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PORTAGE PARK — The gaping hole at the heart of the Six Corners Shopping District would be filled with a 248-unit senior living facility under a plan endorsed Thursday by the Chicago Plan Commission.
The 10-story building at Irving Park Road, Cicero and Milwaukee avenues will fill the corner left vacant since 2016, when the Bank of America branch that stood at the center of the area once known as the city’s premier shopping destination outside the Loop was torn down.
In what is likely one of his last official actions, Ald. John Arena (45th) urged commissioners to approve the project from the Ryan Companies that also includes an Aldi grocery store and public plaza.
“We are at the end of a very long redevelopment effort,” Arena said. “It is time for Six Corners to come back.”
The commission voted unanimously to send the $125 million project to the City Council’s Zoning Committee, which could consider the proposal Wednesday.
The complex will create will create 500 construction jobs and 140 permanent jobs, city officials said.
It is the second time the Plan Commission approved the redevelopment of the site. In March 2016, it approved plans for a massive shopping center anchored by Ross Dress for Less and Aldi. However, that plan fell apart amid woes in the retail industry.
None of the development’s units will be set aside for low- or moderate-income residents. Instead, to fulfill the requirements of the Affordable Requirements Ordinance, the developer will build 10 off-site units at locations that have not yet been determined.
Jacqueline Hathaway, a resident of Portage Park who lives near Six Corners, urged the commission not to advance the proposal, since Arena will leave office next month after losing his seat to Ald.-elect James Gardiner.
However, Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) said Arena is still the alderman of the 45th Ward.
“To delay this would be somewhat of an insult to the work Ald. Arena has done,” Tunney said. “Six Corners has been waiting a long time.”
Of the complex’s 248 units, 102 apartments will be part of an independent living facility, while the remaining 146 units will be set aside for seniors who need assisted living and memory care, according to the plans.
The complex will also have 216 parking spaces, according to the proposal.
Proponents of Six Corners’ restoration to a measure of its former glory will also have to figure out what is next for the former Sears department store across Irving Park Road from the planned senior living facility.
The massive store closed a year ago amid the firm’s bankruptcy, and plans for the building’s reuse are in the initial stages, officials said.
In other action, the commission acceded to demands from 25th Ward Ald.-elect Byron Sigcho-Lopez to delay two items in his ward.
The commission had been set to change the location of new CTA Red Line station as part of a massive planned development between the South Loop and Chinatown as well as a 26-story residential tower planned in the West Loop.
Sigcho-Lopez asked for more time to review those plans.
Commissioners approved the other items in a Daily Line preview, including two office towers.
A 19-story office tower with shops and stores on the ground floor is set to be built the Fulton Market District despite the objections of some nearby residents who said they were concerned it would snarl traffic and threaten pedestrians.
The $95 million project from Thor Equities will pay $3.96 million into the city’s Neighborhood Opportunity Fund in return for permission to build a taller, denser tower.
Plans for a 12-story office building with shops and stores on the ground floor is set to be built at LaSalle and Illinois streets also advanced. Developer Jaime Javors will pay $1.7 million into the Neighborhood Opportunity Fund in return for permission to build a taller, denser tower.