Norwood Park Starbucks site to include separate retail building
by BRIAN NADIG
The 41st Ward Zoning Advisory Committee at its Thursday, Oct. 6, meeting will discuss proposals for a retail structure at 6340 N. Northwest Highway and a condominium-parking garage complex at 6649-55 N. Oliphant Ave.
Plans call for the construction of a 2,540-square-foot building at the southeast corner of Northwest Highway and Harlem Avenue on the site of a former car dealership lot. Already under construction on the south end of the lot is a Starbucks coffee shop with a drive-through facility.
Alderman Anthony Napolitano’s chief of staff Chris Vittorio said that the site’s M1-1 manufacturing district zoning allows for restaurants but not for retail stores. The proposal calls for the lot to be rezoned to B3-1, which permits a variety of retail uses in business districts.
A construction permit has been issued for the Starbucks, but the permit application for the retail building was initially denied because of the M1-1 zoning.
Vittorio said that in order for city to continue processing the permit application, the project’s developer had to agree to lease the proposed building to a restaurant if the M1-1 zoning is not changed. It could be several months before the City Council votes on the zoning proposal.
Vittorio said that a nationally recognized retailer is being sought for the planned one-story building, which would have one or two tenants.
A site plan for the project shows 23 parking spaces which would serve the Starbucks and the retail building. The driveway on Harlem will be restricted to right turns to and from the site, while left turns will be permitted at driveway on Northwest Highway.
The advisory committee’s meeting will start at 6:30 p.m. inside the gym at Olympia Park fieldhouse, 6566 N. Avondale Ave.
Normally the meetings are held the first Wednesday of the month, but the October meeting was switched to Thursday so that the gym could be reserved. The Oliphant proposal attracted about 400 people to the committee’s June 1 meeting, which had to be relocated from a side room inside the fieldhouse to the gym.
Initial plans called for a four-story building with a 156-space parking garage, 44 apartments and 5,000 square feet of commercial space on a parcel near the Edison Park Metra station. The project would be built on the site of the Edison Park Auto Spa and an adjoining parking lot.
Since the June meeting, the project’s developer, Troy Realty, has agreed that the residential units would be condominiums instead of apartments, Vittorio said. Napolitano had requested the change based on concerns raised by residents.
A traffic study for the project is expected to be presented at the meeting, Vittorio said. There may be other revisions to the proposal, but none have been submitted to the committee, Vittorio said.
The Edison Park Chamber of Commerce has endorsed the Oliphant plan.