Six Corners Sears proposal includes at least 200 apartments, retail space; original portion of building would be preserved
by BRIAN NADIG
A new proposal for the former Sears at Six Corners site calls for the conversion of the store’s original 1938 section into a retail-residential complex with about 50,000 square feet of commercial space, at least 200 apartments and about 275 parking spaces, according to Alderman James Gardiner (45th).
“I believe this development will be the most impactful and beneficial for the existing and future businesses at Six Corners of all the (upcoming) projects,” Gardiner said. “We will be seeking input … to ensure it’s what the community wants.”
“This is going to attract younger people that will go out and eat and get a drink and shop (at area businesses) compared to the Clarendale that offers a lot of amenities in-house for its tenants,” Gardiner said. The Clarendale senior living building is under construction at 4747 W. Irving Park Road, across from the Sears site.
Gardiner said that he and the project’s developer, Novak Construction, presented plans last week to the boards of the Six Corners and Portage Park chambers of commerce and Six Corners Special Service Area Commission.
“The feedback was very positive, and I expect that positivity to continue,” Gardiner said, adding that the boards of the Six Corners Association and Old Irving Park Association are seeing the plans this week. “A public meeting for the general community will be scheduled in the coming weeks,” he said.
The building’s large corner window display space at Irving Park Road and Cicero Avenue would remain under the proposal. Gardiner said that the corner façade gives the building it iconic look and that it was important to have it included in any redevelopment of the site.
The building’s original section is in “better shape” than the 1970s addition, primarily on the building’s north end, Gardiner’s said. Plans call for the addition to be demolished.
There would be new construction added to both the rear and top of the existing four-story building, which is 85 feet tall at its highest point, Gardiner said.
The height of the proposed five-story complex would be more in line with the recommendations in the Six Corners Master Plan compared to the 10-story Clarendale, Gardiner said. He added that the 125-foot-tall height of the senior building is “aggressive” for the area.
Under the proposal the ceiling height for the ground-floor retail space would be about 16 feet, while the ceiling height for the apartments would range from 15 to 18 feet.
No tenants have been signed for the building’s commercial space, Gardiner said. “I want an anchor that will not only serve the people of this community, but also bring visitors from outside the area … to help the surrounding Six Corners businesses,” he said.
Some of the parking would be underground, and about 180 of the 275 spaces would be reserved for the residential tenants, Gardiner said. Normally one parking space is required for each residential unit, but a transit-oriented development reduction can be sought because of the site’s proximity to the Mayfair and Grayland Metra stations, he said.
In all, the residential portion of the complex, which would include a pool, would measure about 150,000 square feet. Zoning relief is required for the project.
There would be a second phase of the site’s development which would include the former Sears auto repair shop on Cicero, but details were not available. The second place would be smaller in size than the first phase, Gardiner said.
A previous proposal called for more than 400 residential units on the site, but that project never materialized, and the property was sold to Novak. Gardiner described Novak’s plans as “smaller in scope” than the previous proposal from Tucker Development.
Currently the interior of the former Sears store is being gutted.