Conversion to residences planned for historic Fullerton bank

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Eight residential units will be created on the site of the Fullerton State Bank.

For many years, the Fullerton State Bank Building at Fullerton and Janssen has been vacant.  Because of its distinctive façade, this building was designated a Chicago Landmark along with a group of other bank buildings by the Commission on Chicago Landmarks and the City Council.  A few years ago, there was interest expressed in converting the building into a theater for live theatrical performances.  In fact, the zoning of the property was changed so that a theatrical stage elevator requiring an addition above the roof could be included at the rear of the building.  These plans never came to fruition.

Now, developer Timothy LeVaughn has proposed converting the building to residential use.  His plan proposes eight residential units with eight lower-level indoor parking spaces.  There would be an addition to the building on the vacant lot to the west of the bank building.  The developer met with the SNA Planning Committee along with representatives from 2nd Ward Alderman Robert Fioretti’s office, West DePaul Neighbors, and Wrightwood Neighbors. 

The plan requires a change in zoning from B3-5 for the building and B3-2 for the vacant lot to B2-5 as well as approval from the Permit Review Committee of the Commission on Chicago Landmarks.  The plan would preserve the historic façade of the building along Fullerton and along Janssen.  The plan calls for landscaping on Janssen.  Access to the parking in the building would be from the rear alley.  The main entrance would be through the existing bank entrance. There would be a second entrance through a portal on the vacant lot.  The old metal fire escape on the rear of the building would be removed.

The SNA has indicated to Alderman Fioretti that it has no objection to this proposal, as have the Wrightwood Neighbors and West DePaul.  This property is in the 2nd Ward under the new ward map, while it is in the 32nd Ward under the old ward map.  The City Council now uses the new ward map for zoning issues.  It has also indicated that it has no objection to the plan to the landmarks department.  We look forward to a renewed use of this landmark building in our neighborhood, enhancing the vitality of Fullerton.

Ted Wrobleski chairs SNA’s Planning Committee.