Three-flats planned for former Canoe Base site


Construction of five three-flats on the former site of a canoe store at 4015 N. Narragansett Ave. and an ordinance that would downzone of a parcel in Downtown Edgebrook are among recent zoning proposals.

Alderman Nicholas Sposato (38th) said that the redeveloped the Chicagoland Canoe Base site would have one parking space in the rear of the parcel for each of the 15 residential units plus a small number of spaces for visitors.

Sposato said that Cuyler Avenue residents who live near the site were receptive to the project at a meeting he held and that he plans to support a zoning change for the property. The existing B3-1 zoning of the site is intended for retail uses.

Last year a proposal to building a Dunkin’ Donuts restaurant on the site, which is across the street from the Dunning Square shopping center, was dropped after the Zoning Board of Appeals denied a special use allowing a drive-through facility to operate there. The Portage Park Neighborhood Association objected to the request because of concern about traffic, including their contention that there are too many driveways on the block.

Also in the 38th Ward, the site of a vehicle storage yard at 5553-57 W. Irving Park Road recently was rezoned to B3-1 for a planned retail center. One of the proposed tenants for the 35,535-square-foot parcel is Starbucks Coffee, which is seeking approval of a drive-through facility.

Some residents have expressed concern that Starbucks would hurt independently owned coffee houses in the area.

Sposato has said that it is not unusual for new retail projects to include a business that has a nearby competitor and that while he supports a retail use on the site, he has not made a decision on whether to recommend to the zoning board that a permit for a drive-through facility be granted for the property.

Meanwhile, Alderman Margaret Laurino (39th) has filed an ordinance that would downzone several lots at the northwest corner of Central and Caldwell avenues, where a closed gas station is located. The parcel would be rezoned from B3-1 Community Shopping District to RS-2 Residential Single-Unit District.

Aldermen typically file a downzoning ordinance in an effort to give residents more say on the redevelopment of a property.