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After Rising Concerns, Alderman Will Not Support Proposed 5757 Ridge Event Space

After years of being vacant, the iconic Edgewater building at 5757 N. Ridge looked like it was headed for a new purpose in the neighborhood as a banquet hall and event space. However, after a growing number of residents have complained about issues that could arise in the neighborhood from such a space, the Alderman has decided not to support the project.

“I have received feedback from a large number of neighbors regarding concerns with the proposed events venue use at 5757 N. Ridge,” said Alderman Harry Osterman in an email statement. “Neighbors have expressed real concerns about a lack of nearby parking, traffic congestion issues, and disruptions due to event guests leaving the venue late at night. Because of these concerns, I will not support the PPA (Public Place of Amusement) license for this residential location.”

Originally built in 1922 as an auto showroom, the building proceeded to house several different car dealerships and auto services garages through the years. In 2007, local artist Rosario Rosi bought the building with hopes it would become an anchor to a new art community. Unfortunately, the 2008 real estate crash dried up the money and Rosi’s dream art space came to an end.

The building sat vacant for years until the property went up for auction in 2014. Eventually, the building was bought at auction by Kiki Stamelos in 2015. This past June, work permits were issued to turn 5757 Ridge into a banquet hall and event space.

In August, Stamelos and Osterman held a community meeting in order to sell the idea to neighbors as she sought a public place of amusement license in order to operate the proposed business in the sprawling 12,000 sq ft space. It was at that meeting that problems started arise as residents expressed their issues with potential noise and traffic issues.

Despite him backing away from the project, the Alderman has pledged to help find 5757 Ridge a more suitable tenant.

“I recently met with the business owner and property owners to share this decision, and have offered to show the business owner other locations in the ward that might be better suited to host events,” Osterman added. “I will also continue to work with the property owners to find a tenant for the building that would have a lower impact on the immediate neighbors.”

 


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