Irving Park streetscaping set
by BRIAN NADIG
A $600,000 streetscaping project that will feature an outdoor gathering place is scheduled to start later this year along Irving Park Road between Austin Avenue and Meade Avenue.
"We’re going to get a little facelift there," Alderman Timothy Cullerton (38th) said. "This all started 18 months ago when the business owners were looking to hang some Christmas decorations and wanted to know if there were outlets on the lamp poles. They’re really trying to make the area more attractive."
The project is being funded through the West Irving Park Tax Increment Financing District, and that stretch of Irving Park will be resurfaced as part of a separate project. Consultants for the streetscaping project recently met a group of residents and merchants, and a larger community meeting may be held this spring, Cullerton said.
The project will feature a "people spot" like those which the city has installed in parking lanes in several other commercial districts, Cullerton said. The gathering space will require the removal of some street parking, and in an effort to maintain parking in front of the stores, McVicker Avenue, a side street, is being considered for the people spot, he said.
A deck will be constructed on the street so that the people spot is even with the curb, Cullerton said. The space will feature street furniture, and under one proposal, a timeline of the history of Portage Park.
Plans also call decorative signs to be installed on lampposts and for large imprints of an Austin-Irving neighborhood identifier to be installed in the middle of the Irving-Austin, Irving-McVicker and Irving-Meade intersections, Cullerton said.
Meanwhile, Cullerton said that the new owner of a retail-residential building at 6038-42 W. Irving Park Road is planning to repair the building and seek new tenants. He said that the city took the previous owner to court and was granted receivership rights so that it could enter the building and clean up the premises.
"Intersection stamps" similar to this one are among the amenities being proposed as part of a streetscaping project on Irving Park Road between Austin Avenue and Meade Avenue.
Below is an example of what the city refers to as a "people spot" which would be built in a parking lane.