Miller Lumber apartments peel back layer

Smith Partners has downsized its proposal for an apartment building to replace L. Miller & Son Lumber Co. at 1815 W. Division St.

The new set of drawings under East Village Association review show a four-story building with 39 apartments above ground-level retail space. A 1st Ward hearing last month indicated 52 units in a five-story building.

The plan still would require a zoning change. Another 1st Ward hearing is set for 6 pm April 26 in the LaSalle II gym at 1148 N. Honore St.

Three 2-bedroom corner units have been added in architect Adam Berkelhamer's plan, each with 1,202 square feet of space. The 1-bedroom units now range from 651 to 800 square feet. Honore Street apartments overlooking LaSalle II school are a bit roomier, at the expense of a 597-square-foot studio on each upper floor.

Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises has not committed to the retail space, says Bill Smith, the longtime Smithfield Properties partner involved in this venture. At the March hearing, the restaurant chain founded by Rich Melman was said to be developing two restaurants for the ground floor.

The project was discussed briefly without action in an April 9 EVA committee report. President Neal McKnight suggested that that the parking lot posed fewer tight corners with 35 spaces, down from 42. A Honore Street curb cut is eliminated in the new plan, directing traffic to the existing alley.

The original five-story proposal drew concern for rising above its Division Street neighbors and presenting safety risks at the school-bus staging ground along Honore.

1815 W Division St Smith Partners proposal 3-28-2012

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