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Failed Trader Joe's Site on Division Will Soon Be Apartment, Retail Complex

By Alisa Hauser | January 29, 2015 5:50am
 A rendering of a four-story building coming to the corner of Honore and Division St., on the site of a former lumber yard.
A rendering of a four-story building coming to the corner of Honore and Division St., on the site of a former lumber yard.
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Berkelhamer Architects

WICKER PARK — A vacant lot on the southeast corner of Honore and Division streets that was the site of a failed Trader Joe's plan will be seeing new life with construction set to begin soon on a four-story building with 36 apartments and retail space on the ground floor.

A building permit for the project was issued in late July and work began in the fall, with the clearing of several parkway trees that will be replaced with 10 new trees.

The 43,690-square-foot building, designed by Berkelhamer Architects, appears to feature grey steel and glass exterior, based on a rendering that was released on Wednesday.

The first floor will offer about 9,180 square feet of retail, according to a real estate listing, which says it can be divided into two spaces.

The second, third and fourth floors will offer a combination of studio, one and two-bedroom apartments, ranging in size from 496 to 1,227 square-feet.

There will be 36 parking spaces.

Kevin Henning, president of Smithfield Construction, said no retail tenants have been secured yet and if all goes well the project, the building will be ready for occupants in the fall. 

Henning previously said that some of the apartments could be affordable units.

"We made payment in lieu of developing affordable a while ago but we recently discussed with the Alderman [Moreno] the possibility of switching and developing the affordable units. We are still working on it with the Alderman," Henning said.

Smithfield Properties bought the Miller Lumber yard at 1811-25 W. Division for $3.2 million in 2012.

After a plan to bring a five-story building with 52 apartments anchored by two Lettuce Entertain You restaurants fell through, Smithfield proposed a four-story building with 39 apartments and one restaurant, which was canceled.

Last year, Smithfield Properties introduced a new development plan featuring an apartment building anchored by Trader Joe's, which was scrapped after months of discussion between representatives from the grocer and community groups.

A four-story mixed-use residential and commercial building with 36 apartments does not require any special approval from the community because it is being built to comply with the zoning assigned to the lot, Raymond Valadez, Moreno's Chief of Staff, previously said.

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