GOOSE ISLAND — Mars Wrigley is building a $40 million research and development hub on its Goose Island campus, the company’s largest hub.
City Council approved an ordinance Wednesday that will allow the candy and pet food giant to convert an existing parking lot east of North Cherry Avenue at 1132 W. Blackhawk St. into a 45,000-square-foot facility focused on developing new products.
The one-story structure would supplement two existing buildings on the lot, including a two-story, 57,000-square-foot plant and a three-story, 121,000-square-foot administrative building, said Colleen Driver, an architect on the project who presented its plans during the April 21 Plan Commission meeting. The new plant will support the existing one in testing and assembling new products.
The plans also include expanding Mars Wrigley’s planned development boundary to encompass an existing parking lot to the east of North Cherry Avenue, said Max Lyon, a staffer with the Department of Planning and Development. This will bring the facility’s total parking capacity to 398, including 272 spaces in the east lot.
“With a new facility and the loss of parking in the original boundary, this added parcel will help maintain compliance with the property’s minimum parking requirements,” Lyon said.
The plan also includes removing a defunct railroad that runs along North Cherry Avenue and replacing it with a bike path, Lyon said.
“This will help move pedestrian bike traffic away from the loading base of the pilot plants on the west side of the street,” Lyon said.
Other elements include installing two crosswalks on North Cherry Avenue and planting 85 new trees to comply with landscaping ordinances, Driver said.
Construction is expected to begin in June and end in June 2023.
Jake Wittich is a Report for America corps member covering Lakeview, Lincoln Park and LGBTQ communities across the city for Block Club Chicago.
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