Lawrence/Western Development Plans Received by Ward Office

Dear Neighbors,

The 40th Ward office was recently made aware of plans to develop the lot at the northwest corner of Lawrence and Western, currently the 5th/3rd Bank building, with a two-story commercial development anchored by an undisclosed grocery retailer.

The proposed development would be by-right within the existing zoning, which means the developer would not seek Aldermanic approval for a zoning change. However, our office will update neighbors with information we receive regarding this project, and will work to ensure that any development at this corner of the Lawrence/Western intersection is reflective of the neighborhood’s long-standing character.

To date, the developer has not provided our office with key information including (1) the identity of the tenant, (2) details of its food offerings or other programming (hot food, liquor license, housegoods or hardware, cafe space, etc.), or (3) how such operations may impact the nearby local businesses. We have been told that most—if not all—of this information cannot be disclosed, due to the existence of a non-disclosure agreement between the developer and the proposed grocery tenant.

We strongly urge the developers to share this information quickly, transparently, and publicly, and to consider the input of our area residents and merchants for this project. Development priorities of the 40th Ward office for this location, which we have communicated to the developers of the proposed project, include:

  • Retail that is complementary to the existing, small-business focused retail ecosystem of the Lincoln Square area;
  • Available, affordable, and accessible housing that adds diversity and affordable options to the existing housing stock;
  • Transit-oriented development that takes advantage of the nearby train and bus options, as well as ongoing pedestrian- and bike-friendly development on the public right-of-way; and
  • Public art and integration into the wider Lincoln Avenue North Arts corridor visioning anchored by the new Ainslie Arts Plaza.

Our office is committed to making information available to the public regarding this proposal, and will continue to provide updates whenever possible. Due to the close proximity to the 47th Ward, we have notified Alderman Martin and will continue to keep the 47th Ward office informed as well.

Yours in Solidarity,

Andre Vasquez, Alderman, 40th Ward