To Mayor Lori Lightfoot;

Small business owners, affordable housing advocates, and community groups are coming together to ask in one voice for you to revisit the proposed development at 4715 N Western Ave. We have agreement from a wide range of community stakeholders that 4715 N Western Ave should move forward to bring 65 units of affordable housing to our community. We are thrilled and grateful for the progress that has been made on this tremendous neighborhood asset: the additional floor of housing, and the preservation of the alley behind the business district.

However, we also stand united behind the independent, small business owners that make our vibrant neighborhood so desirable, and ripe for this kind of affordable housing project. We would like you to come to the table one more time to revisit the parking arrangement, with the hope that you can find an agreement that supports both small businesses and our new neighbors. Long-term residents of our transit rich community are unlikely to need parking beyond the 18 spaces already allocated, while our independent businesses, and the City, depend on revenue from visitors from other Chicago neighborhoods, the suburbs, and beyond. Let’s keep the majority of the parking as an engine for our local economy.

We ask that the city allocate 30 parking spots for the public, and 18 for the building’s residents. Notably, this arrangement does not change the architecture of the approved proposal, it is only a matter of paint on the ground. The approved building design has capacity for 48 spaces, but only 36 are used in the city’s proposal. We would like to see the other 12 allocated to the public. The developer has offered $500,000 to pay for the cost of these public spaces. Can you please help make sure this project maximizes value for our community?

We believe that this development can be a watershed moment for affordable housing in our neighborhood, and the city. We hope we can celebrate this project together soon.