a range of community-accessible amenities such as a pool, fitness center, shops, and community meeting spaces.

At present only a few cities in the country have LGBTQ-friendly senior residences.  Here in Chicago, Heartland Housing and Center on Halsted broke ground in Lakeview on June 3rd on the Midwest’s first LGBTQ-friendly, affordable, senior, housing development.  Read more about this project, which includes the adaptive reuse of the historic 23rd District Town Hall Police Station, which was built in 1907, at these three links: (1) Windy City Media Group, (2) Archpaper, and (3) Architizer.  For more on the project in Lakeview use the search terms “gensler heartland housing”.

If you are not familiar with adaptive reuse, check out these two links: (1) Wikipedia, and (2) AdaptiveReuse.

Marty’s, which is located at 1151 W Balmoral Avenue, will donate 100% of the profit of all drinks served during the event to FoWEP.  Please let friends and neighbors know about it.  We look forward to seeing you there.

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Vea Cleary, who proposed locating an affordable housing center for LGBTQ seniors on the EMC site last May, would like to meet with community members who are interested in helping shape the second iteration of her proposal.

A long time resident of Edgewater and a master’s candidate in interior design at Harrington College of Design, Vea’s initial plan would add to the Kadin Building, the former nurses’s residence, which is located at 1625 W Edgewater Ave. Like the Waveland Partners’ proposal for the site, her plan also includes a neighborhood park. For more details about her idea follow this link to a PDF copy of her site plan (12 MB file).

At last Wednesday night’s meeting, Alderman O’Connor indicated the city would be receptive to a project like Vea’s were a developer to be identified.

Vea will be at the Coffee Studio (5628 N Clark St) this Saturday the 16th from 11 A.M. to 2 P.M. If you are interested in contributing ideas and/or feedback to the next version, or you just want to learn more about her proposal, she invites you to come by.

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This evening, February 11th, Alderman O’Connor is hosting a public meeting to discuss the future 21-acre nature preserve that will be located on former Rosehill Cemetery property near the corner of Western and Petersen (5801 N Western Ave). At last Wednesday’s meeting Alderman O’Connor mentioned that at this meeting community members will have the opportunity to volunteer to be on the advisory board for this future nature preserve. The Chicago Park District designation for this future site is Park 568. Sorry for the late notice.

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For the moment rather than of providing yet another account of Alderman O’Connor’s public meeting in the St. Gregory cafeteria last night, we are going list a series of links to other accounts of the evening.

  • Eilene Spear’s account for the Edgeville Buzz, Residents Pack Medical Center Meeting, is at this link.
  • Benjamin Woodard’ s account for DNAinfo, Proposal to Put Housing, Park at Edgewater Hospital Heads to City, is at this link.
  • Joe Ruppel’s article, Edgewater Medical Center Plan Ready for Reviewis in The Red Line Project, an online publication of DePaul University College of Communication undergraduate journalism students in Mike Reilley’s Online Journalism II course.
  • Jonathan Greig’s piece, Shuttered Edgewater Medical Center Could be Site of 250 Residences, Commercial Space and Park, is in the online publication Medill Reports – Chicago. Medill Reports is written and produced by graduate journalism students at Northwestern University’s Medill School.
  • Maurine Berens’ summary of the evening is on the WEAR Facebook page. Maurine is WEAR’s Treasurer. On the WEAR Facebook page there is additional information about other topics that were touched on during the meeting (Mellin Playlot, METRA station, and Rosehill Nature Preserve).
    • Benjamin Woodard also has an article for DNAinfo about the proposed METRA stop, the development of which will have an effect on the success of the redeveloped EMC site.

More information will follow in the coming days, weeks, and months. Thank you to everyone who was able to attend and who was able to spread the word about the meeting. Working together in a constructive manner the Andersonville/West Edgewater Community has  accomplished quite a significant achievement. Alderman O’Connor himself acknowledged this at the meeting when he said, after presenting the revised proposal, “the neighborhood can take credit.” Thank you everyone.

