JEFFERSON PARK — A 3.4-mile stretch of Northwest Highway and Avondale Avenue has been set aside for manufacturing in an attempt to preserve and attract high-paying jobs on the northwest side.
The Chicago Plan Commission designated the 143 acres — including 43 businesses employing 756 people — as an industrial corridor at its meeting Dec. 20.
The proposal had the support of by both Ald. John Arena (45th) and Ald. Mary O’Connor (41st), whose ward districts cover the proposed corridor, which stretches from Milwaukee Avenue to Oliphant Avenue.
Nearly 90 percent of the area, which includes parts of Jefferson Park, Gladstone Park, Norwood Park and Edison Park, is already zoned for manufacturing or commercial use, with only about 6 percent of the area zoned residential, according to city records. Under the plan, the residential areas are grandfathered in.
The industrial corridor designation would add extra layers of review to the process of rezoning the land for other uses.
Only 18 percent of the land in Chicago is zoned for manufacturing, according to city records.