Target, LA Fitness coming to Foster near Edens Expressway
by BRIAN NADIG
Target, LA Fitness, Five Below and Ross Dress for Less will be opening in the Edens Collection shopping center in North Mayfair, while its developer recently gave $2 million for improvements at Gompers Park, according to Alderman Margaret Laurino (39th).
Meanwhile, possible plans for a pathway connecting the shopping center to the planned Weber Spur bike trail, which would be located immediately to the east of the site, are on hold because the city has been unable to purchase the land from Union Pacific Railroad, Laurino said. The shopping center will be on a 9-acre parcel at 4635 W. Foster Ave. that was once home to dental product maker Sunstar Americas.
The confirmed tenants for the center will make up about 75 percent of its approximately 144,000 square feet of retail and office space, Laurino said. "The developer (also) is committed to bringing a sit-down restaurant," she said.
Construction recently started on the center, and stores are expected to open in 2020, Laurino said. There also will be 522 parking spaces, a pedestrian gathering place with tables and chairs, and the installation of a traffic signal in front of the center at Foster and the ramp to the northbound Edens Expressway.
The project’s developer, the Jaffe Companies, will be receiving $13 million in subsidies from the new Edens-Foster Tax Increment Financing District.
Laurino said that Mayor Rahm Emanuel recently signed an executive order addressing concerns that Target was closing two South Side stores while opening one in a TIF-subsidized project on the Northwest Side. For future projects, city must be informed ahead of time of store closings, or a developer would risk having the TIF agreement terminated.
Earlier this fall Jaffe Companies gave the Chicago Park District $2 million as part of the firm’s redevelopment agreement with the city.
The Gompers Park Advisory Council will be working with the park district to help determine which improvements should be made at the park, 4222 W. Foster Ave., and efforts will be made to follow the park’s framework plan, which took into consideration input from several community groups, Laurino said.
Renovating the park’s basketball and tennis courts and replacing the park’s water feature are among the improvements being discussed, Laurino said. "The $2 million is not for general maintenance the park district should be doing anyways," she said.
In a related matter, Laurino reported that the city is struggling in its negotiations with Union Pacific to purchase the railroad right-of-way needed for the Weber Spur trail, which would run northeasterly from near the Lawrence-Cicero intersection through Mayfair and Sauganash and then continue through Lincolnwood, where the trail already is open.
"The Weber Spur line is not currently in use, and we continue discussions with the city to determine its future use. Union Pacific strives to be a good partner and neighbor, supporting the city and the many communities where our employees live and work," Union Pacific said in a Dec. 11 statement.