United for Better Living, a West Garfield Park human services nonprofit at 4540 W. Washington Blvd., is looking to build a 4-story, 43-unit building across the street from its headquarters. The lot is located at 4531-59 W. Washington Blvd.
The site currently serves as the nonprofit’s parking lot. United is applying for a zoning change to allow the project to go forward. The Chicago City Council’s Committee on Zoning, Buildings & Landmarks voted unanimously on Dec. 1 to send the application forward and it is currently expected to be approved by the full council during its Dec. 16 meeting.
The nonprofit was founded by Bennie Allison, the founding pastor of the nearby Corinthian Temple Church of God In Christ, 4520 W. Washington Blvd. Originally established in 1983 to provide scholarship programs for West Garfield Park youth, it has since significantly expanded its mission to include tutoring and GED preparation, various after school and summer programs, computer training, clothing drives and networking events for local businesses.
A representative from the nonprofit didn’t respond to requests for comment by deadline. But according to the zoning application documents, the application was filed by Rev. David Todd Whittley, the Corinthian Church’s current pastor and United’s current president.
Whitney serves on the governing board of the Public Buildings Commission of Chicago, which is responsible for planning, designing and building the city’s municipal buildings.
According to the application, United has owned the property since December 1990. The building would be 42 feet and six inches tall, with 23 on-site car parking stalls and 18 bicycle parking stalls.
The application doesn’t detail what kind of units it would have and what kind of amenities would be included, but attorney Thomas Moore, who represents the nonprofit in the application process, testified during the Dec. 1 meeting that all units would be affordable. He also said that he believes the project is using “state or federal funds,” but he didn’t elaborate any further.
Moore told the committee that the plans for the project have been revised several times. He said that Ald. Jason Ervin, whose ward includes United, the property and the Corinthian Church, submitted a letter supporting the project.
The committee voted to send the application to the full council unanimously and without asking questions.