Revised Sears plan to be presented at Jan. 27 meeting
by BRIAN NADIG
Alderman Jim Gardiner (45th) will hold a second community meeting on the mixed-use proposal for the former Sears Department Store site, 4730 W. Irving Park Road, in the heart of the Six Corners shopping district.
The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 27, at the Copernicus Center, 5216 W. Lawrence Ave. “Due to audio difficulties at the last meeting held at Schurz, I have decided to move this meeting to Copernicus,” Gardiner said in a Facebook posting.
The project has been scaled back in terms of its size, but Gardiner said that details of the revisions will not be announced prior to next week’s meeting. “I took questions, comments and concerns from my constituents and brought them to the negotiating table and fought for a better product for the 45th Ward,” he posted on Facebook.
In an interview Gardiner said that he knocked on the doors of the homes near the Sears site as part of his overall policy of gathering input from those who live near development sites. He added that many residents invited him inside to discuss the project and that strong consideration is being given to their concerns since their lives would be most impacted by the development.
“They were grateful that I stopped by,” Gardiner said.
At the Dec. 17 meeting plans were announced for a 10-story development with 421 apartments, 13 townhouses, a health club, retail space, 790 parking spaces and a public plaza.
The overall concept of the project was well-received at the meeting, but several audience members asked for the development to be shorter and to include more green space and pedestrian amenities.
Parts of the six-story Sears building, which includes a basement, would be preserved, with its 80-foot height remaining intact.
Meanwhile the northern half of the parcel would include a 10-story, 120-foot tall building, which would about 15 feet shorter than the stalled 10-story senior housing proposal for the former Bank of America site at 4747 W. Irving Park Road.
Plans also called for the Sears site developers, Tucker Development and Seritage Growth Properties, to pay about $4 million in the city’s housing fund, allowing for a partial buyout of the city’s affordable housing requirement. In all 11 of the required 43 affordable units would be built, but some residents at the meeting called for a higher percentage.