Sunday, December 20, 2020

Large new grocery development coming to Lincoln Square

The Fifth-Third Bank building at 4800 N Western in Lincoln Square. All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kaler Realty

The Fifth-Third Bank property on the northwest corner of North Western Avenue and West Lawrence Avenue in Lincoln Square will be redeveloped with a grocery store tenant. Rumors I've heard were confirmed by a post this week from the 40th Ward Alderman's office. The zoning allows for the re-development of the property "as of right". There would be no need for the community approval or zoning process. The developer of the project has not disclosed the specific grocery store tenant that will lease the space.

A bank drive-through and two bank parking lots are adjacent to the west of the building.

Lincoln Square has become one of the most desirable neighborhoods in Chicago (if home sale numbers, restaurants, schools, new development and sale prices mean anything). But the high profile corner of Lawrence and Western still has a bit of a gritty underused feel. An old Walgreens with pigeon soiled plaza, a vacant Mattress Firm storefront, the over-sized drabby bank building and vacant adjacent commercial building... and parking lots.  In fact there is a Burger King with a large, barely used surface parking lot across the street from the bank parking lots.  

Looking east over the parking lots.

Looking northeast down West Lawrence Ave.

The property has large underused parking lots in a prime location near the popular shops, restaurants and CTA Western stop of Lincoln Square. 

A legitimate concern is the affect a large chain grocery store may have on local business.  Even with several grocery options within 4 to 6 blocks of this location I feel a quality grocer would not be detrimental to local stores. Harvest Time and Gene's Sausage Shop (closest, local owned shops) have specialty products and service that keep loyal patrons coming back. Tony's Fresh Market serves a large diverse area six blocks north. The Mariano's is six blocks straight east could be affected. However it is a large corporate chain in which most people I talk to feel the quality has gone down since it was purchased by Kroger.

The new development would be just steps away from "downtown" Lincoln Square shops and restaurants.

Just a few stores of many in the main shopping plaza of Lincoln Square.

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