BRONZEVILLE — Culver’s is ready to start construction now that developer Draper & Kramer has permits in hand for the next phase of its renovation of the Lake Meadows Shopping Center.
Gordon Ziegenhagen, vice president for Draper & Kramer, said Thursday the developer now has the permits necessary to build an additional 11,500 square feet of retail in the shopping center at 35th Street and King Drive, including the city’s first Culver’s.
Bronzeville, Jefferson Park and Wrigleyville have all been in a race to open the city’s first Culver’s and Bronzeville now seems like it will easily be the first with a location opening in the shopping center this summer.
The shopping center also will add a Taco Bell and T-Mobile, with space for two more retailers, according to Ziegenhagen.
More than six other retailers will get new facades in the shopping center, including Rainbow Shops, Cosmo Beauty and City Fashion.
The new project is the latest in the developer’s 30-year plan to completely remake the Lake Meadows area, which includes 1,869 apartments also owned by Draper & Kramer.
“The very next thing we’re about to start on is a renovation of the four high-rise buildings at Lake Meadows,” Ziegenhagen said.
He said in the next two months work will start on renovating the first quarter of the apartments and updating the common areas of all four buildings to include fitness and business centers, bike rooms and other amenities renters now expect in apartment buildings.
The long-term plans for Lake Meadows include a dramatic increase in new residential buildings, with 338 new apartments and 11,000 square feet of retail in midrise buildings in the near future and new high-rise buildings later.
Ziegenhagen said the developer wants the next phase to include a new grocery store.
“Our plan all along has been to build Jewel a new grocery store — or someone a new grocery store,” Ziegenhagen said.
He said the developer is waiting for the current Jewel to sign on for a renovation or to find a new grocer.
A spokeswoman for Jewel was not immediately available to comment.
Ziegenhagen said the developer also is excited about the potential for new development on the former Michael Reese Hospital site north of Lake Meadows and is watching the city’s call for developers closely to see how it will affect its own development plans.
The city is expected to choose a developer for the 49-acre Reese site on April 6.