EVA seeks Fifield apartment revisions

East Village Association board meeting minutes, March 10, 2014
Submitted by Catherine Garypie

Fifield Cos., 1822-50 W. Chicago Ave.

Steven Fifield made a presentation to the board on his current development plan. He's seeking a "no objection letter" for his zoning package, and wants to go before the full EVA membership April 7. Details include the following:

  • Rental only, not condo.
  • 4 stories, frame construction, parking behind building.
  • Floor 1 is commercial, floors 2-4 residential.
  • 59 units: 40% studios & 1-bedroom, 60% 2- and 3 bedroom.
  • Likely 1st floor commercial tenants are: daycare to the west, restaurant to the east. 2 shallow storefronts not yet filled.
  • Flexible on how to direct traffic to parking.
  • Suspects that Zoning Commission will not require 1:1 parking because of the number of studios & 1-bedrooms.
  • 5-6 ft of green wall between the building and the park.
  • May replace sidewalk & alley surface depending upon condition.
  • Leasing agent & live-in manager.
  • Architect is Pappageorge/Haymes.
  • Fifield will pay $200,000 in impact fees, may be able to direct these fees to Commercial Park exclusively.

Board members suggested a connection between Chicago Avenue, building and park, such as walkway, arcade, stair or pedestrian overpass. Fifield indicates Chicago Department of Transportation wants no interference with alley traffic. Fifield also sees practical and liability issues. Fifeld is open to a possible 9-foot walkway on east end of building, but would want lockable gate.

Regarding possible Park District land purchase, Fifield believes that's unlikely. Ronda Locke of the Commercial Park Advisory Council is more optimistic. Fifield and board agreed it makes sense to pursue parallel tracks (development or sale) and see how things develop.

Regarding the number of apartments, Greg Nagel indicated that EVA does not necessarily favor high-density development. McKnight notes that EVA likes to think creatively, suggested thinking creatively about density. A suggestion was made that Fifeld contractor do $200,000 worth of work on Commercial Park rather than pay impact fees.

The board asked Fifield to think creatively with the architect and discuss alterations in the next week or so. The board will approach CDOT regarding alley changes.


Three Commercial Park pocket parks (Honore Playlot, Superior Park and Snowberry Playlot) will be getting new equipment. Honore Playlot is officially named Number 520.

Commercial Park Advisory Council wants to rename it Bertha Honore Palmer Park. Renaming requires a community meeting. Please attend at 6pm Monday, March 17, at Commercial Park, 1845 W. Rice St. Ald. Fioretti will be there.

Forbidden Root, 1746 W. Chicago Ave.

Rather than lift the liquor moratorium in place, Forbidden Root is pursuing a change in city ordinance that would allow package and carryout sales of their beer as incidental to production onsite. The ordinance has already been introduced to the City Council and put into committee.

The board is in the process of negotiating a Plan of Operation to be attached to the Forbidden Root liquor license, and restrictions to be attached to the Forbidden Root zoning proposal. Any EVA vote on Forbidden Root will not be on the liquor moratorium. Concerns were expressed regarding the potential for operations to be disruptive to residents. Negotiations will continue.

Committee assignments
  • Membership: Bladon Conner.
  • Planning Preservation & Development: Michael VanDam.

Discussion held regarding procedural rules in EVA bylaws.


Sam Sabolchick is working with Stephen Rynkiewicz. Discussion held regarding static header, mobile site access, "join EVA” function, community links, calendar.

Business membership

Neal McKnight wants to work on developing a direct relationship with businesses and possibly with SSA. McKnight would like to focus on recruiting “institutional members.”

Ashland Bus Rapid Transit

Nearby neighborhood groups are asking EVA to take a side on the Ashland BRT. The board will bring this issue to a vote April 7: "Based on information EVA now has, is EVA for or against the Ashland BRT?"

McNKnight says the Center for Neighborhood Technology is seeking a tax to fund infrastructure, including BRT.


Alcazar-Anselmo is working on working on a draft demolition permit ordinance for consideration.

Next meeting

The next general membership meeting will be at 7pm Monday, April 7 at the Happy Village, 1059 N. Wolcott Ave.

Meeting commenced at 6:40pm, adjourned at 8:30pm at the Winchester, 1001 N. Winchester. Board member attendance: President Neal McKnight, Vice President Dan Johnson, Secretary Catherine Garypie, Gladys Alcazar-Anselmo, Greg Nagel, Meghan Delong Quinn, Tom Tomek; other attendees include Ronda Locke, Sam Sabolchick, Michael VanDam.
Tom Tomek business card
Anselmo @properties business card,
Ask Nagel business card.

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