The Chicago Plan Commission has approved a residential development at 8535 W Higgins Road near O’Hare Airport. Bordered by W Higgins Road to the north and a Marriott Hotel to the south, the development will be a two-minute drive from the on ramp to I-90 and a 10-minute drive from O’hare. Developer GlenStar has been working with architect FitzGerald Associates to deliver 297 residential units in a multi-wing building.
The development will be incorporated into an existing complex featuring various office spaces, the aforementioned Marriott, and will add 270 parking spaces as 71 percent of the area’s 13,075 residents report driving to work. Glenstar also plans to create better pedestrian access to the nearby CTA Blue Line Cumberland stop.
A key aspect of the project will be the 59 affordable units located on site. The units comprise 20 percent of the development total and exceeds the city’s current 10 percent requirement under the Affordable Requirements Ordinance. These affordable units will be split between 17 studios, 24 one-bedrooms, and 18 two-bedroom apartments, of which 20 will be offered to households earning at or below 50 percent of the area’s Average Median Income (AMI), and three to those earning at or below 40 percent AMI.
The 90-foot-tall, seven-story building will offer residents landscaped green spaces, an outdoor pool, and is expected to attract those who work at the airport in search of a shorter commute. The building’s massing will be broken up with various materials including corrugated siding, black fiberglass windows, multiple gray-toned cement panels, and maple-colored cement boards lining the balconies.
The $91 million development has been a point of contention with local residents as well as with 41st Ward Alderman Anthony Napolitano, but has the support of Commissioner Cox as it moves forward. Although it cleared the Plan Commission vote, it will head to the Zoning Committee and Chicago City Council next.
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71% drive to work and there is a CTA station ADJACENT TO THE SITE – the 71% number for people driving to work is a direct result of building office parks around the mass transit station. That neighborhood has the worst of both worlds – congestion and a car culture that is a barren wasteland of windswept asphalt every night at 5:01 p.m. I worked across the highway from that site for 8 years – and no one under 30 drove there, it was only the pre-retirees. I am in that second group, even though I took the bus to work. The future is not in parking.
Anyway, it’s a good project for the area. Having density nearby is the best way to reduce the need to drive
Agreed. I’m actually surprised the number of people driving to work isn’t higher given the suburban nature of the area. Until people don’t have to come all the way into the Loop to get to other parts of the city by first class subway service, it’ll be tough to change this stat much.
“Density” isn’t the same as “good”, and this project just perpetuates that. That side of the highway has acers of half empty parking lots on any given weekday, so the idea that the project needs the amount of parking it is building into it is flawed.