Dear Members of the Committee on Landmarks, Zoning, and Building Standards
On behalf of the Metropolitan Planning Council, I am here to express support for the Glenstar O’Hare, LLC application for an amendment to allow for the construction of a 7-story, multi-family residential building at the property generally located at 8535 West Higgins Road.
We at MPC believe that land near transit is one of our region’s most valuable assets, and we should maximize its use to the greatest extent possible. Transit locations are the city’s best opportunity to capture population growth, tax revenues and reduce traffic congestion.
The project will activate a long vacant and underutilized site and will fill a need and demand for high quality housing in this area of the city. Given the development of this area over the last 50 years with over 11 million square feet of office space, the expansion of O’Hare, the increase in hospitality and entertainment, there is a clear need for more multi-family housing to meet demand in the area.
Housing and transportation are closely linked, because in many communities, cheaper housing is located farther from jobs and other key destinations, so households often make tradeoffs between transportation and housing costs. MPC is particularly pleased to note inclusion of transit-accessible, affordable housing into this proposal. This proposed development voluntarily exceed the requirements of the Affordable Requirements Ordinance. It will provide much needed affordable housing options for working households with easy access to the growing employment opportunities in the I-94 industrial corridor.
Improving worker’s housing options and transportation access is essential to overall regional growth as it provides more equitable access to job opportunities, employers access to a range of skilled workers and lowers overall transportation and business costs.
The proposed development at 8535 W. Higgins Road also offers intentional pedestrian connections to the CTA Cumberland station and bus routes serving O’Hare and the Northwest side.
Remember, we have a citywide TOD ordinance that states that this development is exactly what we should be doing near transit: dense development with reduced parking and expanded affordability. The city has also prioritized federal and local resources to support increased affordable housing options across this city to improve equitable access and housing choice.
This project is not only supported by MPC, but also by a diverse coalition of residents, businesses, major business trade associations, and organized labor and community organizations.
Please vote today to support this important development.
Find the full PDF statement