Fern Hill Proposed Development

As many of you are aware, Fern Hill is proposing a “Planned Development” on the northside of North Avenue between North Park and Clark Street. The Planned Development would permanently change the zoning of three sub-parcels of land: the Piper’s Alley parcel, the Walgreens and parking lot parcel and the Moody Church and gas stations parcel.

A tower of up to 480 feet (approx. 43 stories) is proposed for the parcel north of North Ave between Wells and LaSalle. The planned development application shows 500 residential units (100 that will be affordable), 20,000 square feet of retail use on the ground and first floors, 450 accessory parking spaces, bicycle parking spaces, together with accessory and incidental use.

Fern Hill recently filed their planned development application. This filing enables there to be further review by city departments. Our understanding is that it triggers a timeline for a City Plan Commission hearing within 72 days of the filing. The Piper’s Alley parcel is currently zoned for commercial use only and the density of the structure on the land is limited to “F.A.R. 2.3”, which basically limits the building height to its existing height. Under the Planned Development, the Piper’s Alley parcel would be zoned for mixed commercial and residential use. The newly submitted plan shows “0” residential units for this parcel. The Planned Development Application submitted to the City can be found HERE.


Alderman Hopkins and the Old Town Merchants & Residents Association held a community meeting at the Latin School Auditorium on May 7th. CLICK HERE for a recording of that meeting.


CDOT did not attend the meeting and results of a traffic study have not been released. Alderman Hopkins assured attendees that he would not be taking a position before this study is released and there is an additional community meeting.

OTMRA is focusing on disseminating information, considering pros and cons, and has not taken a position at this point.

Other local organizations weighing in on the proposed development include:


The OTMRA current focus is on asking questions and getting answers. We take the prospect of a development of this size very seriously and want what is best for the community long-term.