ROGERS PARK — The city's Plan Commission approved a controversial proposal from developers to build a seven-story development and Target store on land owned by the Chicago Housing Authority Thursday afternoon.
Ald. Joe Moore (49th) said he was pleased to see public housing being built on the North Side — and praised the public-private development as an "innovative" way to stretch scarce dollars earmarked for public housing.
"This development will help ensure Rogers Park will remain affordable for all," Moore said.
The project must also be approved by the full City Council.
The proposal from Three Corners Development, called the "Concord at Sheridan," includes constructing a seven-story building in the 6400 block of North Sheridan Road in Rogers Park with 111 apartment units, underground parking and 6,200 square feet of leasable retail space.
Of the apartment units, about 60 percent would be set aside for CHA renters, while the remaining 40 percent would be leased at market rate for between $750-$1,700.
The project also includes a 23,200-square-foot "flexible format" Target store — about a tenth of the size of the full-scale Uptown location.
"Everyone shops at Target," Moore said, adding that nearby local businesses will benefit by the additional foot traffic drawn by the big-box retailer. "This development will serve the entire community."
The CHA will own 40 percent of the Target partnership and will get 40 percent of the Target/retail development fee, Moore said of the agreement between the entities.
Moore first announced the project last June when the CHA had entered negotiations with developers and developers were simultaneously negotiating with Target.
In the fall, Three Corners Development signed a 99-year lease with the CHA, and Target signed a agreement with developers, contingent upon the project getting approval from the Plan Commission.
The project is expected to spur 450 construction-related jobs and create 70 to 80 permanent jobs, Moore said.
In February, tensions erupted Downtown at a CHA board meeting when officials approved $1.25 million in funds for the Rogers Park project.
The funds go toward the "public-private partnership" between the CHA and 1300 W. Devon Partners LLC — a corporation managed by Madison Construction CEO Robert Ferrino. Madison has been tapped as the general contractor for the mixed-use development.
Opponents of the development — including community members, religious and business leaders, Loyola students and seniors at the Caroline Hedger Apartments, who use the space where the project is proposed to go — have said they were in favor of more affordable housing in the neighborhood, but they did not believe there was a need for the Target and worried it could affect local mom-and-pop businesses. Some spoke out against the plan before the Plan Commission Thursday.
The development is slated for a plot of land just north of the Caroline Hedger Apartments at 6418 N. Sheridan Road that is now a parking lot and community center used by the seniors.
Other concerns from opponents have included the noise and congestion of construction, worries over limited alley access for residents who live behind the development, the safety and convenience of underground parking, Target's involvement with CHA-owned land and the new community center Caroline Hedger residents will get as part of the plan.
Seniors at the Caroline Hedger Apartments will have their community room torn down as part of the project, but will have it rebuilt. However, not all are happy with the plans.
Residents have advocated for a ground-floor garden similar to what they once had at the building before the grounds were overtaken with Madison Construction equipment several years ago. The new proposal offers a rooftop space with planters.