EVA members review Ace on Ashland condo plan

The construction fence shows a building design for the former Ace Hardware site.

Developers of a condominium building will ask East Village Association members Monday to support a zoning change at the former Ace Hardware site, 1023 N. Ashland Ave.

Owner Ross Babel plans a new four-story building with first-floor commercial-retail tenants and 33 condo units. The floor plan requires B2-3 zoning; the lot's now B1-2. Attorney Sara K. Barnes calls the upzone "more compatible" with buildings to the east and west.

After reviewing early plans, members of EVA's development committee suggested adding 3-bedroom units for a more diverse mix. Here's how the units now stack up in size:

  • 6 – 1 bedroom, 1.5 bath (720 square feet).
  • 9 – 2 bedroom, 1 bath (850 square feet).
  • 6 – 2 bedroom, 2 bath (920 square feet).
  • 6 – 2 bedroom, 2 bath (950 square feet).
  • 6 – 3 bedroom, 2 bath (1,280 square feet).

The plan earmarks two 2-bedrooms units as affordable to median-income buyers. Rules in place when the project started would normally require four affordable units for this size building.

A vote is expected after the developer's presentation, at 7pm in Happy Village, 1058 N. Wolcott Ave.

Only 25 parking spaces are planned, although the city's Transit Oriented Development rules allow even fewer in this spot south of the CTA Blue Line. Barnes suggests that condo buyers will insist on parking, especially for the bigger units, and that some spaces would be needed for the first-floor businesses.

"With this in mind, and our proximity to the CTA, we do hope to also attract ownership interest from young urbanites, who can easily commute to work and move about, without the need for a car – hence the small reduction in the amount of required parking," Barnes says.

North Clybourn Group is marketing the building as Ace on Ashland, but there's no plan for Ace Hardware to return. However, Barnes says the owner is trying to recruit “residential services” such as a café, gym or grocer – even a hardware store – to provide "services that are underrepresented and needed."

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