Irving-Central meeting set; Norwood Starbucks hearing slated

A commercial development could be coming to a vehicle storage lot in Portage Park, while plans are moving forward to build a Starbucks Coffee in Norwood Park.

Alderman Nicholas Sposato (38th) will hold a community meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 14, at the Portage Park Senior Center, 4100 N. Long Ave., on a redevelopment proposal for a 32,000-square-foot parcel at the southeast corner of Irving Park Road and Central Avenue, where a Saturn dealership closed in 2007.

In 2015 there was a proposal to rezone the site to accommodate a company which buys cars and then transports them elsewhere to be sold, but the project never materialized.

Currently the parcel, located at 5555 W. Irving Park Road, is being used to store vehicles for an area dealership, but that use is not allowed under the site’s RT-4 zoning. The existing zoning is intended primarily for multi-family construction.

A spokesman for Sposato said that plans for the development are preliminary and that the alderman wants the developer to get feedback from residents before proceeding further.

An initial plan reportedly showed two one-story buildings, one of which would be located at the northwest corner of the priority, with the other set further back from the street. No prospective tenants for the commercial space have been announced.

Also, an application for a special use permit has been filed with the city to allow a Starbucks Coffee with a drive-through facility on a vacant 27,000-square-foot parcel at the southeast corner of Northwest Highway and Harlem Avenue. The triangular-shaped parcel, which has been for sale for several years, was once used to store cars for the former Norwood Park Dodge dealership.

Several members of the 41st Ward Zoning Advisory Committee have voiced support for the proposed Starbucks as long as the city Department of Transportation approved a traffic plan for the site, located at 6340 N. Northwest Highway. Concerns were raised at committee meetings that the Starbucks could attract a high volume of cars to the site, causing traffic to back up onto a nearby railroad crossing on Harlem.

The Zoning Board of Appeals is scheduled to hear the special use request at its meeting at 9 a.m. Friday, June 17, in the Council Chamber at City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle St. In addition, the board’s afternoon session includes a hearing on special use requests to allow a mosque and community center at 4846 and 4856 N. Elston Ave.