Lathrop Designers Stress March Deadline
The team behind the 32-acre Lathrop Homes redevelopment says they’re shooting to have a completed design finished in the next month.
The design group generating feedback from residents and neighborhood organizations about redeveloping the Lathrop Homes say they plan to finish their final designs by March.
Kerry Dickson, senior vice president of Related Midwest, presented three video concepts—seen here on Patch—to the South Lake View Neighbors Tuesday night. He then presented the feedback summary from November’s two-day open house.
“There’s a goal to finish a master plan in March,” Kerry said. “Whether or not we finish it in March, or it may be into April … There’s a goal for March. After that, it takes about six months at a minimum in a planned development, so we’re talking about the end of 2013 before it’s set. Construction doesn’t start until 2014, and you don’t do all 32 acres of the site all at once.”
The short time frame came as a surprise to some residents who recently learned the team doesn’t plan to include more than 1,300 units when the project is completed. Although that’s 300 less than what was original proposed, many—including Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd)—say that’s still too many.
Along with the short time frame, residents were raised valid concerns about where the children of what could be 1,300 families would go to school once the project is finished. While Lathrop Homes currently has 925 units, only 170 families live at the site, a calculated reduction to make way for construction.
Curt Bailey, president of Related Midwest and South Lake View Neighbors member, said potentially overcrowding schools like Jahn Elementary School will be an issue.
“We’ve had a number of meetings with CPS about schools, as well as the alderman, and it’s a critical issue, let me tell you that,” Bailey said. “We’ve had six, seven meetings with CPS. We would encourage you to speak with your alderman about it.”
Bailey said the design team “would love to have a school on the site” to help alleviate overcrowding. And while tax increment financing (TIF) money hasn’t been approved, it has been explored.
If a TIF district was approved for the site, the tax money generated could go to help build a new school at Lathrop Homes.
The Lathrop Community Partners continue to work on the master plan with hopes of presenting it next month.