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Ravenswood Station Wins Approval from Residents

By Hunter Clauss | Friday, May 28, 2010

The project's developers, Magellan Development Group LLC, presented updated images of commercial building. Photo by Brad Bretz.

Lincoln Square residents overwhelmingly approved the proposed Ravenswood Station development by a vote of 100 to four. The nearly $50-million development calls for a three-story commercial building that will include a Mariano’s Fresh Market grocery store and a health club that has yet to be determined. The project will also include a four-level parking garage that can hold nearly 600 vehicles, and a new Sears Auto Center will also be attached to the parking garage.

“During one of the worse economies, we’re putting people back to work, and we will be providing goods and services for our community,” said Ald. Eugene Schulter (47th) after the vote was tallied during yesterday’s community meeting at McPherson Elementary School.

The vote was taken after representatives for the project presented a slightly revised plan. Todd Wendell, who is a project manager for Lowenberg Architects LLC and helped design Ravenswood Station, said the new plan includes bicycle racks that can accommodate 120 bikes. The previous plan did not include bicycle racks. Wendell also said the roof will be 100-percent green instead of 50 percent, planters will be placed on all levels of the parking garage instead of just the top level, and a screen will cover exposed roof-top mechanical equipment.

Robert Mariano, the chairman and CEO of Roundy?s Supermarkets, Inc., attended yesterday?s meeting and told residents that the Mariano?s grocery store, which is owned by Roundy?s, will include fresh produce grown by local farmers.

?During season, some of the best foods have actually come from Illinois [and] Wisconsin,? he said. ?We have a good relationship with Illinois farmers as well as Wisconsin farmers.”

Ald. Eugene Schulter answers a question from a resident. Photo by Brad Bretz.

Schulter has indicated the development will receive money from the area?s tax increment finance district, but he said financial support for the project is still being determined.

?There?s no way the bank is going to hear or talk to anybody if a plan is not approved by the community and by the city of Chicago,? he said. ?The financing will still be a topic that we?ll have to continue working on.?

The project’s developers, Magellan Development Group LLC, must now go before the Chicago Plan Commission for approval.?If the 150,000-square-foot development gets the thumbs up from the commission, it will then go before the City Council?s Committee on Zoning, which would then hand off the project to the full City Council. Schulter said the development could take 18 months to build depending on when it gets the green light from the City Council.

One concerned resident asked Schulter how likely would it be for the City Council to approve the project as aldermen grappled with a planned development on the South Side that includes a Walmart.

?I guarantee you that I will get the 26 votes needed in the City Council,? Schulter said.

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