by Michael R. Allen
Yesterday, the Land Clearance for Redevelopment authority approved the project known as “Magnolia Square,” that would demolish venerable St. Aloysius Gonzaga Church to build 36 new houses.
Today, the aldermanic Housing, Urban Design and Zoning (HUDZ) Committee unanimously voted — without roll call — to send Board Bill #361 (sponsored by Alderman Joe Vollmer, An ordinance establishing a Planned Unit for City Block 4054.11 to be known as “Magnolia Square Subdivision”), to the full Board of Aldermen. Alderman Vollmer and developer James Wohlert presented their plans briefly. Wohlert told the committee that DiMartino Homes primarily buys vacant lots for new construction or old houses for demolition and new construction; he did not mention any experience in historic rehabilitation. The presenters barely acknowledged that the project failed to receive preliminary approval from the city’s Preservation Board.