New York-based developer Property Markets Group is still trying to move forward with a scaled back version of its controversial “ParkWorks” project in Pilsen, all despite an ongoing lawsuit against the City of Chicago.
The developer initially pitched a 500-unit mixed-use residential and commercial development, then a 465-unit project, and now it has filed a zoning application for 434-unit building on a 7.2-acre site at 18th and Peoria streets.
Before PMG, led by Kevin Maloney, bought the vacant property in January 2017, former Ald. Danny Solis tried to block a residential development from being built on the site by rezoning it to its original industrial use. He said any project on the site must include more than 21 percent affordable housing, per Pilsen’s stringent affordable housing mandate, and be less dense than the developer’s initial 500-unit plan, according to DNAinfo.
PMG and Solis couldn’t come to an agreement, and in 2018 the developer filed a lawsuit against the city, claiming the alderman’s move in 2016 to rezone the site was illegal and unconstitutional, Crain’s reported.
Current Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez is a community organizer and former executive director of Pilsen Alliance, a vocal opponent of the project that has led multiple protests against PMG.
Sigcho-Lopez has promised to raise the benchmark for affordable housing from 21 percent to 30 percent in new apartment buildings.
PMG and Sigcho-Lopez didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
The vacant property has sat vacant for more than 16 years, according to Crain’s. It was previously owned by the Midwest Jesuits.