421 apartments planned for Sears site at Six Corners
Editor’s note: This story was posted during the Dec. 17 community meeting on the redevelopment proposal for the former Sears site at Six Corners. Watch for updates later in the week.
by BRIAN NADIG
The proposed 10-story redevelopment project for the former Sears Department Store at 4730 W. Irving Park Road would include 421 apartments, 13 townhouses, a health club and retail space.
Details of the project were announced at the beginning of a Dec. 17 community meeting at Schurz High School hosted by Alderman Jim Gardiner (45th). Details of the proposal were not released prior to the meeting at the request of the developers, according to Gardiner.
Under the proposal portions of the Sears building would be demolished, with the corner façade at the intersection remaining. Commercial space would be on the first floor with 133 apartments above.
There also would be a new 10-story structure with 288 apartments on the northern half of the parcel. A 600-space parking garage also is planned and an outdoor plaza area where farmers’ markets and festivals could be held. A total of about 790 parking spaces is proposed.
The townhouses are intended to serve as a buffer for the residential neighborhood to the north.
The development team also plans to do a partial buyout of the city’s affordable housing requirements, which normally require 10 percent of the units be affordable. The project would require an approximately $4 million contribution to the city’s housing fund as part of the planned buyout, according to the developers.
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 following Gardiner’s opposition to the proposal.
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, which was created in 2013, recommends a four- or five-story structure for the former bank site.
Gardiner has said that once a developer at Six Corners is allowed to build a 10-story building, others could have legal recourse if their 10-story proposals were denied. “Once the 10-story goes up at (the former Bank of America site) … Sears will want 10-stories, Peoples Gas will want 10 stories,” Gardiner said in September. Peoples Gas is relocating its facility to Sauganash.
Regarding the Sears’ parcel, the master 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.