LINCOLN PARK — A vacant two-story retail building at Clark Street and Diversey Parkway is about to get a makeover.
Owner Acadia Realty Trust laid out plans on site at 2747 N. Clark in a public meeting Monday night with Ald. Michele Smith (43rd) and the Park West Community Association.
The former home of a vitamin shop and, before that, a music store, the building has been "vacant for a while," said Smith, who endorsed the project.
Architect Steve Weiss said the developer had rejected the idea to build a taller building on the site, along the lines of the eight-story building at Clark and Belmont Avenue.
"Neighborhood retail is really what they're about," he said.
Brian Bacharach, Acadia Realty Trust's director of development, agreed.
"We're not building a tower here," he said. "We're only proposing and building a two-story building."
The building, which has been damaged by a couple of fires will be almost totally redone, Weiss said.
"It's really a wreck," he said.
Six retail tenants are planned, with an anchor on the ground floor and five others above in smaller units.
"Our belief in Chicago and our belief in this corridor is very strong," Bacharach added. His company owns several properties at that corner, he said, and is out to "reinvest, but also improve what's going on in the area."
The 30,000-square-foot building will actually be slightly smaller than the existing structure, as it will set back the ground floor to allow more room on the sidewalk. A Divvy station is proposed on the building property off the alley in the back off Diversey.
"By and large, it's a steel-and-glass building," Weiss said, intended to have a lighter, more open look.
"It's not overly aggressive," Bacharach said. "We feel it fits into the community."
The billboard above will stay, though, as Bacharach said it has a long-term and almost ironclad contract.
Some of the two dozen local residents who attended the meeting bemoaned that, while others said it was still preferable to the video billboard above the Stan's Donuts on the northwest corner of the intersection.
Those in attendance were generally receptive to the project and expressed little opposition.
Weiss said he expects construction to start in the first quarter of next year and be completed in nine months to a year, adding, "It isn't a small project, but it'll be pretty quick."
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