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CHICAGO-North Sheridan Road in the Edgewater neighborhood, which became synonymous with multifamily high-rise construction more than a quarter-century ago, is getting a new round of development. Two projects in the 5400 and 5500 blocks of Sheridan Road will add 86 condominium units, although the buildings are no taller than seven stories high.

The plan commission Thursday recommended approval of a 48-unit building with 72 parking spaces at 5430 N. Sheridan Rd. as well as a 38-unit building—much smaller than current zoning allows—with a relative abundance of 90 parking spaces at 5556 N. Sheridan Rd., across the street from the distinctive pink Edgewater Beach Hotel, now a co-operative apartment building.

Joel S. Pickus, who prevailed in the request for proposal process for the site at the southwest corner of Bryn Mawr Avenue that is a former BP Amoco service station, tells GlobeSt.com he has spent a year getting his Waukegan-based company’s project off the ground. He has agreed to pay $1.05 million for the 22,500-sf site, a price that jumped more than 25% during the city’s condemnation process with the oil company.

Pickus explains the original price was $800,000, but the city’s cost soared to $1.4 million in condemnation. He grudgingly agreed to split the difference in order to build his $15-million project. However, it may still be a bargain at the $47 per sf he is paying the city, if not the $62 per sf the city is paying BP Amoco.

Further south, Eugene McCarron and Eugene Carew were top bidders in a conventional process for 5430 N. Sheridan, just south of a motel. Property records show they paid $1.35 million to Armenian Congregational Church in January for the 16,882-sf site, or $80 per sf.

Both developers hope to start construction next summer, with completions expected to follow in 2004. Pickus’ lender is requiring a 50% pre-sale, but he hopes to push that down to 30%. Cosmopolitan Bank, one of the lenders McCarron is talking with, also is requiring a 50% pre-sale.

Pickus’ Bryn Mawr & Sheridan Condominiums will start in the low- to mid-$300,000 range for two-bedroom units to $750,000 for a four-bedroom, four-bath duplex. McCarron and Carew expect their units to range from $230,000 to $370,000.

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