New TOD planned for Zia’s Lago Via site in Lakeview

Rendering of the new building.
Rendering of the new building.

Yesterday a virtual community meeting was held to discuss a proposed transit-oriented development at 3817-19 N. Ashland Ave. in Lakeview, which is currently home to the Italian restaurant Zia’s Lago Vista.

This site is a half-mile walk from the Irving Park Brown Line station, and is also on the relatively high-frequency Ashland Avenue bus corridor, which, thanks to the city’s TOD ordinance, makes it eligible for additional density and exempts it from the usual on-site car parking requirements. The goal of the legislation is to attract housing and job growth to areas near transit and improve walkability and boost sales in commercial corridors near transit. The ordinance has a stated goal of helping to double transit ridership throughout the city by the year 2040.

Screen Shot 2021-01-13 at 6.22.59 PM
The site is on the Ashland bus route, and a half-mile from the Irving Park Brown Line station. Image: Google Maps

The restaurant owners are planning to sell the land to Mavrek Development, which wants to erect a five-story, 48-unit building with a mix of apartment sizes. These include 31 one-bedroom apartments, 13 two-bedrooms, and four three-bedroom units. The developer has committed to including ten affordable units. However, the plan doesn’t call for ground-floor retail.

One-bedroom apartments will rent for $965 to $1,800 a month, two-bedrooms for $1300 to $2800, and a three-bedroom unit will rent for $1,400 to $3,300. The prices are based on the location of the apartment within the building.

The development will include 24 car parking spaces and 36 bike spots. No plans for outdoor bike racks were mentioned. Electric vehicle charging stations are also being considered for the garage.

Via Lago. Image: Google Maps
Zia’s Via Lago. Image: Google Maps

Reactions to the plan from attendees, with some arguing that a 1:2 ratio of car spaces to units is too much parking for this transit-friendly location. They noted that parking spaces increase projects’ costs, and therefore contribute to higher rents.

The developer commissioned a traffic-impact study. However, since we are in a pandemic when many people are working from home, current traffic patterns don’t reflect normal conditions. As a result, some attendees questioned the validity of such a study.

The public is invited to sign up to provide comments on the project here here.

Follow Imelda March on Twitter at @hcram1.

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