Proposed block-long Northwestern Medical facility on Irving Park reduced from 5 to 4 stories
by BRIAN NADIG
The height of a proposed Northwestern Medical Group facility along the south side of Irving Park Road between Kenneth and Kilbourn avenues has been reduced from five to four stories, according to Alderman James Gardiner (45th).
“That was a concern of the community, and I fought to lower that …and we brought it down a floor (10 feet),” Gardiner said. The vacant parcel was once home to Sabatino’s restaurant, a funeral home and two apartment buildings.
Initial plans had called for one level of underground parking and additional parking on the first, second and third floors, but under the revised proposal there would be two levels of underground parking and above ground parking on only the first and second levels. The parking garage would have about 350 spaces.
The revision would increase construction costs for the project by about $7 million, according to a a report in a recent newsletter of the Old Irving Park Association. The association’s board and Gardiner met with hospital officials on Oct. 27.
Plans call for vehicles to enter the garage from Kilbourn, which is a two-way street between Irving and the alley, but they could exit onto either Kilbourn or Kenneth, which runs one-way north, according to the association.
Under an earlier plan, all vehicles would have exited the parking garage onto Kenneth, according to the association. Some nearby homeowner reportedly have expressed concern about the project worsening traffic backups on Kenneth, as motorists wait to turn onto Irving.
Gardiner said that he is seeking additional input on the project, including traffic flow issues, before he decides whether to support a zoning change to accommodate the project.
The 59-foot-tall complex would have an immediate care center, an optical shop, a pharmacy, an oncology lab, a physical therapy facility, primary care offices and a variety of medical units, including dermatology, orthopedics, urology and cardiology.
(photo by Rob Mandik)