City poised to OK plans for former Sears at Six Corners

The building would be converted into 207 residences, with stores at street level, in a $90 million project.

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A rendering of the proposed redevelopment of the former Sears in Portage Park, showing a view from the southwest.

Provided

City planners, fulfilling long-time wishes of Northwest Side residents, are backing the redevelopment of the former Sears store at Six Corners in Portage Park.

The building at the northeast corner of Irving Park Road and Cicero Avenue would be renovated with new Art Deco touches and accommodate 207 residences. Plans on file with the city show the building would get a rooftop addition that would make it six stories tall.

The plan from Novak Construction also calls for about 50,000 square feet of ground-level stores in the building. The Sears opened in 1938 and became an anchor for a shopping district that was called the busiest outside of downtown. When Sears closed the store in 2018, it was the retailer’s last location in Chicago.

The property’s redevelopment requires a zoning change that has been listed for approval at the next meeting of the Chicago Plan Commission. The meeting was to be Thursday, but it has been postponed until Aug. 26 because of the funeral of Chicago Police Officer Ella French.

When an item gets on the commission’s agenda, it indicates the city’s planning department has signed off on it. It’s also a reliable sign of aldermanic approval. Approval by the commission would send the matter to the City Council for a final vote.

Portage Park’s Ald. Jim Gardiner (45th) and Jake Paschen, executive vice president of Novak Construction, did not return calls Wednesday.

City documents show the $90 million project will include a parking garage for 275 cars and 207 bicycles. Vehicles accessing the building will use Cuyler or Kilpatrick avenues, an arrangement officials said would minimize the traffic disruption along heavily used Irving Park and Cicero.

The project would be the second major development piece to move forward at Six Corners. Across Irving Park, construction is well along on a project called The Point at Six Corners. It’s a senior housing development with retail space to include an Aldi. 

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