Today’s Headlines for Tuesday, May 12

  • Suburban-Style Development That’s Mostly Parking Lots Proposed for Fullerton/Elston (Curbed)
  • CTA Piloting Anti-Bus Bunching System, But Without Dedicated Lanes, Its Utility Is Limited (Tribune)
  • Village Mayor Says He’s Ready to Stand in Front of Bulldozers to Stop Route 53 Extension (Tribune)
  • Editorial: DUI Checkpoints Save Lives, But They Must Be Done Equitably (Tribune)
  • Why Didn’t Police Cite the Motorist Who Fatally Struck Bike Rider in Sauk Village? (Kevenides)
  • Driver Who Caused Fatal Crash While Drunk in 2013 Is Going Back to Prison for DUI (Tribune)
  • Cyclist Receives $80K Settlement After Being Doored in a Bike Lane (Keating)
  • Curbed Looks at MPC’s Analysis of the Need for More Transit-Oriented Development
  • Geodesic Dome Made of Bike Wheels Used to Grow Veggies, May Host Rap Battles (DNA)

Get national headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • BlueFairlane

    I wish I could remember the story it was attached to, but I predicted this kind of development for the new Elston mess in a comment at some point. You spend an unnecessarily large amount of money to make a high-traffic spot next to the interstate easier (in theory) for cars, and that’s the kind of thing you get.

  • Wow, that’s a lot of parking (Elston/Fullerton). I wonder why nobody’s interested in getting those river views for short residential towers (with retail and professional offices underneath)?

  • BlueFairlane

    Because it’s a relatively small lot surrounded by packed four-lane streets in an ugly commercial/industrial corridor already lined with a combination of crumbling warehouses and strip malls. It’s not a desirable enough spot to command the kind of rent a residential developer would want, and every IKEA I’ve seen needs a much larger footprint than this.

  • Put in a green strip along the river and upgrade the crosswalks on the bridges across and you’ve got the seed of a new walkable residential area, though.

  • Kevin M

    Elston == the armpit of the northwest side

    Such a waste of valuable urban land. While other developments in this city have already lasted 100 years, and might last another 100, just about everything on Elston today will be decayed or bulldozed within the next 30 years. Typical American city leadership–total lack of the long-view.

  • cjlane

    “every IKEA I’ve seen needs a much larger footprint”

    Not really *much* larger. The spot at the NE corner of Damen and New Elston is pretty close to the footprint of the Schaumburg store (yes, still smaller, but close-ish). The wildcard is the parking–it would *absolutely* have to be on that ‘island’, be multi-story, and they’d want a *wide* pedestrian bridge across Elston.

    And, as to the smaller store–it’s 100% plausible for them to have the sofa/bed/large furniture pick-up desk off site–it’s not as if there is an absence of space for a warehouse near-ish by. In Hong Kong, there are 3 Ikeas, but only one where you can pick up your sofa, so it is hardly unprecedented.

  • cjlane

    I know you know what the zoning is, Elliott. Do you really think it would get re-zoned *again*? Especially in light of the (perhaps) 1500 units going in across the river, on CTA land?

  • The Schaumburg store is the largest (in floor area; there are multiple floors) outside of Scandinavia. I don’t think we should be taking it as a minimum for desirable store size from their point of view.

  • It’s M1/3, isn’t it? Most of the Elston corridor is. Which doesn’t preclude building residential (I grew up at North and Clybourn in an M1/3 neighborhood; you could build very nearly anything you damn well pleased there, by right).

    There are residential developments right near it in all directions, some across the river and some by land.

  • Adding: here’s the zoning map. If I’m squinting properly that’s C3 on most of the parcel in question? Looking it up I’m finding confusingly both that it says it prohibits housing and that it allows dwelling units but prohibits SROs.

  • ohsweetnothing

    I remember the Damen/Fullerton/Elston redesign being pitched as an opportunity for more walkable, more urban friendly development. Welp.

  • cjlane


    You misread me–I’m saying that the Schaumburg store (note: the store outside Moscow is also larger) would nearly fit in this location–and it’s huge. So I was trying to say that there is no need for a ‘much larger’ footprint, as we have a nearby example.

  • cjlane

    C3-3, changed by Matlack from Elston PMD in about ’02. Only ‘residential’ uses permitted are overnight or transitional shelters, and even they require a conditional use permit.

    There is basically no residential b/t Clybourn and the Kennedy near here, aside from couple of one-offs (either pre-existing, or a “friend of Matlack”), and Lathrop, which will be a PD on re-development.

    Whether or not it is smart to have this be residential, it ain’t gonna be residential, even in part. I think it is not a smart spot for any sort of residential, and the focus should be on making it a *better* commercial development–that f***ing Culver’s/Chik-Fil-A *( drive-thru that they have on the proposed siteplan would be a *nightmare* for the traffic (car/bus/bike/ped) flow. The Popeye’s is already bad enough.

  • cjlane

    oh, and pps: If they build a 3-story store, the parking won’t be on the roof. And next to the river is not the place for underground parking,

    *BUT* perhaps the 3-stories are achieved with covered surface parking, anf the store is two-elevated stories on top of it–a bit like the Target on Division, but taller.

  • BlueFairlane

    SOMETHING has to be the first development not-made-of-big-boxes in the area (unless nothing ever is).

    And the difficulty with that sentiment is that somebody’s got to pay for that. Being the first to build residential units on a strip mall street through an industrial corridor is a big risk where even best-case returns are mediocre. I know if I had developer money, I wouldn’t build there. You’re not going to find many residential developers who see beneficial equations at this site. If you do, they won’t stay developers for long.

  • Hey folks, we can move this discussion over to the new post on the subject if you like:

  • BlueFairlane

    The physics of thread transfer have always baffled me, but I’m game.