PORTAGE PARK — Work to build another floor atop the old Sears at Six Corners restarted last month after a stop-work order on the redevelopment was removed.
The order for the fifth-floor construction was lifted Dec. 20, said Michael Puccinelli, Department of Buildings spokesperson.
It’s the last step in getting the project back on track after it stalled for nearly four months when the city slapped the developer with the stop-work order in late August. Crews had started exterior work without a permit, city spokespeople said.
Construction of the fifth level and exterior concrete and steel columns were part of the unauthorized work. In early December, the developer, Novak Construction, was allowed to continue partial exterior and column work after it completed the permit requirements.
Novak needed to complete an independent review by a third-party structural engineering firm chosen by the city to examine the previous work done before work could continue, Puccinelli said.
The review found the work performed without a permit was appropriate and met city codes, Puccinelli said.
Crews were seen last week performing continued demolition work and work on the fifth-floor addition.
Last year’s stop-work order was the second time city officials forced developer Novak Construction to halt work on the project.
The developer and contractors that performed work without a permit were fined, Puccinelli said.
The former Sears building at 4712-4738 W. Irving Park Road is being redeveloped into luxury apartments, a project expected to cost $90 million.
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.
Demolition work under an existing demolition permit from March 2021 has been occurring for more than a year, and crews have been seen ramping up demolition efforts in recent months.
In January 2021, the city’s buildings department also intervened to stop workers who were doing demolition work without a permit, officials said at the time.
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