Construction on a townhome development at 7312 Ogden Ave., formerly home to Victory Bowling Lanes, will begin in early July and will be completed by next March, according to the architect of the project.
On June 19, the Riverside village board granted two zoning variances for the development, paving the way for a brick three-story building housing seven three-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom units. The village’s Zoning Board of Appeals previously had unanimously recommended granting the variances for the development.
One variance will allow the front doors of the townhome units to face the west side yard, instead of Ogden Avenue, which the zoning code requires. The second variance allows garage doors on the front facades of the units, rather than the side or rear.
The zoning board recommended granting the variances since the property has just a 55-foot frontage along Ogden Avenue, making it impossible for the seven units to face the street. In addition to the narrow width of the 18,270-square-foot lot, it is very deep?”over 300 feet?”and doglegs in the middle of the parcel.
“The square footage is there,” said John Schiess, architect and agent for the property owners, who are also behind the development of the former Buresh’s Lobster House property on 31st Street in Brookfield.
“If the configuration of the lot was different, we wouldn’t have been coming before the village with special allowances,” Schiess added.
According to plans submitted to the village by Schiess, all of the units will be accessed from Ogden Avenue via a asphalt and brick paver driveway along the west property line. Although the property also fronts Lafayette Road on the west, there will be no vehicle access to that street.
The plan also shows that the townhome development will be set back from Ogden Avenue by 20 feet, matching the setback of the building directly west. Victory Lanes was built right at the lot line on Ogden Avenue. The rear of the property will include some 72 feet of green space, which will be owned in common by the townhome purchasers.
The list price for the townhomes is expected to be $499,000.
Developers purchased the property, home to a bowling alley since 1939, on April 5 for $675,000, according to records obtained from the Cook County Recorder of Deeds. Its previous owner, Elizabeth Duenas, had owned the bowling alley for the past three years, renting the facility principally for private parties, including ones for Schiess’ Metropolis Architects, which held their annual office party there three times.
However, revenues from the venture were not enough to offset property tax increases, according to Duenas, who stated in April that the sale of the property was “primarily economic.”
Victory Lanes lasted longer than it might have if not for a group of Riverside residents, who banded together to buy the property from its longtime owners, Al and Lucy Raskevich, in 1998. At that time, the Raskevich family expressed interest in selling the bowling alley to developers, but the group raised $255,000 and bought the old-fashioned, six-lane bowling alley a few more years. Duenas purchased the property from the group of Riverside residents in 2003 for $520,000.
Schiess said that the development group he represents is eyeing other property within Riverside, but would not confirm where.
Meanwhile, the development group’s townhome/single-family project on 31st Street in Brookfield continues apace, and will be ready for occupancy by the end of December, according to Schiess. All but two of the townhome units have sold, Schiess said, and two of the single-family homes have sold as well.