The former Sears building, 4712-4738 W. Irving Park Road, as seen Aug. 24, 2022. Credit: Ariel Parrella-Aureli/Block Club Chicago

PORTAGE PARK — The stop-work order for a massive Six Corners redevelopment project is still in effect, despite Ald. Jim Gardiner (45th) recently saying otherwise.

City officials slapped the developer with the stop-work order in late August after crews started exterior work without a full permit. That ban on construction is yet to be lifted, Department of Buildings spokesperson Michael Puccinelli said Thursday.

The order “remains in full effect for any renovation and new construction as no building permits for that work have been issued,” Puccinelli said.

At a community meeting earlier this week, Gardiner said the order had been lifted last week and touted the project’s positive addition to the Six Corners area.

“We’re very excited about the roughly $100 million project and we think it will be a new shot in the arm for the Six Corners community,” the alderman told Old Irving Park community members.

The former Sears building at 4712-4738 W. Irving Park Road is being redeveloped into luxury apartments by Novak Construction, a project expected to cost $90 million. 

The illegal work done this summer, which included the construction of another story and exterior concrete and steel columns, is still being reviewed by the city to see if it complies with city code, Puccinelli said.

The only work allowed at the site is interior demolition under an existing demolition permit from March 2021, city officials said. That has been occurring for over a year.

The former Sears building, 4712-4738 W. Irving Park Road, received a stop work order Aug. 23, 2022 for starting construction without a permit. Credit: Ariel Parrella-Aureli/Block Club Chicago

Permits for the exterior work on the project are still pending in the city’s portal. Several reviews still must be completed, according to the pending permits.

“The developer is cooperating with the city and is looking to obtain the necessary permits to continue” the work, Puccinelli said.

Gardiner’s office did not immediately return requests for comment about his statements about the stop-work order. Novak representatives did not reply to requests for comment.

Novak, an experienced developer in the city, is behind other big projects throughout the city, including Portillo’s, Downtown mixed-use developments and the Gold Coast’s new Whole Foods.

The ongoing stop-work order is the second one for the development. In January 2021, the city’s buildings department halted workers who were doing demolition without a permit, officials said at the time.

The development will have 206 apartments — six of them affordable — that will be a mix of studio, one- and two-bedroom units with rents of $2,750-$3,000 per month. About 50,000 square feet of retail will take up the ground floor, with Target as the anchor tenant.

The redevelopment plans call for a fifth-floor addition to the former department store, a portion of which was built in 1938. It closed in 2018.

Across the street, The Clarendale plans to open in April instead of the end of the year due to supply delays and quarry strikes that slowed down the work, Gardiner said.

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