Rendering of proposed medical facility on Irving Park released; Ald. Gardiner seeks input on former Sabatino’s, Peoples Gas sites
by BRIAN NADIG
The future of several large development sites in the Six Corners/Old Irving Park area remains uncertain, as zoning changes are required for art least two of the projects.
“I’m still getting feedback from the community,” Alderman James Gardiner (45th) said of the redevelopment proposal for the former Peoples Gas site at 3955 N. Kilpatrick Ave. The proposal calls for a shopping center that would include a 40,000-square foot grocery store, a 30,000-square-foot apparel store and a possible restaurant with a drive-through facility.
The names of the stores in the proposed “Shops @ Six Corners” center have not been publicly released. The grocery store would be located along the east side of Kilpatrick, across from a planned Aldi grocery store on the west side of Kilpatrick, where construction of an 11-story complex with the Aldi and senior housing apartments is expected to start later this year.
GW Properties, the developer for the Peoples Gas site, has met with community and business groups, and during those meetings concerns reportedly were raised that the proposal does not include any residential component and that its design resembles more of a suburban, auto-centric development than an urban one.
The Six Corners Master Plan, which was approved in 2013, calls for a courtyard-style residential complex with up to 224 units on the 6-acre site in addition to commercial space at the property’s north end along Irving Park Road. The existing zoning of the Peoples Gas parcel is RS-3, which is intended primarily for single-family homes and two-flats.
Meanwhile, Gardiner said that he has not made a decision on whether to support a zoning change for a proposed 59-foot-tall Northwestern Medical Group facility along the south side of Irving Par Road between Kilbourn Avenue and Kenneth Avenue. The former Sabatino’s restaurant, a funeral home and two apartment buildings on the block were demolished last year to accommodate the project.
In response to community feedback, Northwestern reduced the height of the building from five to four stories by eliminating a floor of above-grade parking and adding a second level of underground parking, Gardiner said. The complex, which would include an urgent care facility, medical offices and labs, would have about 350 parking spaces.
Plans calls for a parking garage exit and entrance on Kilbourn and an exit on Kenneth, raising concerns from nearby homeowners that the project would worsen traffic congestion on side streets. Some residents have called for access to the garage be allowed from Irving Park, but the city transportation and planning departments frown on having curb cuts on main thoroughfares, Gardiner said.
Also, in recent weeks crews have been inside the former Sears Department Store, 4730 W. Irving Park Road, removing debris and other materials.
Gardiner said that he has not been given a redevelopment proposals for the site by Novak Construction, which purchased the property last year. He added that it is “too early” to tell if Novak plans to demolish the building or reuse all or a portion of it as part of a redevelopment project.
The area’s “pedestrian street” designation requires any new construction for the site to be built along the sidewalk, exception where there is an existing curb cut.
Novak could not be reached for comment. A proposal from the site’s previous owner called for an eight-story complex with 434 rental units and commercial space, but Gardiner has said that it is unlikely Novak would stick with that plan.