Alderman to push rezoning of historic Pilsen church to control redevelopment

New Alderman Byron Sigcho-Lopez is flexing his powers of aldermanic privilege

Jul.July 15, 2019 01:00 PM
Alderman Byron Sigcho-Lopez and St. Adalbert Church (Credit: Facebook)

Alderman Byron Sigcho-Lopez and St. Adalbert Church (Credit: Facebook)

Alderman Byron Sigcho-Lopez (25th) is flexing his newfound power of aldermanic privilege in the fight over redevelopment of a historic Pilsen church.

Sigcho-Lopez said he will push a zoning change through the City Council in the coming weeks for St. Adalbert Church at 1650 West 17th Street, which celebrated its final Mass Sunday, according to Block Club Chicago.

The new alderman said the move will allow him more control over what the Archdiocese of Chicago can do with the property in the future.

The archdiocese has said it’s closing the church amid a shrinking congregation and changing demographics, but Sigcho-Lopez said church officials haven’t provided enough information about the plan to do with the property next.

Officials with the archdiocese could not be reached for comment. But they previously said they were in talks with multiple developers interested in the property.

In addition to the zoning change, Sigcho-Lopez said he plans to pursue possible landmarking of the building to further control what any buyer could do to it. A Planning Department spokesperson told Block Club the building already enjoys some protections against demolition from city historic preservation rules.

Sigcho-Lopez previously has said he will use his powers as alderman over other developments in the ward, including Related Midwest’s The 78 megadevelopment in the South Loop. [Block Club] — John O’Brien

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