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June 2024 ETOD News

Two ETOD firsts in Chicago happened in June


Guest article by KSWG member Steven Vance

The first grand opening for a business that received an Equitable Transit-Oriented Development grant from the City of Chicago occurred in Rogers Park, and Plan Commission approved the first mixed-use residential development to use the Connected Communities Ordinance’s parking swap bonus.

New co-op grocery store in Rogers Park

Wild Onion Market is a cooperative grocery store in Rogers Park at 7007 N Clark St. The City of Chicago granted the co-op $250,000 to help cover development and construction costs in May 2023. The co-op, which formed back in 2012, had its store grand opening ceremony earlier this month, on June 12.

South Loop development swaps parking for homes

Fern Hill got approval from the Chicago Plan Commission on June 20 to replace a vacant fast food restaurant with 256 homes in a new building on Motor Row in the South Loop. (The development still needs to get approval from the City Council.) The project is the first to take advantage of a provision in the Connected Communities that allows developers to build less parking and use that space for more homes in exchange for more affordable homes.

Here’s how the parking swap bonus works: A proposed housing development reduces the amount of on-site car parking, and integrates additional apartments using the same amount of building area that would have been used for that avoided parking. At the same time, the number of apartments that are designated affordable according to the city’s Affordable Requirements Ordinance (ARO) increases proportionally to the number of additional apartments.

This project will provide 25 percent affordable housing, more than the 20 percent that’s required.

Steven Vance professional photo

This guest article was contributed by Steven Vance, member of Elevated Chicago’s Knowledge Sharing Working Group, urban planner, and founder/CEO of Chicago Cityscape. Read more from Steven on the Cityscape blog and Steven Can Plan.