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Developer Of Historic Andersonville Home Gives Community 1 Month To Find A New Buyer

The demolition of the historic property at 1436 W. Berwyn has been put on hold after intense opposition from the community. The current owner, who wants to develop the site, has given one month to find a new buyer.

The building, which was recently sold at a bargain price of $875,000, sits on an extra large 50′ x 125′ lot and makes it a perfect candidate for a tear-down. The low purchase price mixed with the wide lot means a developer can come in, demolish the property, construct a condo building and make a nice profit. In addition, most of East Andersonville is zoned R4, which means larger multi-story buildings can be built on the site.

The building was built in 1908 by two local Swedish immigrant brothers, Christ and John Christiansen. The rare 2-flat graystone is one of the most ornamental buildings in Edgewater that showcases the architectural beauty of that time with elements of English Gothic and Romanesque style.

Because of the historical value of the building, the neighborhood commenced on a fierce battle between the East Andersonville Residents Council (EARC) and the developer, Aidan Development. A meeting on June 27 drew over 150 residents who swiftly voted against the demolition of the property. Alderman Harry Osterman quickly voiced his opposition to the development as well.

With the community and Alderman so strongly against the plans, other area properties were presented to the developer. One person who helped in the search was Maureen Murnane, a member of Lakewood Balmoral Residents Council and local real estate agent who was also against the demolition.

Murnane developed a working relationship with Aiden, hoping to sway him into the possibility of selling the property to another buyer who chooses to keep 1436 Berwyn in tact. Both her and the Alderman, in conjunction with intense community support, persuaded the developer to give them one month to find the right person to purchase the building.

“The developer was originally against the idea of selling the property because he felt he bought the building fair and square and followed all the rules. He was a bit blindsided by the situation,” said Murnane.

But it was community persistence which eventually made him change his mind according to her. She added,”It’s a shame it took this kind of crisis for the community to realize that this could happen. But it’s a cautionary tale for a neighborhood the values its historic character and is hesitant to making moves to protect them.”

Now, 1436 Berwyn is officially back on the market… temporarily. The extra large 50 x 125 lot is being showcased by North Edge Group and @properties. The 2-flat duplex with deck and 2-car garage is being marketed with emphasis on the immense green space and proximity to Clark Street, beach, red line and good schools.

The developer has given the company until September 30 to sell the property which is listed for  $1,180,00. It may also be eligible for a historic tax freeze.

Murnane says there is already an offer on the table and scheduled showings this week. One thing the realtor strongly suggests to potential new buyers though, is to not make plans to tear it down.

Persons interested in possibly purchasing the property can contact Murnane at maureen@northedgegroup.net. There will also be an open house this Sunday, September 3.

 


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