New office complex approved for site near Marriott O’Hare


by BRIAN NADIG

The Chicago Plan Commission approved a plan to build an office complex next to the Marriott O’Hare Hotel, 8535 W. Higgins Ave., last month, and on Dec. 18 it approved a proposal for mixed-use project at the former Red Star Inn site, 4179 W. Irving Park Road.

The plan for the office complex calls for the construction of two seven-story office buildings and a 12-story building. An eight-story parking garage with up to 3,000 parking spaces also is planned.

A west wing of the hotel recently was demolished to make way for the project. An office building on the 21.77-acre site also would be demolished after the final tenant moves out, according to Lisa Ryan, the chief of staff for Alderman Mary O’Connor (41st).

Some of the buildings may not be built until office tenants are secured, Ryan said. Most of the existing outdoor parking lot in front of the hotel’s lobby would remain. The plans call for the business planned development ordinance which set the zoning of the site to be amended.

Meanwhile, the commission is scheduled to hear a proposal to construct three buildings on the former site of the Red Star restaurant at Irving Park Road and Avondale Avenue at its Dec. 18 meeting. A two-story retail structure, a four-story building with ground-floor retail space and three residential units above, and a four-story residential building with 27 units are planned.

The development would have 39 parking spaces. It is being proposed as a residential-business planned development, which would create customized zoning for the site.

The site is next to the Irving Park Metra station, 3931 N. Avondale Ave., A retail center and a five-story office structure were proposed for the restaurant site and several adjacent properties, covering a total of 1.5 acres of land, in 2007, but the plan was dropped.

Also in the area, requests for tax increment financing district subsidies are being made for a proposed retail center at 4747 W. Irving Park Road, where a former Bank of America building is slated for demolition, and for an Aldi’s grocery store and a fitness center at 4901 W. Irving Park Road, where retrofitting another former Bank of America facility has been proposed.

Other grocers which have considered the building at 4901 W. Irving Park reportedly include Cermark Fresh Market and Mariano’s Fresh Market. The Cermak owner also owns the property, but opening his store would have required the demolition of the bank building, and Alderman John Arena (45th) has said that he prefers th at the 300-seat theater on the second floor of the building be preserved for art and cultural groups.

Any grocery store project would require a zoning change because the 260-space parking lot is zoned for residential use.

There also are reports that a fast-food chain is seeking to open on the site of a former tire center at 4939 W. Irving Park Road and that a developer is seeking to buy several buildings on the east side of the 4000 block of North Milwaukee Avenue in the Six Corners shopping district. Last year Portage Theater owner Eddie Carranza said that he was recruiting a brew pub to open in some of the vacant storefronts on that block.


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