OLD IRVING PARK — Ald. Jim Gardiner (45th) will host a public meeting to share updates on the redevelopment of the Six Corners Sears building this week.
The meeting is 6 p.m. Thursday on Zoom. Gardiner’s staff and representatives from Novak Construction will answer questions from residents, according to a letter posted to Facebook over the weekend.
To tune into the meeting, use meeting code 899 6185 4209 and password 134117 on Zoom.
“As always, I look forward to engaging our residents in an open dialogue as we seek to add another community-based development that will enhance the future of our community,” Gardiner said in the letter.
Thursday’s meeting will be the alderman’s third about the massive project but the first open to the public. In the past two weeks, he hosted invite-only meetings on the proposed redevelopment with select neighborhood organizations, which left some reporters and residents shut out of the process.
Novak, who bought the Six Corners building at 4730 W. Irving Park Road, wants to convert the 83-year-old art deco Sears into about 50,000 square feet of commercial space with at least 200 apartments and about 275 parking spaces, according to Nadig Newspapers, who was given early access to the proposal.
The building was originally slated to bring more than 400 apartments to the area under former owners Seritage Growth Properties and Tucker Development Corp., but that never came to fruition.
Under Novak’s proposal, the building would retain the corner art decoration from the original structure, which was built in the 1930s. Gardiner told Nadig the corner façade gives the building its iconic look and it was important to have it included.
The area is known as a high-volume business district, but it has lost foot traffic in recent years as local businesses closed and vacant storefronts took over. The Sears building is considered a walker’s paradise and an area with adequate transit, according to the site Walk Score, which evaluates walkability and transportation for any address.
Amie Zander, president of the Six Corners Association, attended one of the previous closed meetings and said the redesigned proposal was well-received.
Zander said the project is in line with the Six Corners Economic Development Master Plan, which calls for more retail and residential development in the area.
Although the proposal provided few details, Zander is happy it will bring more apartments to the area, particularly since another proposed development a block away — the former Peoples Gas site dubbed Shops at Six Corners at 3955 N. Kilpatrick Ave. — would have only 36 apartments and five retail buildings.
“Having apartments right there will really help us and attract people to more businesses and bring density to the area,” Zander said. “We gotta get people going to Milwaukee [Avenue] to bring density to the neighborhood.”
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