New plans for Central-Irving Park, former canoe shop sites





by BRIAN NADIG

A new commercial project is planned for the southeast corner of Central Avenue and Irving Park Road, while a residential project has been proposed for the former Chicagoland Canoe Base site at 4015 N. NarragansettĀ  Ave.

Alderman Nicholas Sposato (38th) will hold a community meeting on these proposals at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10, at the Patio Theater, 6008 W. Irving Park Road. The meeting also will include an update on a plan which the City Council approved last year to build 29 residential units at 4111-17 N. Narragansett Ave.

In June a Starbucks coffee shop with a drive-through facility was proposed for a car storage lot at 5555 W. Irving Park Road, but Sposato announced at a recent community meeting that the project was no longer in the works.

The Portage Park Neighborhood Association opposed the drive-through component of the project because of concerns that it would increase traffic at an already congested intersection and would encourage drivers to make risky maneuvers to pull into the parking lot.

Starbucks reportedly was not interested in the project unless it included a drive-through facility. In addition, at a community meeting several residents expressed concern that a Starbucks would hurt nearby independent coffee houses.

Details of the new proposal for the site have not been released.

Several months ago a Dunkin’ Donuts was proposed for the former canoe shop site, but the Zoning Board of Appeals denied a request for a special use permit to allow a drive-through facility for the doughnut shop.

Area residents testified at the board’s hearing that the project would worsen traffic safety in the area in part because of the high number of existing driveways on the block, including several entrances to the Dunning Square shopping center on the west side of Narragansett.

Sposato has said that the new proposal for the site calls for a residential development, but additional details have not been announced.

Meanwhile, permits are pending for the demolition on three houses in the 4100 block of North Narragansett Avenue, where a multi-family construction project was proposed last year. Plans called for three eight-unit condominium buildings and five townhouses and 40 parking spaces on the 36,000-square-foot parcel.

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