Edgeville Buzz

O’Connor Running to Maintain His Aldermanic Position

4fi-oc__Chicago City Council 40th Ward incumbent Alderman Patrick O’Connor will face his first aldermanic challenge in 24 years against Dianne Deleiden, a Chicago Public Schools teacher and Edgewater resident, on Feb. 24.

Economic development, public safety and parks remain some of O’Connor’s main campaign priorities. In Andersonville specifically, however, he is touting his efforts to repurpose Lyman Trumbull Elementary School, redevelop the Edgewater Medical Center campus and to further encourage business growth.

“Andersonville … is nationally recognized now as one of the nicest places in the country to live,” O’Connor said, referring to this north side Chicago neighborhood’s number 7 ranking on an annual top 10 list by real estate website Redfin. “The area has one of the lowest crime rates in the city, the housing is great, and the business strip is thriving.”

O’Connor said there has been an inclusive process to repurpose Trumbull School, which was shut down at the end of the 2012-2013 academic year. Two proposals are being considered for the shuttered campus: A non-charter school; and a mixed-used building with condos and a theater.

A group of neighborhood representatives that includes the Edgewater Historical Society is currently working on a request for proposal with the Chicago Board of Education. That RFP should be completed in the next couple of weeks before it’s put out to bid roughly one month later.

As for the redevelopment of the former Edgewater Medical Center campus, the parking garage “is coming down as we speak,” O’Connor said. A series of community meetings led to a project that includes 15 single-family homes, one acre of green space, and a vertical development where the current building stands on N. Ashland Avenue.

A new themed restaurant will soon open across the street from Hamburger Mary’s, next to Marty’s Martini Bar, on Clark Street. Also, a new condo development will be built where the old Marx Ace Hardware once was. Demolition for that project should start in the next few weeks.

Finally, a new Metra station is slated to open at the triangle of Peterson, Ravenswood, and Ridge avenues in late 2015 or early 2016. O’Connor said that will substantially raise property values in Andersonville. Work on that project should begin in the spring.

O’Connor is endorsed by the National Organization for Women, Chicago Police Sergeants PB&PA, Chicago Federation of Labor, Democrats for Education Reform, Teamsters Joint Council 25, IUOE Local 399 International Union of Operating Engineers, and the IBEW Local 134 International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

“We’ve got a great community here, and (communities like that) don’t happen by themselves,” he said. “A lot of people work together to make it possible, and I’m happy to be part of it.”

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