City of Chicago Acknowledges Errors, Confirms OK for Current Ice Warehouse Work

Published February 21, 2019

In a February 14, 2019, letter, Chicago Department of Buildings Commissioner Judith Frydland addressed issues surrounding approval of work on the former ice storage warehouse at 2133 W. Pershing Road, Chicago, noting problems in the city's data-collection practices and the mistaken issuance of a January 23, 2019, stop work order.

As previously reported here in the McKinley Park News, the development has undergone scrutiny based on city action now known to be tied to errors in addressing in Department of Buildings systems. "The ownership has fully cooperated" in resolving the issue, the letter stated, including developer Aberdeen Development Inc. suspending all exterior demolition work until a Department of Buildings review is completed.

Also tying into the complexity of this project is a building code enforcement case against the development's ownership company, President Park LLC, regarding the hazardous nature of the facade facing Pershing Road: The Department of Buildings has been pushing the developer to address the crumbling facade as quickly as possible, and thus it waived the 90-day waiting period tied to the building's orange rating in the Chicago Historic Resources Survey.

As noted by the Department of Building's Gregg Cunningham, the complaint against the developer also included work conducted on the rear of the property in 2017 without a permit. However, by the time the complaint came to court in spring of 2018, the developers had come into full compliance for their work, in the wake of the city's issuance of the site's valid construction permit on February 27, 2018.

Both the letter and Cunningham said the Department of Buildings is updating its system through a re-investigation of buildings and addresses in this area. "We want to avoid this happening in the future," Cunningham said.

Following is the contents of the January 14, 2019, letter from Chicago Department of Buildings Commissioner Judith Frydland:

Sent; Thu 2/14/2019 5:14 PM

Dear Deputy Commissioner Gorski:

Regrettably, due to conflicting multiple address ranges and classifications, a property located on the 2100 block of W. Pershing was not captured by DOB as orange rated and we did not route the project to Landmarks for review prior to the issuance of a permit on February 27, 2018. Further, a stop work order was issued for this property on January 23, 2019 in error based on an address that was not captured properly.

As soon as it was brought to DOB’s attention yesterday that the building is orange rated, we immediately called in ownership today to advise this review is necessary. The ownership has fully cooperated and agreed to cease all exterior demolition work as of today until this review is completed and approved. DOB, Landmarks, ownership and their architects reviewed the address range and have determined that the correct address is 2101 – 2133 W. Pershing and this has now been updated in our system. The original permit application, 100726760, has been reinstated in Project Dox for Landmarks to complete its review with this corrected address.

In addition, there is an active building code enforcement case pending in Circuit Court for dangerous and hazardous façade conditions at this building. DOB pressed for immediate repairs due to the dangerous façade issues and now the building currently open to the elements since the dangerous façade has been removed and so continues to be in a dangerous and hazardous condition. Pursuant to CBC 13-32-230 (b)(ii)(b), current inspections and photos, DOB finds that imminently dangerous and hazardous conditions exist and therefore the 90 day waiting period is waived. Based on the agreement of the parties, DOB requests an expedited Landmarks review. Please advise me of the outcome so that work may resume as soon as possible for public safety.

To avoid this happening in the future, we are reviewing the addresses in this area and updating our systems where necessary with the correct information. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns or if DOB can be of any further assistance.

Thank you.

Judith Frydland, Commissioner
Department of Buildings
City of Chicago

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