Proposal for car wash on Harlem Ave. on hold
by BRIAN NADIG
A zoning proposal for an automated car wash at the southeast corner of Harlem and Waveland avenues is on hold but could get the green light from Alderman Nicholas Sposato (38th) if a better proposal for the former Bakers Square restaurant site does not come up in the next 6 or more months.
Sposato said that at a Feb. 13 meeting residents raised traffic concerns about the $4.5 million project and that he has formed a committee with some of the meeting’s attendees to explore other options for the 29,000-square-foot-parcel at 3649 N. Harlem Ave.
"The property has been vacant for a year, and I am committed to finding a use for it before the end of this year. The property is for sale for $1.5 million. Realistically, the business options are limited because of that cost.
"Some of the suggestions at the meeting were a library, dog park, shared kitchen, restaurant, apartments or medical office. This is currently the only proposal that has been brought to my attention. If you know of anyone interested in the property, please let me know," Sposato wrote in his Feb. 20 newsletter.
Under the proposal, vehicle access to the car was would be only from Harlem and left turns for exiting cars would be prohibited, according to Sposato. The hours of operation would be from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and "the lot would fit 22 cars at a time before any overflow would reach Harlem Avenue as well as holding spots (parking) for 19 cars," he said.
The car wash proposal requires the property to be rezoned from B3-1, which is intended primarily for general retail and restaurant uses, to C1-1. Sposato said that he plans to hold additional meetings on the site’s redevelopment.