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Lincoln Square, North Center, Irving Park

Two Apartment Complexes Would Replace Fifth Third Bank Building In North Center Under Developer’s Latest Plan

This is the second design developer CRG has pitched for the Fifth Third Bank properties in North Center. Ald. Matt Martin rejected a previous proposal when the developer wouldn't disclose a planned grocery store tenant.

Rendering of the proposed building for the Fifth Third Bank’s drive-thru and surface parking lot currently at 3950 N. Damen Ave.
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NORTH CENTER — A developer is once again hoping to win over neighbors with a plan to turn a Fifth Third Bank branch at a busy North center intersection into apartment buildings.

The latest proposal by developer CRG would convert the bank building at 3959 N. Lincoln Ave. into an apartment building with first-floor retail. The developer would also build another apartment building to replace the bank’s parking lot across the street at 3950 N. Damen Ave.

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The latest proposal by developer CRG would convert the existing building at 3959 N. Lincoln Ave. into a mixed-use apartment building with first floor retail and build a new mixed-use apartment building to replace the bank’s parking lot at 3950 N. Damen Ave.

CRG needs Ald. Matt Martin (47th) to support a zoning change for the project to move forward.

Fifth-Third Bank owns both properties, but CRG is under contract to buy them, according to Martin’s office.

Martin will host public meetings where neighbors can share feedback on the latest proposal before he decides what to do, said Josh Mark, Martin’s director of development. 

Those meetings are still being scheduled and will be posted on the alderman’s website once the dates are finalized, Mark said.

CRG operating partner Jay Case declined to comment.

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The latest proposal by developer CRG would convert the existing building at 3959 N. Lincoln Ave. into a mixed-use apartment building with first floor retail and build a new mixed-use apartment building to replace the bank’s parking lot at 3950 N. Damen Ave.

Under the latest plan, the five-story bank would be converted to 120 apartments, 4,400 square feet of retail and 21 parking spaces, according to Martin’s office.

The plan would create 116 one-bedroom and four two-bedroom apartments.

The bank’s drive-thru and surface parking lot would be demolished to make way for a seven-story building with 186 apartments, 5,500 square feet of first-floor retail and 74 parking spaces.

The building replacing the parking lot would have 72 studio, 32 one-bedroom and 82 two- and three-bedroom units.

Rents at the apartments would be $1,350 for a studio, $2,000 for a one-bedroom, $2,600 for a two-bedroom and $3,500 for a three-bedroom unit.

About 20 percent of the proposed 306 units would be designated affordable based on the Affordable Requirements Ordinance, according to the proposal.

If approved by the city, construction at 3950 N. Damen Ave. could begin in 2023, and construction at 3959 N. Lincoln Ave. could begin in 2024, according to the proposal. 

The proposal would remove curb cuts, add bike parking and create a 3,000-square-foot publicly accessible plaza along Damen Avenue.

Credit: Provided.
Rendering of the proposed building for the Fifth Third Bank’s drive-thru and surface parking lot at 3950 N. Damen Ave.

This is the second design developer CRG has pitched for the Fifth Third Bank properties in North Center. 

Last year, Martin rejected CRG’s request for a zoning change to build a 45-foot-tall commercial building on the site. 

That proposal included a commercial grocery store and 153 on-site parking spaces, which Martin said would have made an intersection that already has “notoriously bad traffic” worse.

The developer also frustrated neighbors and the nearby business community by not revealing which grocery store chain would have been the tenant, Martin previously said.

A grocery store is not planned for the developer’s latest iteration, but a Fifth Third Bank branch would occupy one of the building’s retail spaces.

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