UPDATE: Officials at Odds Over Vacant ‘L’ Stop Development
Walgreens is still the main contender for the lot next to the Paulina Brown Line staion. But officials say they’re not interested in making Roscoe Street two ways for traffic.
While officials say a convenience store such as Walgreens would be a welcome addition to the vacant lot next to the Paulina Brown Line train station, making West Roscoe Street a two-way street is apparently out of the question.
This comes after Keeler-Fog Real Estate, LLC recently purchased the almost 11,000-square-foot lot on the corner of North Lincoln Avenue and West Roscoe Street for $915,000. It’s been sitting vacant since 2009, and was appraised at just $875,000.
West Lake View Neighbors President Will DeMille told area residents during the organization’s latest meeting that he’s been in talks with the new owners about what they might see at the vacant space.
“The people that purchased that had approached us about potential uses for that,” DeMille said. “The person is very familiar with drug stores and looking to do a drug store on the first floor, with some sort of residential above it."
While DeMille was originally quoted as being against the addition of apartments to the lot, he said WLVN wrote a letter to the developer outlining their position on what should fill the space:
"We offer this letter so that you are clear on our position with respect to your plans. Our hope is that the parcel is developed as a 'Transit Friendly Development' in accordance with the City of Chicago’s Transit Friendly Development Guide. This would tend to call for a multi-story development with a residential component above a commercial space at ground level. With this parcel being located adjacent to the Paulina El stop, we view this location as ideal to support a higher residential density."
DeMille said investors would need support from WLVN to proceed with something different. According to City of Chicago data, the lot is zoned as B3-2, meaning there has to be a community shopping destination built there, with residential units as an optional extra.
And because Roscoe is a one-way street on the south end of the vacant property, DeMille says real estate investors wanted to talk about making it a two-way street to increase accessibility to the new business. The one-way street is just a couple of blocks from where Roscoe Village’s main business corridor begins.
“We are worried about the traffic impact, especially when they proposed making Roscoe a two-way street,” DeMille said. “We flat out said we didn’t think that was a good idea.”
The CTA approved the sale of the lot in December, with a spokesperson saying the new owners were moving through the necessary approvals with the city’s zoning process to create a mixed-use development with apartments.
While it’s still unclear what business will fill the space, the real estate company behind the acquisition has recently developed four Walgreens in the Chicagoland area, according to Keeler Real Estate employee Edwin Vdovets’ LinkedIn page.