Binny’s Culver’s sought for sites in Six Corners




by BRIAN NADIG

Binny’s Beverage Depot and Culver’s recently signed leases as part of a redevelopment project for the 4900 block of West Irving Park Road in the Six Corners shopping district, according to Alderman John Arena’s chief of staff Owen Brugh.

Binny’s would open on the first floor of the former Bank of America, 4901 W. Irving Park Road, and a 300-seat theater and professional office space would remain on the second floor. There also are plans for a fitness center, but plans for an Aldi’s grocery store to open have been dropped, Brugh said.

Brugh said that Binny’s would be a solid retail anchor for the building. "They have a very good reputation," he said. "They have a large selection of products at reasonable prices."

The Culver’s restaurant, which would feature a drive-through facility, would be located on the site of a former tire shop at 4939 W. Irving Park Road. A Starbucks restaurant also had been considered for the site.

The project requires a zoning change to allow the Binny’s to open because the existing B1-2 zoning of the site does not permit liquor stores, and a special use permit is required for the drive-through facility. The Culver’s restaurant would be just outside a Six Corners "pedestrian street" zoning designation which prohibits new drive-through facilities.

An approximately 200-space parking area behind the site recently was rezoned for the project.

Attorney Charles Cui is part of a development team that has a contract to purchase the properties from the owner of Cermak Fresh Market.

Several years ago there were preliminary plans to demolish the bank building and construct a Cermak grocery store on the block, but Arena would not support the project in part because he wants to preserve the theater in the bank.

Arena has said that the theater, where classic movies were once shown, should "drive" the project because cultural attractions are needed to help increase the customer base for local stores and restaurants.

Attempts are being made to find a manager for the theater, which would be available for community groups, Brugh said. Tax increment financing subsidies are being sought to help preserve the theater.

Another building on the block may be converted to office space as part of the project, Brugh said.

In a related matter, plans have not completed finalized for the former Bank of America building at 4747 W. Irving Park Road, Brugh said. A zoning change for that site was filed last winter, but the City Council Committee on Zoning, Landmarks and Building Standards deferred the matter.

Preliminary plans called for a four-story center with two parking levels with 473 parking spaces and two retail levels with 196,240 square feet of space.




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