Thank you!

Hello and happy Saturday! 

Thank you so much to everyone who joined us for our presentation on Thursday. We appreciate all of the thoughtful, creative input you provided and are grateful for your continued participation in this process. 

We were thrilled to have over 500 Old Town residents register for this meeting, and welcome additional feedback and questions as we launch this continuation of our efforts to maximize community benefits through collaboration. Next week, we will post a new set of questions to continue these discussions directly with the community. 

Please see here for a recording of the meeting, which features a Q&A starting around the 29 minute mark.  Feel free to share with any friends or neighbors who were not able to attend as well. 

Thank you for your time and as always, feel free to reach out to us directly at

Nick Anderson and the Fern Hill team

Happy 2023!

Members of the Old Town community,

We hope you’re off to a wonderful 2023!

After several months of incorporating feedback we received from community organizations, local businesses, condo associations and residents, we are excited to announce next steps in our community-informed process to develop a collective reimagining of the North and LaSalle Corridor! 

We want to hear your thoughts and we invite you to join us for a special presentation of the next iteration of this holistic plan. 

Please join us via Zoom on Thursday, February 2nd at 6:00pm for an opportunity to review feedback and learnings from our last phase of community engagement and for a first look at our proposals that incorporate your ideas for neighborhood benefits as part of a unified development driven by the needs and preferences of residents. 

Kindly register for the Zoom meeting at the link below by Tuesday, January 31st.

Zoom registration:

Thank you!

Nick Anderson and the Fern Hill team

BP Gas Station Parcel Update

Dear Old Town Community,


Thank you again for your continued participation and feedback throughout our community engagement process. Your thoughts and ideas on the best uses for the Shell gas station, former Treasure Island retail parcel, and the Moody Church surface parking lot have been informative and insightful.


As a part of this holistic reimagining of the North and LaSalle corridor, we are continuing to ask for in-depth, individual feedback for each of the parcels involved in the project.


This week, we will be asking for input on the BP Gas Station parcel located at 1647 N. LaSalle Drive.


As with the other parcels, we are interested to hear your thoughts on the current use of the parcel, ideal use moving forward, and any other creative ideas or questions you may have.


Please continue to feel free to engage with us through the website or via email at


Thank you,

Nick Anderson and Mike Ellch

Fern Hill 

North Avenue and LaSalle Drive Parking Lot Update

Hello Old Town residents and stakeholders,

Thank you again for ongoing interest in our holistic conversations about the future of the North and LaSalle corridor. Your thoughts and ideas on the best uses for the Shell gas station and Treasure Island parcels have been informative and insightful.

This week, we are looking for feedback on the parking lot at the northwest corner of North Avenue and LaSalle Drive. As you may or may not know, this parking lot is owned and operated exclusively by the Moody Church.

We feel that it’s important to be clear that we are seeking feedback on the surface parking lot ONLY and that we have no plans or interest in any existing Moody Church building, most importantly, including their truly irreplaceable and historic sanctuary. We look forward to gathering your feedback on the current or potential uses for the surface parking lot at the northwest corner of North and LaSalle.

Thank you, as always, for your time.


Nick Anderson and Mike Ellch

Fern Hill

Treasure Island Parcel Update

Hello everyone – thank you again for your participation as we continue this new phase of community engagement.  

This week we will be asking for your input on the former Treasure Island retail space. We’d like to take this opportunity to give you a few reminders about the property and make sure we are clear about the scope of our ownership.

  • We own the ground floor retail and surface parking behind the retail.
  • We do not own the upper two floors, which are owned by 1660 North LaSalle Condominium Association.
  • We do not have air rights, development rights, or any other ability to alter the building without full support and approval from the Condominium Association.
  • We only control what happens to the retail unit.

As a reminder, you can engage with us via our website at Once you are at the website, see below for a basic guide to navigating it:

  • Looking for general process info? Visit the UPDATES toolbar.
  • Wondering what your neighbors are saying? Everything is public in the FEEDBACK toolbar.
  • Have a specific question on the process? Visit the FAQs toolbar.
  • If your question is not answered by the FAQs, email us directly at

We value your feedback and want to ensure that we’re all working towards a realistic future for this and all of the other parcels. Thank you for your continued interest in this opportunity.

Nick Anderson and Mike Ellch

Fern Hill

Next Phase of Community Engagement

Hello Old Town community,

We are pleased to announce our next phase of community engagement on the website regarding the development of several parcels of land throughout Old Town. Your participation in our community engagement process has been incredibly insightful and a testament to how active and invested the Old Town community is in their neighborhood (over 10,000 page views with nearly 1,500 direct comments).

