10-story senior living at Six Corners ‘speculative’
by BRIAN NADIG
A preliminary proposal for a 10-story senior housing project with ground-floor retail and medical uses at Six Corners was presented to Alderman John Arena (45th) in late August, but Arena has called the plan "speculative" as talks with the developer continue.
The senior living development would replace a stalled plan to build a one-story retail center with rooftop parking at the southeast corner of Milwaukee Avenue and Irving Park Road. The Point at Six Corners center would have included an Aldi’s grocery store and a Ross Dress for Less, but the plan reportedly ran into financing issues.
A construction permit application for the retail center lapsed earlier this year, although project officials could seek to have it reinstated. A large hole where the bank once stood collects water, and Arena’s office has requested on several occasions that developer Clark Street Real Estate remove the water.
"While I share the general frustration with the delays at The Point, I am dedicated to bringing development to that space that works for the betterment of our community. It is more important to get development of this scale done right than it is to take the first offer.
"I look forward to updating you with more information as it becomes available. Once we have a coherent plan that meets our community’s high standards, I will host a community meeting to introduce the plan. Until then, any proposal is speculative," Arena said in a Dec. 20 statement.
The Six Corners Master Plan, which was completed in 2013, calls for a four- or five-story development on the site, similar in scale to the nearby Sears Department Store, 4730 W. Irving Park Road, or the Klee Plaza, 4001 N. Milwaukee Ave.
"My office has reengaged the owner in a discussion on how to move this development forward. We have repeatedly pointed the owner toward the Six Corners Master Plan as a guide, and the owner is considering adding a residential component to the site and partnering with a senior living provider. Those discussions continue, focusing on the potential height of the structure, the retail and parking mix, and how the building addresses and adheres to the Six Corners Master Plan," Arena said.
In response to a Freedom of Information Act request from a resident, the city recently released a site plan and other documents for the housing proposal made in August. The plan reportedly included revisions which had been suggested earlier in the year from Arena and the city Department of Planning and Development.
The complex would be 117 feet tall, with the apartments on the fourth through 10th floors. The second floor would consist of a 136-car parking garage, and the third floor would have amenities, including an outdoor terrace, for the seniors living in the building.
There also would be 64 outdoor and 36 enclosed parking spaces on the ground floor. Access to the parking would be from a curb cut on Kilpatrick Avenue, which runs along the west side of the property.
About 48,000 square feet of retail space would be located on the first floor, while the living space would total about 250,000 square feet on the upper floors. Information on the number of planned apartments was not available.
The Six Corners Association reported on its Facebook page that Aldi’s remains in the mix as one of the project’s retail tenants. Most of the stores would be located at the south end of the parcel.
Also, the site plan shows a ground-floor walkway that would run through the property, offering pedestrians a shortcut between Milwaukee and Irving Park. The master plan calls for the area’s redevelopment to include pedestrian-friendly elements.
A zoning change would be required for the project.
The former bank on the site had an ornate lobby, and the Six Corners Association led an effort to have some of the lobby’s decorative elements removed before the demolition so that they could be donated to local nonprofit groups.
"We have made much progress over the last 6 years at Six Corners, and in all of our business districts," Arena said. He added that "my office has worked hard to foster a hospitable business environment, unstick city red tape and encourage reluctant landlords to fill their vacant commercial spaces."