Ald. Napolitano launches online surveys for proposed Edgebrook liquor store & Harlem-Bryn Mawr Starbucks, car wash
by BRIAN NADIG
Alderman Anthony Napolitano (41st) has launched online surveys to collect community input on zoning proposals for a liquor store in Downtown Edgebrook and a car wash and a Starbucks Coffee at Harlem ad Bryn Mawr avenues.
“The sale or lease of each property is contingent on the requested change in zoning. As always, a change in zoning will only be granted if the community supports the request,” Napolitano said on his Facebook page, which includes the following link https://conta.cc/2SShoZx to his newsletter and the surveys.
A proposed Bottles and Cans liquor store is proposed for a vacant storefront in the Edgebrook Plaza at 6401 N. Central Ave. Currently the only business in the immediate area which sells packaged liquor is Happy Foods, 6415 N. Central Ave.
The proposed store would be open from 11 a.m. to to 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays, and its owners would be Sauganash residents Joe and Carly Katz, who have another store at 4109 N. Lincoln Ave.
“We try to focus on the higher end of things,” Joe Katz said at the Oct. 7 meeting of the 41st Ward Zoning Advisory Committee. He added that the store’s selection of beers, wines and spirits is carefully selected by Carly and that they envision their proposed Edgebrook store as “helping to cultivate new businesses coming in” the area.
It had been announced that the site would be rezoned from B1-1 to C1-1, but concerns were raised at the meeting that C1 zoning would allow for intensive commercial uses and set a precedent for the area.
Instead the proposal now calls for the City Council to approve B3-1 zoning, which allows for a liquor store with the issuance of a special use permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals. The board acts independently of the council.
Napolitano’s chief of staff Chris Vittorio said that zoning could be secured by December and the special use by either January of February, eliminating concerns that a two-step approval process would delay the project for too long of a time. The Katz’s have said that a lengthy delay would be costly because they would be paying rent for the Edgebrook location during that period.
The advisory board is expected to vote on the liquor store proposal at its virtual meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 4.
The proposed Starbucks at 5600 N. Harlem Ave. and Eco Brite car wash at 5611-37 N. Harlem Ave. would be located on two longtime vacant parcels, which are are considered transit-oriented development sites due to their proximity to the Harlem Blue Line CTA Station, 5550 N. Harlem Ave.
Under TOD guidelines, developers can seek reductions in parking requirements and, under certain zoning classifications, additional allowances for more residential units. The proposed car wash site is located in a Norwood Park Special Conservation District, which is designed to help protect the area’s single-family home atmosphere.
On social media, some residents have said that they welcome commercial developments on the parcels in part to prevent dense multi-family developments, while others have said that they would welcome affordable housing projects there.
The advisory committee has asked the developers of the two parcels to provide traffic studies, Vittorio said.