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Source: Target In Talks To Purchase Lincoln-Belmont-Ashland Building

By Mike Fourcher | Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Rendering of the original Lakeview Collection development at Lincoln, Belmont and Ashland Aves.. From Centrum Properties.

Target Corporation is close to purchasing the former LaSalle Bank Building at 3201 N. Ashland Ave., a source close to the situation has told Roscoe View Journal. The property at Lincoln, Belmont and Ashland Aves., once planned as the mixed-use Lakeview Collection, has been in limbo and disrepair since Wachovia and Wells Fargo Banks foreclosed on the former Centrum Properties project in February 2010.

“They’ve visited the neighborhood twice to talk it through,” said the anonymous source.

“We have been in discussions about the property,” said Deputy Ald. Bennett Lawson (44th) told Roscoe View Journal this morning. “We get all kinds of feelers on various properties.” But, Lawson added, he expects there to be news on a buyer closing on the property within the next two months.

Lawson would not deny Target was the potential buyer.

The property has a number of entanglements, foremost being that St. Luke’s Church has a lien on the property from Centrum’s previous development plans. They were covenants agreed to by Centrum for Lakeview Collection’s planned development, which included creating a new playground on Melrose Street, providing 60 parking spaces for St. Luke’s and helping to pay the cost of moving utilities under Belmont Avenue as part of St. Luke’s senior housing development, Rennaissance St. Luke’s, at 1501 W. Belmont Ave.

The property also includes a historically significant “orange designation” art deco building at 3221 N. Ashland Ave. The orange designation does not necessarily stop demolition of the property, but it does require a 90-day demolition delay from the initially filing of a demolition application. It is not clear if preservationists will make saving the building a priority.

“Saving the building was never in the mix,” said Lawson. Although Ald. Tunney would push for saving the building’s facade, if demolition were under consideration.

According to the anonymous source, Target plans to sidestep Centrum’s previous need for neighborhood negotiations by building a store within existing zoning rights. The property is currently zoned as B1-3, which would allow a retail shopping store with a 3.0 floor-to-area ratio, essentially up to three stories high, if the whole property were to be built out.

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  • ChicagoPJS

    Yeah, I was afraid those streets didn’t have enough traffic on them…

    • mattfromchicago

      ermygahd the third largest city in america has traffic, WHY WASN’T I WARNED OF THIS AHEAD OF TIME

      • ChicagoPJS

        Relax guy, just noting that an intersection that is already congested will be further congested by a major development. Good call though assuming I was complaining because I didn’t already know traffic was evident in the third largest city in the country. Surprised you didn’t tell me to move to the suburbs!

        • mattfromchicago

          I would tell someone to kill themselves before I tell them to move to the suburbs. I’m not a monster.

        • ChicagoPJS

          ::golf clap::

    • Aaron Berlin

      I thought the same thing. I’m sure whatever parking structure they have to build beneath it won’t empty right into the intersection, but it’s going to have to be close. Big box stores are built around car access, which will add cars to a very pedestrian-unfriendly intersection. Is that really controversial?

      • Adam Herstein

        Target could just NOT build any parking.

        • Aaron Berlin

          Without some sort of special exemption, Target probably can’t do that and be in compliance with the zoning code.

        • Adam Herstein

          If they are within 600 feet from an ‘L’ or Metra station (not sure if the proposed Ashand BRT counts), the required parking spaces gets cut in half. If the building is deemed a “landmark” then the number of required parking spaces is zero.

        • Aaron Berlin

          Interesting!

  • Mike

    I’d rather deal with added traffic and the potential for new business to fill the empty storefronts along that two block stretch of Lincoln. Especially if the alternative is a building that will remain abandoned due to financial turmoil for the next 5-10 years.

    • ChicagoPJS

      Yeah, you’re right. Sorry for the reactionary sarcasm earlier. If only the vacant thrift store on Lincoln saw some development as well…that’s another huge dead space on that block.

  • ChicagoD

    I have to say that Target has done a pretty good traffic job in other parts of the city. The one at Addison and Sacramento, for instance, does not create huge traffic tie-ups. Even the one on Elston and Logan did not create huge traffic problems, although it might have been the catalyst for the other development that caused the bad traffic.

    • David Schwartz

      The thing is in both those locations the Target is located well back from the intersection padded by large parking lots with entrances well away from the intersection. Though, that may be less of an issue since all three locations get heavy traffic with the 6-way discussed here having more consistently heavy traffic in my opinion than the others.

      • mattfromchicago

        Obviously i don’t work for Target and don’t know what their plans are, but 2 of the newest ones that went up in the city (Wilson Yard, CityTarget on State) are VERY curb-friendly. Wilson’s parking is completely behind and under the building, leaving the facade along Broadway completely untouched. Obviously, I’m not WILD about the further expansion of national, big box retailers in the city, BUT Target seems to be the leader right now of big box stores willing to work with the city environment as opposed to just trying to drop another suburban style beige box and concrete lot into the city. So I am cautiously hopeful.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Skosey Peter Skosey

    it would be nice to have some activity on the site, i am sure there are many residents who would love convenient access to Target. perhaps additional transit being planned on Ashland will alleviate the need for everyone to drive and make the intersection flow more freely. Many chicagoans walk to big box stores, think Home Depot on Halsted.

    • David Schwartz

      Decent point.

  • Sully

    Wow, i kinda can’t believe target needs another store in that area; there are already 3 pretty nearby. Target wouldn’t be my first choice, but it will be good for the area to finally have that building occupied.

  • Jason

    I’d support this project ONLY if several levels of residential (some being “affordable”) were built above the retail. This would help foster a walkable neighborhood and be additional support for the planned Ashland BRT route. Less parking spaces and more emphases ($investment$) on efficient public transportation will solve the congestion issues.

  • David Schwartz

    The issue at hand is that the area needs development in some form and no matter what kind of large development lands there there will be traffic problems. So we could have a 30 story tower or Baskin Robins topped with a Soup Box and still have added traffic problems there. The only upside to this is it will be located in a densely residential area with the potential to draw a good deal of foot and bike traffic.

    In the long term we then have to ask ourselves what good will outweigh the bad?

  • Marko from Tropoja

    Driving by the Demolition/Construction Site of the new Mariano’s on Ashland and Webster during two rush hours today, I couldn’t imagine any feasible way to access it that didn’t create even worse traffic. I really like the West Loop Target on Jackson built with parking lot access from Aberdeen, Van Buren and Jackson. A good model for what a Lakeview Target should look like.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/leecrandell Lee Crandell

    If Aldermen Tunney and Waguespack are serious about making this intersection more pedestrian-friendly, they should really give it a pedestrian street designation under the zoning code: http://www.amlegal.com/nxt/gateway.dll/Illinois/chicagozoning/title17chicagozoningordinance/chapter17-3businessandcommercialdistrict?f=templates$fn=default.htm$3.0$vid=amlegal:chicagozoning_il$anc=JD_17-3-0500

    This would help ensure any new development like a Target wouldn’t put a parking lot in front of the building and would help minimize curb cuts that break up the sidewalks with traffic. Ald. Tunney recently extended Belmont’s pedestrian street designation west from Sheffield to Racine, which was a great move. This is a good tool to positively shape the form of future development.

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