Plan Commission advances Atrium Village proposal

The Sun-Times’ David Roeder is reporting that the Chicago Plan Commission has approved a proposal for the redevelopment of the 7-acre Atrium Village site at Division and Wells Streets in Old Town. The first phase of the project would reportedly be a residential high-rise at the southwest corner of Division and Wells.

The scope of the project, which may include as many as 1,500 residential units, was outlined in a news release last November:

Built by a consortium of Chicago churches who served the near north side community – LaSalle Street, Holy Family Lutheran, St. Matthew United Methodist and Fourth Presbyterian – in partnership with developers Crane Construction Company Inc. and Security Properties Inc., Atrium Village has anchored the community and stood as a model of best housing practices for the nation.

Over the next decade, as envisioned by the partnership, the low rise, low density, gated community will be rebuilt to be a LEED-certified, transit-oriented, mixed-income, mixed-use development – one that reflects the changes in the neighborhood, the city and best housing practices that have evolved over the past four decades.

When complete, the new Atrium Village will be anchored by four high-rise buildings that will define the corners of the property, where on the Orleans side, the tallest building is set back from the elevated tracks to accommodate a potential transit stop at some point in the future. The new development will surround a public 2-acre terraced park, complete with water features, sitting areas, walking paths, a ring of townhomes at its perimeter and a free standing low scale building designed for a restaurant.

Building on a Chicago tradition, the first floor of the Division Street buildings will harbor a boutique fresh food market and other retail offerings that are needed in the neighborhood. The current Bright Horizons School will be relocated to a newly-constructed building on Hill Street to allow for safe play space and easy drop-off and pick-up of children who attend the center.

Staying true to the original mission, 20% of the apartments in the new complex will be income restricted which will provide much needed workforce housing close to transit and employment centers.

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