Alderman Gardiner to hold Dec. 17 meeting on Sears redevelopment
by BRIAN NADIG
Alderman Jim Gardiner (45th) will hold a community meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 17, on a redevelopment proposal for the former Sears Department Store site at 4730 W. Irving Park Road.
The meeting will be at 7 p.m. in the auditorium at Schurz High School, 3601 N. Milwaukee Ave.
There are reports that a portion of the proposed development would be around ten stories tall, but details of the plan have not yet been released. A conceptual plan which last year was being used to market the site to potential commercial tenants showed 556 apartments and a variety of commercial uses, including a health club.
In addition, new marketing materials indicate that plans call for the re-use of the department store building, as tenants are being sought for each of the four floors. The site also includes a large parking lot and the former Sears car repair shop which could be redeveloped.
Late last year former alderman John Arena held a community meeting seeking input from the community about the site’s future. Some of the top suggestions included between 200 and 500 apartments, underground parking, outdoor areas for small concerts, a pedestrian bridge over Irving Park Road and an upscale bowling alley or movie theater.
The parcel is located across from the former Bank of America at 4747 W. Irving Park Road, where a plan for a 10-story, high-end senior housing complex has stalled.
Gardiner has said that the senior project does not conform to the recommendations in the Six Corners Master Plan and has said that the rents for the building would be too high for the average senior in the community. The master plan calls for new construction to be no taller than Sears and the five-story Klee Plaza, 4001 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Regarding the Sears’ parcel, the plan states, “Depending on future upper-floor uses, the original two-story window bays along the building’s Cicero Avenue and Irving Park Road elevations, as well as other design and architectural features removed during prior renovations, could be restored and rehabilitated to make the building more attractive.”
The development team for Sears consists of Seritage Growth Properties, Tucker Development and CBRE Inc.