PARTIAL WIN: New Adaptive Reuse Plan Gains Momentum for Sears Building at Six Corners (Chicago 7 2016)

Historic Six-Corners Sears Christmas Window Display, Sears Store, 1938, George Nimmons, 4730 W. Irving Park Road. Historic Image Courtesy: Northwest Chicago Historical Society

“Since 2018, the old Six Corners Sears building has sat vacant, frustrating neighbors and business owners who hoped to see something — anything — open on the prime neighborhood corner.

“Finally, the planned Sears redevelopment is making its way through city channels to become a luxury apartment complex. As some neighbors cheer the new foot traffic the complex would bring to the area, others are criticizing the project’s lack of affordable units.

“Novak Construction, which bought the building at 4730 W. Irving Park and wants to redevelop it into luxury apartments, has submitted its request for a zoning change to build a six-story mixed-use development with 209 apartments. The units would sit on top of about 50,000 square feet of ground-floor retail.

“The Six Corners Chamber of Commerce supports the project and said the community will greatly benefit by having more housing and density brought by veteran builders in the industry.

“Chamber President Michael DiMeo said the company’s desire to keep the famous corner façade of the 83-year-old art deco Sears is important for the building’s preservation, and modern additions will complement it.

“‘To see [Novak] want to hold onto the Sears building and pay homage to the building is great,’ DiMeo said. ‘We hope [the approval process] can move faster because it has all the right ingredients.'” (Parrella-Aureli, Block Club Chicago, 7/27/21)

Preservation Chicago has long attended community meetings to continue to advocate for a sensitive preservation treatment of the historic building. The entire principal facades on Irving Park and Cicero should be saved and integrated into the new development.

The Sears Stores were a Chicago 7 Most Endangered in 2016 and we’ve advocated for preservation-sensitive outcomes for the Sears buildings with stakeholders including aldermen, city officials, community groups, and developers. We’ve worked closely with the Northwest Chicago Historical Society on advocacy and to help raise awareness of the high importance of these buildings by architects George Nimmons, who designed many buildings for Sears Roebuck and Company. Nimmons was a very notable Chicago architect who designed the Designated Chicago Landmark Sears Roebuck and Company complex on Homan Avenue on Chicago’s west side.

Read the full story at Block Club Chicago

Celebrate Luxury Apartment Plan — But Others Worry About Affordability; Of 209 luxury apartments planned for the vacant Sears building, just six will be affordable, according to the zoning application. It won’t be subject to the city’s new affordability ordinance, which goes into effect in October, Ariel Parrella-Aureli, Block Club Chicago, 7/27/21

New plan for Six Corners Sears site breaks cover; Novak Construction is the second developer to present a mixed-used proposal for the shuttered Northwest Side store, Jay Koziarz, Urbanize Chicago, 5/27/21

Neighbors Applaud Six Corners Sears Redevelopment At 1st Public Meeting But Call For More Affordable Housing, Traffic Study; The redevelopment of the old Sears building, which has sat empty since 2018, will bring more density and business to Six Corners, Ald. Jim Gardiner said, Ariel Parrella-Aureli, Block Club Chicago, 5/28/21

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