Community meeting on proposed Amazon Fresh, Panera, apartments for Peoples Gas site set for Oct. 13
by BRIAN NADIG
A community meeting on a retail-residential redevelopment proposal for the six-acre former Peoples Gas site at 3955 N. Kilpatrick Ave. in the Six Corners area will be held at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 13, at Schurz High School, 3601 N. Milwaukee Ave.
The meeting is being hosted by project developer GW Properties in conjunction with the Old Irving Park Association, Six Corners Association and the Portage Park Neighborhood Association. There will be a virtual option to watch the meeting.
The development would include about 100,000 square feet of retail and office space, including an Amazon Fresh grocery store, a Panera Bread with a drive-through facility and retail clothier Burlington. Other tenants are expected to include additional restaurants, said developer Mitch Goltz of GW.
Plans also call for 102 apartments, 66 of which would be located above the Burlington store in the southeast corner of the development in a 5 story building. An additional 36 apartments would be located in a four-story, all-residential building along Milwaukee Avenue. The project would be subject to the city’s new affordable housing requirements calling for 20 percent of the units to be offered at reduced rents, although developers have the option for a partial buyout.
One of the project’s highlights is the proposed 11,400 square feet of open green space that would include multiple outdoor dining areas and several community gathering areas, including one with a possible gazebo that residents have recommended for the project, Goltz said.
On social media, some residents have criticized the $80 million project for having an auto-centric design with the retail anchors and apartments in the rear of the site instead of along Irving Park Road. The city Department of Planning and Development has echoed similar concerns.
Goltz said that given the high volume of traffic on Irving Park Road (approximately 40,000 vehicles a day) and the parcel’s unusual depth of 200 feet, it makes makes more sense to place the residential units away from the noise and traffic. “Irving Park is as close as to being a highway as you can get in the city,” he said.
Goltz added that the project is addressing the community’s need for more destination retail and that the project’s design, including its 328 parking spaces, is helping to draw retailers like Amazon and Burlington to the site. “Retailers demand parking for their customers,” he said. “This is a retail project with a residential component.”
The project also caters to a variety of transportation modes, as there would be designated areas for 116 bikes and there is a plan to seek a Divvy Bike Station and new bus stop near the the center’s community gathering area at Milwaukee and Kilpatrick avenues, Goltz said.
A site plan for the project that was released a few months ago shows that Panera, a community gathering area and a low-rise retail center (one-story with a tall façade) would be located along Irving Park, which would include a right-turn only in and out of the center. There also would be vehicle access from Kilpatrick and Milwaukee.
Updated renderings and site plan will be presented at the meeting, Goltz said. The project is contingent on a zoning change.
In order to join virtually, participants may login at https://us02web.zoom.us using MEETING ID 837 1077 8457 (video) or dialing +1-312-626-6799 (audio only), and entering PASSCODE 655805#.