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Massive Six Corners Development Gets OK from Ald. Arena

By Heather Cherone | February 22, 2016 1:08pm

The design of the shopping center reminded some Far Northwest Side residents of Wrigley Field. [Clark Street Real Estate]

PORTAGE PARK — Ald. John Arena (45th) Monday gave the green light to the proposal to replace the empty Bank of America branch at the heart of the Six Corners Shopping District with a massive shopping center anchored by Ross Dress for Less and Aldi.

Arena acknowledged that the proposal — unveiled last week at a community meeting — drew a mixed reaction from Portage Park and Old Irving Park residents, with some saying they were less than thrilled the center would not be anchored by more upscale retailers like Trader Joe's.

While Clark Street Real Estate reached out to Trader Joe's about opening a store at 4747 W. Irving Park Road, Trader Joey's was not interested because the chain beloved for its quirky decor and specialty items does not plan to open another Chicago location for three years, Arena said.

The shopping center would be anchored by Aldi and Ross Dress for Less. [Clark Street Real Estate]

"This large development, I believe, will further enhance the vitality of Six Corners, thus enabling small, locally owned, and unique businesses to thrive in the commercial district," Arena said, adding that he had given his OK for the zoning change the project required because of the size of the site and the developer's desire to build more shops and offer a "wider range of uses," than the current rules allow.

The shopping center — to be known as the Pointe at Six Corners — would include space for a dozen stores in total, according to the proposal from Clark Street Real Estate, which officials said was designed to restore Six Corners to its status as an "iconic" shopping designation in Chicago.

Clark Street Real Estate principal Peter Eisenberg said the retail businesses that are thriving are those — like Aldi and Ross — that offer "quality goods at reasonable prices."

[Clark Street Real Estate]

Aldi and Ross — which have not yet signed leases for the property — would take up about 50 percent of the shopping center, while negotiations are underway with two other retailers that would lease another 30 percent of the center, Eisenberg said.

Eisenberg declined to say what businesses other than Aldi and Ross were interested in the center, but said fast-casual restaurants as well as locally owned small businesses would be a good fit.

[Clark Street Real Estate]

If approved quickly by city officials, construction on the center could start this summer, with the first stores opening a year later, Eisenberg said.

The design of the 100,000-square-foot shopping center has not yet been finalized, with Eisenberg saying discussions were underway about whether to add a second story to the north point of the building at Irving Park Road, Cicero and Milwaukee avenues.

Arena invited residents with suggestions about the design of the center and potential tenants to call the Six Corners Association at 773-685-9300 or hello@sixcorners.com.

In addition, plans call for the development's sidewalks to be extended in places to create permanent People Spots in order to provide gathering spaces.

[Clark Street Real Estate]

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