You may not realize it, but the western section of the Logan Square neighborhood was once dominated by industrial use. This makes a ton of sense if you think about it, as the proximity to both rail lines and the river would have made this area very attractive to manufacturers back in the day. In modern times, the neighborhood has transitioned to primarily residential use (and museums of course), and many of those old sites have been transformed into apartment buildings, like Park Towne Place, the Riverside Presbyterian Apartments, and Edgewater Apartments.
But some of the old industrial sites have remained undeveloped, with the surface parking lot at 139 N. 23rd St. being a prominent example. You can see in the image above, this site was an iron foundry for many years, and also included a number of small buildings that could have been residences for foundry employees. By the 1950s, we can see that the property was getting worn down. The foundry was demolished at some point after the early 1960s.
Today, it looks like this:
Earlier this year, US Construction came before the Logan Square Neighborhood Association with a plan for twenty-six new homes at this location. They also had separate meetings with the near neighbors to the project, with meeting minutes indicating that they were close to getting support back in April. A single-family development makes some sense for this location, given the success that other developers have had in this area selling high-end homes. A notable example is the Mode7 development, whose second phase is visible on Croskey Street in the photo above, and had one of its home sell for over $2M. Alternately, we could have also pictured a taller building like some of the other structures nearby, though we suspect the near neighbors would have been less enthused about the idea.
Looking at the May Consent Agenda for LSNA, it seems that US Construction decided against moving forward with this project. And we have no idea what happened. We reached out to Ed Panek, zoning chair of LSNA, to try to get some insight, but he had no comment on the project. Has anyone got any info on what happened? Might we see these developers move forward with a different project here? Should we expect another developer to fill the void? Or should we instead expect to see the status quo, with a surface parking lot maintained here for years to come?