There has been a small spike in news and interest surrounding the proposed Sears lot development in my beloved Ravenswood, Chicago. We may be nearing a new community meeting with updated developer plans. Last I checked with the Alderman's office this month, there was no date for a meeting but I'm hearing rumors we are getting close.
I was quoted in an article by www.ChicagoTalks.org as seeing the proposed 11 story building as "weird". I may have said "weird" among other things, but mostly I am supportive of a 5-7 story building and interested in how they will fill it. Market rate sales? Rental? I believe we can support a larger, new construction building in Ravenswood in the coming years if the price is right to consumers (rental or sale). However, we know of a couple empty lots sitting where new construction 12-14 unit condo buildings were to be built at the 4900 block of North Damen and the lot at West Wilson and North Ravenswood shown below.
But a transit oriented development at the Metra station with retail and parking garage is a different bird all together. I do not think inventory is greatly available or readily affordable near the transit in Ravenswood... so, shiny new rental units with built-in retail (i.e. a full service grocery store) in a desirable central location on Metra makes sense.
If they were to build a 6-11 story building for condo retail sale, pricing couold be slightly higher than the Catalpa Gardens development in Edgewater . They recently slashed prices and sold a great number of units in a short period of time. The Sears lot development location is more desirable in my opinion, but the gurus in charge of projecting pricing should be wary of recent mid-rise and high-rise price reductions and auctions that have helped set market pricing around town.
Please see my lasts posts about the development for other concerns from the community by clicking the links below:
Ravenswood new development in Sears/Metra parking lot