LOGAN SQUARE — A longstanding indoor flea market in Logan Square has been listed on a real estate development website, prompting speculation from residents about what the 130,000-square-foot building will eventually become.
The Discount Megamall, 2500 N. Milwaukee Ave., is being eyed by potential buyers, but none — so far — have proposed a use for the centrally located structure, according to Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd). The asking price for the structure is not listed.
“I've indicated to all potential buyers that a grocery store that can handle the narrow site is what we would push for on the site. It's hard to tell who will get the contract,” Waguespack said, echoing many resident complaints that the bustling neighborhood is lacking a conveniently located grocery store.
According to Paul Sajovek, Waguespack's chief of staff, developers at Terraco Real Estate Development & Management said they have a contract option to purchase the site and have issued preliminary concept plans to the alderman's office. Terraco manages a Trader Joe's in Evanston along with more than 100 other large lot markets.
Community meetings on the site's future will begin when the sale and a further preliminary plans are established, Sajovek said.
Democrat State Rep.-elect and Logan Square resident Will Guzzardi also said he supports potential use of the large lot as a grocery store, in addition to some added green space for the block.
“The most important thing to me is that there be a real process of community input on what happens there — it’s such a huge lot. What happens to it will determine how a good part of our neighborhood looks and feels.”
Guzzardi also suggests the upcoming development should be part of a larger discussion surrounding the Logan Square redesign, or the Bicentennial Improvement Project, which intends to modernize the square with the addition of green public space and a realigning of streets around Milwaukee Avenue and Logan Boulevard to direct traffic around the square proper.
“If we could connect that with the Megamall, we could really put together a real treasure in the neighborhood,” Guzzardi said.
The building is located within two blocks of a slew of future and recent bar and restaurant developments in the neighborhood, including the new Emporium Logan Square, Mindy Segal’s upcoming bakery, established neighborhood bars such as The Rocking Horse, The Owl and aging developments like the Milshire Hotel.
The listing on TerracoRealEstate.com provides a demographic summary of the area around Megamall from a one- to three-mile radius.
“If there is a healthy place to put density in Logan Square, it's the Megamall — right next to relatively tall buildings and the L tracks. I think a great model for this development would be the Wilson Yards project in Uptown, said Daniel La Spata, a Logan Square resident.
“Our aldermen and the city have been reserving millions in TIF dollars for a project like this for years, and I would say if the community works well with the developer, we can come up with a project that meets a variety of interests.”
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