Since the start of this process, we have committed to creating a conversation around reimagining several parcels of land that would otherwise be developed on their own. We believe in taking a more holistic approach - one that is informed by the community in order to create a more cohesive and thoughtful plan. We believe this will result in unlocking community benefits that can only happen in this collaborative effort and a final set of outcomes that better respect Old Town’s history. In this spirit, over the next few weeks, you will have an opportunity to provide your feedback on these parcels as part of this next round of engagement.

Each week, we will focus on one specific property and you will have the opportunity to answer a series of questions about that one parcel. These questions will challenge you to think about the properties as they currently exist, what you see as their best use, what new opportunities you may want to pursue, and more. We hope that this allows you to give us thoughtful feedback about the benefits and opportunities that each individual property could bring to Old Town.

The first set of questions, posted today, Tuesday January 18th, will focus on the Shell Gas Station parcel, and will be live for one week. The following week, we will transition to a new parcel that will be featured and you will be able to answer the questions relating to that week’s highlighted parcel.

We’re looking forward to hearing your thoughts and ideas. We sincerely appreciate your time and feedback. 

Thank you, 

Nick Anderson and Mike Ellch

Thank you and Happy Holidays! A letter from the Fern Hill Team

To the Old Town Community, 

As we near the end of 2021, we want to take a moment to thank all of the stakeholders who participated and engaged with us over these past few months. As you all know, our engagement process started with a public virtual meeting led by Alderman Hopkins in September. Following that meeting, it was our pleasure to have follow up meetings with various community organizations, condominium associations, and one-on-one coffees with individual community members. While our outreach included over thirty organizations and associations, we want to particularly thank those who gave us their time and shared their opinions and ideas. We appreciate the rich diversity of perspectives and opinions shared in our meetings. One theme stood out above all others – each of you care deeply about the Old Town community and its future. 

In addition to stakeholder meetings, we also launched an innovative, inclusive community engagement website to promote direct engagement from as many community members as possible. In addition to being a central and consistent point of communication for project updates and FAQs, we were able to register hundreds of individual users and push multiple rounds of unique questions. In doing so, we have been overwhelmed and thrilled by the level of engagement, including nearly 1,400 individual questions and responses. 

What makes the website special is that all the community feedback is public so that the community can see for themselves what their neighbors are saying. In that sense, the feedback helps to educate the development team but also promotes dialogue among fellow neighbors. As you can see, we received a broad range of comments with respect to neighborhood issues, challenges and opportunities, and specific site reuse recommendations; however, five consistent themes of concern, or hope, where often repeated:

  • A desire to regain a walkable, neighborhood grocery store to replace the vacated Treasure Island space lost in 2019, which has left a noticeable void in the day-to-day quality of life.
  • Increasing concern around the increase of violent crime and thefts in the neighborhood, including a challenge to find ways to increase and enhance neighborhood traffic, congestion, safety, and security.
  • An apprehension about the northern progression of the Wells Street nightlife/bar scene (formerly contained south of North Avenue) which carries issues of congestions, noice, and displaces traditional neighborhood boutiques.
  • A goal to preserve and enhance the unique historical character of Wells Street, especially those three charming blocks between North Avenue and Lincoln Avenue.
  • A need to promote opportunities for community members to interact with each other, forming neighborly connections, and bringing people together in new, accessible retail and public open spaces.

Thank you again for taking the time to participate in this process. We truly believe in an authentic approach and look forward to continuing to work with you in the new year. Until then, we wish you and your families a healthy and safe Holiday Season and a Happy New Year.


Nick Anderson and Mike Ellch 

We hear you!

Thank you to everyone who has engaged with us so far and shared such valuable and informative feedback. Based on this initial engagement, we have developed a second set of questions that we are excited to hear your thoughts on. So far, we have heard many residents express the need for a grocery store, more locally owned shops and businesses, and overall a healthy enthusiasm and vision for Old Town’s future. As we continue to move forward with this process, we value all of the thoughts and questions you have and look forward to the next round of insights that you’ll share.

Help Engage Your Neighbors!

If you're interested in hosting a small gettogether with neighbors to discuss the project and provide us with feedback, please reach out to us through the website. To facilitate the conversation we are happy to provide you with a copy of Sir David Adjaye's most recent publication, "Adjaye", that chronicles his early design work.

Welcome to the North Avenue and LaSalle Street outreach site!

Thanks for visiting our new website. We're using this interface to help you follow and participate in the design process for the area around North Avenue and LaSalle Street.

Click the Follow button to receive news via email, and drop pins on the Map tab to to share ideas and feedback with us.