The abandoned Sears store at Harlem and North had every indicator of a long-term White Elephant. Huge, surrounded by a sea of parking, and 100 percent obsolete as solely a retail store, the race was on between becoming fully derelict and being razed for an uncertain future use.
Happily, Chicago Alderman Chris Taliaferro (29th) meshed an adequate amount of public hearings with enough leadership to keep on target a strong proposal to reuse the current building as apartments and first-floor retail while adding a second residential building on an outlot.
This is 300-plus new apartments, new neighbors, new taxpayers in a vibrant Galewood neighborhood of Chicago and just across North Avenue from both Oak Park and River Forest. As we've often said, the future of North Avenue is more residential, less retail and the gradual retirement of out-of-date, small office buildings.
This is a strong project by a respected developer. Time to build.
Answer Book 2019
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