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Alderman Patrick O’Connor is holding a public meeting on Wednesday, February 6 at 7:00 P.M. in the St. Gregory High School Cafeteria (1633 W. Bryn Mawr Ave.) to discuss a proposal for the Edgewater Medical Center site. According to the flyer his office distributed, representatives from the Department of Housing and Economic Development will be present. At this link (ald-oconnor-meeting-flyer-130206) is a PDF copy of the flyer. Please note, unlike previous meetings that have been held in the bingo hall beneath the St. Gregory Gymnasium at 1609 W Gregory St, this meeting is being held in the St. Gregory High School Cafeteria at 1633 W. Bryn Mawr Ave. According to the flyer parking is available in the court yard between buildings.

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On June 8th John Knox posted a comment to this account of the Waveland Partners’ presentation from the previous evening.  John correctly pointed out that, based upon the materials available on  www.theResidencesAtEdgewaterPark.com, a website Waveland Partners maintains for marketing the Edgewater Medical Center redevelopment, the amount of property that was being offered to the city by Dexia / Edgewater Medical Center Bankruptcy Estate was 7% of the developable land, not 40%, as had been explained during the June 7th community meeting.

Before Thursday evening the percentage of the developable site that Dexia / Edgewater Medical Center Bankruptcy Estate had been proposing to set aside for a mini-park–a playground–was 0.2 acres (8787 s.f or 7% of the developable site).  So, although the materials John had used were no longer current (as of writing, Waveland Partners has not placed the materials from the June 7th presentation online), he was on to something.  Using the same materials, but basing my calculations on the drawings in them, I quickly came up with a smaller percentage, 26%.

My next steps were (1) to update the account of the evening and (2) to inquire with Waveland Partners’.  While Waveland Partners checked its numbers, I checked mine, yet again, using the city’s GIS website.  This time the percentage I came up with was still less than 40%, but, frustratingly, it was also greater than 26%.  I updated the account.

A short while later Waveland Partners sent me its revised percentage.  It matched the percentage I had just worked out using the city’s GIS website.  Since then I have gone back to the materials that John Knox and I initially used to check Waveland Partners’ Thursday evening number and I have confirmed it  (When I first used the drawings in them, I’d made an error in calculating the size of the land Dexia / Edgewater Medical Center Bankruptcy Estate is proposing to donate.)

Please note, my calculations are not based upon supporting materials for the June 7th offer, so they maybe revised, yet again, once Waveland Partners makes such materials available.  For any confusion resulting from the two  previous accounts of Thursday evening’s presentation, I apologize.

An up-to-date version of Friday’s early morning account of the previous evening’s presentation is below.


Waveland Partner’s Ed Polich surprised an almost full house at the St Gregory Bingo Hall last night when he set forth a new Dexia / Edgewater Medical Center Bankruptcy Estate plan for the redevelopment of the Edgewater Medical Center:

  • 33% to 34% of the site would be donated to the city for a true neighborhood park,
  • the city would approve the construction of a 13 story mixed-use building east of the north south alley along Ashland Ave, and
  • the city would approve the construction of 19 single-family residences on Edgewater Ave where the EMC parking garage currently stands.

As Alderman O’Connor stressed, this is not a done deal.  It is just an offer.  All parties need time to evaluate it and its impact on the Andersonville/West Edgewater community before anything productive can be said about it.

This can be said, though, before last night the offer was 7% of the developable site for a mini-park located at the corner of Hermitage and Edgewater in exchange for a building complex that consisted of a 9 story mixed use building east of the north south alley and two 7 story residential buildings west of the north south alley, and 16 single-family residences along Edgewater Ave, but now the offer is somewhere between 33% and 34% of the developable site in exchange for  a 13 story mixed-use building and 19 single-family residences.

At 0.93 acres the proposed site, which lies on a parcel bounded to the east by the north south alley and to the west by the eastern most residence on Hollywood Ave and the eastern most residence proposed for Edgewater Ave, would need an additional 0.47 acres before it would be equivalent to the Mary Bartelme Park, which has 1.4 acres.

Alderman O’Connor MC’d the meeting, keeping it informative and moving along (it did run long, though no one was complaining).

We, the Andersonville/West Edgewater Community and the city of Chicago, would not be where we are, at this moment, were it not for all of your support.  Thank you.

With much still remaining to be done, we need to stay focused.

More information will follow in the coming weeks.

As we proceed, let’s strive to make this the best planed development the city has ever seen.

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