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North Ave. apartment building breaks ground

Seven-unit project part of a wave of residential development there

July 8th, 2019 4:19 PM

New on North: Developer Sharon Heilala (left) and Judith Alexander and Christian Harris, both of the North Avenue District, attend a groundbreaking for the new Jade Sky apartment development on North Avenue. | ALEXA ROGALS/Staff Photographer

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By Timothy Inklebarger

Staff Reporter

New residential development is coming to North Avenue, with a company breaking ground on a seven-unit rental building in late June along the oft-overlooked commercial corridor.

The project is located at 6603-09 North Ave. in Oak Park, includes four townhouse units, two single-level apartments and one two-level apartment.

Excavation began on the project at the beginning of July, and developer Sharon Heilala, owner of Jade Sky Real Estate LLC, said she hopes to have the building complete by this time next year.

The project takes the place of a parcel of land that has sat vacant for more than a decade.

Heilala told Wednesday Journal that the development aims to fill the need for "good quality modern rentals in the northwestern part of Oak Park."

She said recent changes to the village's zoning ordinance, allowing for exclusively residential developments on North Avenue, made it easier to make the project a reality.

Heilala said she first noticed the property on the market in 2013.

"Knowing there are limited rentals and limited new construction in the area, it made sense for the price," she said. "[The village] changed the zoning, which allowed me to get a special-use permit for the townhomes."

The development follows the approval of several residential projects on both the Chicago and Oak Park sides of North.

The city of Chicago also is poised to approve the redevelopment of the former Sears building at the corner of Harlem and North avenues, following the recent endorsement of the project by Ald. Chris Taliaferro and the affirmative vote by the Chicago Plan Commission. That project by Tucker Development and Seritage Growth Properties will bring more than 300 residential units to the area.

The village also recently approved a 10-unit townhouse development at 6033 North Ave. by Noah Properties.

"We're just really excited to be part of the revitalization effort that's happening all along North Avenue," Heilala said.

Judith Alexander, chair of the North Avenue District, said the new developments coming online is the beginning of a transformation of North Avenue.

"I think that one project begets another project … and once you start getting some action, then more people get interested …" she said.

CONTACT: tim@oakpark.com