Bank of America plans smaller branch at Six Corners

by Brian Nadig

Bank of America is planning to open a smaller branch next to its 75,000-square-foot facility at 4747 W. Irving Park Road in the fall of 2014.

The 4,700-square-foot building will be located adjacent to the bank’s existing facility.

The bank has been trying to sell the 172,133-square-foot site, which includes an underutilized parking lot at 3928-52 N. Milwaukee Ave., for several years. The bank is requiring that any buyer of the property sign a lease agreement that would include the new branch as part of a larger redevelopment project for the site.

The existing facility, which is at the southeast corner of Irving Park and Cicero Avenue, would remain open until the construction of the new bank is completed, a bank spokeswoman said. The fate of the current building, which has an ornate lobby, is not known, but the shopping district’s “pedestrian street” zoning designation requires that a building be located on that corner.

Alderman John Arena (45th) said that no plans for the project have been submitted to the city but that the bank has “been shown the master plan (for Six Corners) and it will be used to guide the development.” The plan, which was released earlier this year, recommends a building up to five stories with an outdoor courtyard on the site.

Arena has introduced an ordinance to downzone the bank property from B3-2 Community Shopping District to the more restrictive B1-1 Neighborhood Shopping District. Under B1-1, the serving of liquor in restaurants would be restricted to a dining room and the maximum height of a new building would change from 50 feet to 38 feet.

The rezoning also would increase the minimum lot area per residential unit from 1,000 square feet to 2,500 square feet. Due to the large size of the property, the redevelopment of the site could require a planned development ordinance, which would create a customized zoning for the parcel.

Arena has said that Peoples Gas has expressed interest in selling its adjacent 278,864-square-foot property at 3955 N. Kilpatrick Ave., creating the possibility of even a larger redevelopment project for the area. The company would move to a smaller parcel, Arena said.

A former Bank of America facility at 4901 W. Irving Park Road recently was sold to the owner of Cermak Fresh Market. Tentative plans call for the bank building to be demolished and replaced by a grocery store, but Arena has expressed concerns about the project, which would require the site’s parking lot to be rezoned and a rear alley to be vacated.


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