Planning, Preservation and Development Committee Report

by Scott Rappe


Pizza Hut/Walgreens


We sent a package to Commissioner Randall of the Department of Planning & Development and copied Mayor Daley and his Chief Environmental Officer, Sadhu Johnston. The package included copies of letters of support from several community groups, both chambers of commerce and numerous businesses and individuals as well as the many newspaper articles that have covered the issue. The Chicago Journal published an editorial supporting our position too.

And there is a positive sign: Following Walgreens’ presentation at the November EVA meeting, the company approached Alderman Flores with a modified plan. Although no details have been released, the company is apparently looking at including additional tenant retail space in the building. Although this still falls far short of what we are looking for, it does show that the company is taking our concerns seriously.

Bear Stewart

While much attention has been focused on the southwest corner of Ashland and Division recently, this site is by no means the only one where potential development is a concern. The northeast corner of Damen and Augusta, a large commercial property owned by Bear Stewart, may be developed soon. It is currently zoned B3-2, like most of Division, Ashland and Chicago, meaning that it can be developed as-of-right into a four story residential complex, with ground floor retail. The PP&D committee will begin looking at the impact of such a development, and whether it is compatible with the generally residential character of that stretch of Damen. We welcome input from all EVA members on this subject and will make a recommendation to Alderman Flores once our analysis is done.


First American Bank


The Chicago Journal recently reported that a Bank of America branch will open where the Rainbow Shop at 1239 N. Milwaukee is currently located. According to a bank spokesperson, the façade will be renovated to fit “the traditional look of the community, which is brick”. My recollection of the building before it was desecrated with Dryvit was that it has an Art-Deco limestone façade. If salvageable, its original appearance is much more appropriate to the Polish Triangle, where limestone, not brick is the predominant material. It would be very helpful if anyone can locate photographs of the facade before it was covered.