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New Six Corners Bank of America Branch Opens, Paving Way for Redevelopment

By Heather Cherone | December 18, 2014 5:30am
 The opening of the smaller branch paves the way for the big bank at Six Corners to be torn down.
The opening of the smaller branch paves the way for the big bank at Six Corners to be torn down.
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DNAinfo/Heather Cherone

PORTAGE PARK — With the opening of a new Bank of America branch at Six Corners, a plan that promises to reshape the heart of the once-iconic shopping district took another step forward.

In June, Clark Street Development paid more than $10 million to buy the huge Bank of America branch at Irving Park Road and Milwaukee and Cicero avenues and a nearby parking lot, and announced plans to tear down the triangular building to make way for a new development of shops and stores dubbed the Pointe at Six Corners.

To replace its Six Corners location, Bank of America built a new branch at 4737 W. Irving Park Road, which is now open.

Workers are preparing to shutter the large bank building at 4747 W. Irving Park Road, which is closed to the public.

Discussions with Ald. John Arena (45th) are ongoing about the development plan for the site, according to Clark Street Development principal Peter Eisenberg, who declined Wednesday to discuss the project's progress.

One of the topics under discussion is whether the project would be allowed to tap the Portage Park Tax Increment Financing District as part of the redevelopment effort, officials said.

The development will boost a years-long effort to revitalize the former retail district, which once drew nearly as many shoppers as the Loop, officials said.

A 2012 city-crafted master plan identified the site as one of the keys to restoring the shopping district to a measure of its former glory.

The master plan recommends a four- or five-story building on the site, to match the height of the Sears store across Irving Park and the Klee Building, which is diagonally across Cicero Avenue.

There should be 24,000 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor of that building and between 50 and 75 residential units on the floors above, according to the master plan.

In addition, the development should include a 7,300-square-foot courtyard to allow a public gathering area as well new streets to chop up the massive city blocks into more walkable chunks, according to the master plan.

The project will not include condominiums or apartments, officials said.

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