Local residents and business owners in Andersonville and West Edgewater communities in Chicago recently learned of several proposals for a new park and redevelopment of the Edgewater Hospital site.   The site is located at the north end of Andersonville, and runs along Edgewater Avenue, from Ashland to Hermitage Avenues.   Proposals were presented by architect Thom Greene, Waveland Partners, and Friends of West Edgewater Park.Local architect Thom Greene’s proposal was green-est of all. He proposes creating a park along with adaptive re-use of existing buildings at Ashland and Edgewater, for retail, offices and senior housing.  In his plan, an extensive park will be constructed over the existing parking garage running along Edgewater, east of Hermitage. The park would include an active park area at the west end, a day care center or café in the center, and a passive park at the east end.   Thom’s plan will minimize demolition of the existing Edgewater Hospital buildings, keeping demolition materials out of landfills, and being respectful of both environmental and fiscal conservation efforts. Greene & Proppe Design, Inc.

Waveland Partners presented a proposal for the construction of a small park, 16 homes and a retail/ luxury apartment building. The park planned for Hermitage and Paulina, and run approximately 80 x 100 feet.  The homes would be located along the south side of Edgewater Avenue. Waveland’s plans  include building of a retail/luxury apartment building at Ashland,   between Edgewater and Hollywood.  This would require demolition of existing hospital buildings that could run $4 million-$5 million, take approximately eight months.

Waveland proposes paying for the demolition in part by Edgewater/AshlandTax Increment Financing District (TIF).   TIF’s are a tool in which the city siphons growth in tax revenues into special account to use for economic development.  The proposed 9 storey building would front on Ashland, with retail on the first floor, and 295 luxury apartments on the remaining eight floors, and provide for parking underneath  The Residences at Edgewater Park

Friends of West Edgewater Park (FOWP) and West Edgewater Residents Association (WEAR) propose that the entire three acre real estate parcel on Edgewater from Hermitage to Ashland be transformed into a park. They feel strongly that the entire site become park.   The addition of green space would benefit local residents by restoring vitality to an otherwise abandoned area, and as a result would increase nearby housing values.   The area is sorely lacking in park space. According to FOWP, the Edgewater/Ashland TIF district was created to collect taxes specifically to address the problem of the blighted Edgewater Hospital.   They would also seek funding from the Park District. See West Edgewater Park for details.

Posted by Maggie Finegan, Keller Williams Realty, Lincoln Square

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