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Office and residential project in Fulton Market slated for city review

LG Development Group plans construction on either side of Lake Street near Racine Avenue.

A portion of the LG Development Group site, which includes the former Leon’s Sausage building at 1143 W. Lake St.
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A complex that would bring an office building and more than 400 new apartments to Fulton Market has been slated for a key vote by the Chicago Plan Commission this month, even though two influential neighborhood groups have yet to endorse the project.

LG Development Group has proposed apartment construction on the south side of Lake Street between May Street and Racine Avenue. Part of the development would extend to Randolph Street. It also would build an 11-story office building on the north side of Lake between May and Racine.

The proposal is scheduled for a vote by the Plan Commission on Feb. 21. City officials posted details of the zoning application under a new policy to give advance notice of matters the commission will consider. The commission’s vote sends matters to the City Council.

While the proposal joins many other projects under way or planned in Fulton Market, its scale is impressive, covering nearly a block and a half, or nearly two acres, of private property. The buildings would have retail or restaurant space on the ground level.

The application was unclear on the exact total of apartments, putting it at 484 in one section and 438 in another. However, LG’s zoning attorney, Michael Ezgur, said that has changed in subsequent discussions with city planners. He said the project will have 550 units in a single tower of about 29 stories, rather than a lesser number in two shorter towers, as the original application provides.

The application said 20% of the units would be affordable under terms of a city ordinance.

The site is within the 27th Ward of Ald. Walter Burnett Jr., who said in a text message that he’s awaiting comments from community groups before taking a position on the zoning change. When an item gets on the Plan Commission’s agenda, it usually indicates aldermanic support.

Damone Richardson, head of the development committee for the West Loop Community Organization, said the group reviewed the project months ago but has not taken a formal position on it. He said neighbors expressed concern about the effect on congestion and the impact of an 18-month construction cycle for both the office and residential buildings.

“I have witnessed accidents on Lake Street myself and the traffic is obviously getting worse,” he said. But he said City Hall wants development in Fulton Market, “so we want to make sure it’s sustainable and works for residents.”

Matt Letourneau, who runs the development committee for Neighbors of West Loop, said it will meet with LG before the commission’s meeting to establish a position.

LG CEO Brian Goldberg did not return calls Wednesday. “We’re still working through this process with all the stakeholders,” Ezgur said.

The development adds to the concentration of activity along the CTA’s Green Line. The site on the north end of Lake is vacant and the remaining property consists of low-slung buildings that included Leon’s Sausage, which has relocated to the Back of the Yards area.