Gladstone Park Association mulls several developments
by BRIAN NADIG
The Gladstone Park Neighborhood Association at its Jan. 28 meeting discussed several development issues and announced a new schedule for its general membership meetings.
Alderman Jim Gardiner (45th) told the association that he has been spending a significant amount of his time on several large development sites in the Six Corners commercial district but that revitalization there should have a positive spillover effect on other neighborhoods.
"By starting at (Milwaukee avenue and Irving Park), we are hoping it will usher down Milwaukee ," Gardiner said. Large mixed-use proposals are in the works for both the former Sears department store site at 4730 W. Irving Park Road and the former Bank of America site at 4747 W. Irving Park Road.
Gardiner said that the "first step" in his zoning review process involves getting initial feedback from neighborhood groups prior to holding a public meeting.
At the meeting the association outlined three development proposals for Gladstone Park.
A zoning change is being sought for the site of Northwest Auto Sales at 5728 N. Northwest Hwy. to allow for the rental of vehicles in addition to car sales, association president Joe DiCiaula said. The requested zoning change would be from M1-1 to M2-1, according to the group.
A Circle K convenience store is being considered for the former 7-Eleven store at 5789 N. Milwaukee Ave. In December the association and Gardiner met with a potential operator of the store, but plans are still preliminary, according to the association.
Association vice president John Garrido said that the group would be seeking a plan of operation for a store seeking to sell packaged liquor at the site. The plan, which could restrict the hours for liquor sales, would become a condition of the store’s liquor license, and a business could be fined if the stipulations in the plan were violated.
It also was reported that the association sent Gardiner a letter listing residents’ concerns about a mixed-use proposal for the former DiLeo’s restaurant site at 5700 N. Central Ave., which in more recent years was home to a bank. Preliminary plans called for a four-story building with 52 apartments and ground-floor commercial space, but the developer reportedly is looking into revising the project.
Last fall about 40 residents attended the association’s meeting and expressed concern the proposal would be too dense in part due to the area’s traffic congestion, and they questioned the need for additional retail space in the area given that several nearby storefronts on Central Avenue have been vacant for years.
It also was announced that the association would no longer be holding general meetings on the last Tuesday of each month. Instead the meetings will be held at 7 p.m. the first Thursday of selected months, with the next three meetings set for March 5, May 7 (scholarship presentation dinner) and Aug. 6 at Phil’s Pizza D’Oro, 5800 N. Milwaukee Ave.
DiCiaula said that the association would be hosting a variety of other events in which residents can discuss local issues in a more informal format, including the "First Thursday Supper Club" and "Thirsty Third Thursday" social events. He said residents can also reach out to the group on social media.
Applications for the association’s $500 college scholarship are available at www.gpnachicago.org.