THREATENED: Happy Wash Building Threated By New Construction

“A development team wants to replace a retail strip and parking lot along Wilson Avenue with a two-building development totaling 34 units, the second time a developer has recently tried to build on the site.

“Developers Ayman Khalil and Kareem Musawwir want to tear down the building at 1359 W. Wilson Ave. and replace it with two buildings: a five-story, 30-unit complex and a three-story building on Dover Street, according to plans made public by the office of Ald. James Cappleman (46th).

“The development team will hold a meeting with neighbors, though the project does not need local approval, said Tressa Feher, Cappleman’s chief of staff. Because it is only seeking a zoning variance and not a rezoning, the request goes to the Zoning Board of Appeals and not the City Council.

“Still, some neighbors in the Sheridan Park Historic District and the Dover Street Landmark District think the project is out of scale with the surrounding area. That is especially true of Dover Street, where properties have setbacks and front lawns, said Scott Adams, president of the Dover Street Neighbors Association. ‘Those are outliers,’ he said of the proposed buildings.

“Developers Khalil and Musawwir control Inverbrass Funds, according to reports. An entity tied to the developers bought the retail strip and parking lot at 1359 W. Wilson Ave. in August for nearly $2 million, records show.

“In late 2019, developer Jody Libman sought to buy and replace the retail strip with a four-story, 40-unit building that had a garden level. Libman’s development required a zoning change. That request was rejected by the Dover Street Neighbors Association, according to Uptown Update, and Libman decided to forgo efforts to redevelop the site.

“The existing building at 1359 W. Wilson Ave. — known to neighbors as the Happy Wash building — is home to The Mukase African Restaurant.” (Ward, Block Club Chicago, 10/21/21)

Read the full story at Block Club Chicago

2 Apartment Buildings Proposed For Happy Wash Retail Strip On Uptown’s Wilson Avenue, Developers Ayman Khalil and Kareem Musawwir are asking to build to the property line, without a rear or front property-line setback, drawing criticism from neighbors, Joe Ward, Block Club Chicago, 10/21/21

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