Edgeville Buzz

Andersonville Clock Tower Project Ends After Developer’s Alarming Social Media Post

The developers of the proposed Andersonville Clock Tower Project have abruptly pulled the plug on the plans after a recent zoning meeting raised community concern over affordable housing units and an alarming Facebook post from one of the owners.

Candea Development had submitted the proposal after working closely with Alderman Harry Osterman, the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce and area block clubs. The building would have taken over the vacant southeast corner of Catalpa and Clark at 5457 N Clark.

It was first introduced as a 54-unit, five-story apartment building with a recessed top floor and clock tower which would have stood over the high profile corner. The fifth floor was later eliminated and the number of units decreased by 10 without any issue by the developer after concerns from the East Andersonville Resident’s Council (EARC) over height.

The proposed building would have been considered a transit-oriented project which means they can reduce the number of parking spots to half the number of units. The plans only included 13 parking spaces which made a zoning variance necessary. About 10% of the units were considered affordable housing.

The building seemed likely to be built after gaining much praise from the 48th Ward Office. At a virtual community meeting on the development last week however, issues over the number of available affordable housing units and limited parking were presented by some of the 130 participants at the online event.

Armand Candea, one of the owners of the Candea development which has already built several other housing complexes in the area, quickly became agitated over the questions. After already eliminating 10 units by taking the building down to four stories from five, he made clear that marking additional units as affordable housing would eat up any profits.

But soon after the meeting ended with the future of the project unclear, a Facebook post from a page belonging to Armand Candea started to surface. In the post was a picture of Chicago Police in riot gear during the recent protests and a profanity-laced message underneath that suggested that the city needed to unite and enlist snipers to handle the situation.

Then yesterday Candea Development informed the 48th Ward Office that they are withdrawing from the Clock Tower Project. In an emailed statement by Alderman Osterman, he acknowledged the concern resident’s had about ‘insufficient parking, too few affordable units, and a lack of family-sized units.’ He also made clear that he was incredibly troubled over Candea’s social media post.

“Some concerning social media posts from leadership at Candea Development came to light during this community process that do not reflect my own views, nor the values of the Andersonville and greater 48th Ward community,” said Ald. Osterman. “I do not support violence or violent language, and was angered and appalled when I saw the post.”

Ald. Osterman stated that he will continue to work with the East Andersonville Residents’ Council (EARC), the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce, and community members to find a more suitable plan for the property. He said any future proposal will reflect community concerns that were made clear over the last week.


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