Construction has begun on a new Target store across the street from Loyola’s Granada Center, with an estimated completion date between fall 2018 and spring 2019.
The development, called the Concord at Sheridan, is a seven-story mixed use and mixed-income housing and commercial unit that will also include 111 one and two bedroom apartments, 29,400 square feet of retail space — including a Target store — and 136 underground parking spaces to accommodate residents and shoppers.
The demolition process of the former parking lot and community room of the Caroline Hedger Apartments, the senior apartment building next door, started late October.
In a letter to residents of the surrounding buildings, the construction company Riteway-Maddison stated that the Caisson, or deep foundation, installation and sheet pile driving, which are expected to cause above average noise levels, will continue until Dec. 15. Excavation and foundation work will begin Dec. 11 and will end in March 2018.
Construction is expected to commence Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., according to the same letter.
For Loyola senior Dora Bialy, who lives off campus on Magnolia Avenue directly behind the construction site, the noise is a nuisance.
“The building is shaking from the time construction starts at 8 a.m. to till about 6 or 7 p.m.,” the 21-year-old creative advertising major said. “Whatever you do you hear the drilling and pounding.”
Bialy said she and her roomates did not receive any notice from the contractors or construction crew about when the construction was to begin and the noise they should expect until Sunday, Nov. 12, almost two weeks after construction had started.
“We had anticipated it was going to start soon but we had no idea how loud it was going to be and how long it was going to go on,” Bialy said.
Three Corners Development Inc. will lead the construction of the new mixed-use building in a contingent agreement with the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA), which currently owns the property.
The plan to build the structure was approved by the Chicago Plan Commission May 18 in a unanimous decision. The Chicago City Council also approved the plans July 26.
Of the 111 units, 65 apartments will be reserved for Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) residents, who are low-income families in need of affordable housing, and the remaining 46 units will be rented out to the general public.
The main 23,000 square foot retail space will be leased to Target for the construction of a “flexible-format store,” a smaller space curated to the needs of Rogers Park, which currently lacks outlets that carry clothing and housewares. Along with traditional Target merchandise such as style, wellness and grocery items, the store will include Chicago-inspired apparel and partnerships with local food brands, according to Target’s website.
Jennifer Clark, Loyola’s associate vice president of Campus and Community Planning, said the university sees the new construction as a positive development.
“It’s a very creative structure that allows for brand new CHA units on the North Side, which was of desperate need of affordable housing,” Clark said. “More bodies on the street will be better for safety as well as small businesses and large businesses.”
Alderman Joe Moore, 49th Ward, said he believes the impact of the new development will be extremely positive for the Rogers Park community, especially Loyola students.
“Loyola’s students will have a place to shop for their household goods, all the things you can get at an ordinary Target,” Moore said. “Target will also be hiring people from the community and I’d imagine students would be a part of the mix.”
The project will create 450 construction jobs and 70 to 80 permanent retail jobs and is estimated to bring in $650,000 per year in sales and property taxes.
Many Rogers Park businesses have signed letters of support for the venue, including boutique ChiTown Magpie, diner Clarke’s Rogers Park, restaurant Ethiopian Diamond, cell-phone store Metro PCS and comic store Third Coast Comics.
However, concern over the plan was raised by a population of senior residents from the Caroline Hedger Apartments next door as the new development was in the process of being approved by the Chicago Plan Commission, as reported by The Phoenix earlier this year.
In order to make room for the new building, the Caroline Hedger’s community room will be demolished. However, it will be replaced with a new 5,000 square foot community room attached to the building and a private outdoor space for the seniors, according to Moore’s statement on the construction.
Moore said he recognizes the temporary inconvenience but said the developers have been working with the residents to plan their new community space.
“The vast majority of them are very happy with the new plans,” Moore said.
Wendy Cotter of the Jane Addams Senior Caucus said the Rogers Park community has proposed an agreement of a store and its developers to abide by the positive measures that Moore and Three Corners had previously promised during a community meeting Jan. 30, such as local hiring and respect for green space.
However, Moore, Three Corners and the Target corporation have yet to sign the agreement, despite the overwhelming support for the contract from the community.
A total of 58 residents of the Caroline Hedger, which houses 436 units, signed a petition in favor of the new development and the plans to rebuild their community space.
Locals have also expressed concern over the increase in traffic on Sheridan Road that the Target could potentially create. According to Moore’s statement on the project, the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDT) has approved the traffic plan, which entails adding a new left hand turn lane for entering the development as well as a straightening of the southbound lanes, which has been a source of confusion for motorists in the past.
Clark recognizes the development will bring more traffic to Sheridan Road but said she is hopeful that it will encourage more commuters to use public transportation.
“From my perspective of transportation alternatives, a negative impact on traffic would be good,” Clark said. “There are way too many single-occupancy vehicles on Sheridan Road when people could be using public transportation or more appropriate roads.”
Adnan Hadzalic, a first-year journalism major, said that while the new development is exciting, he sees the potential concern of more vehicle and foot traffic on Sheridan Road.
“That’s the price you pay for having a big hub like that in the community,” the 18-year-old said.
However, first-year Catherine Spencer, an international and global studies major, said since she relies mostly on public transportation she can’t wait to have the Target right down the street.
Currently, the closest Targets are on West Peterson Avenue and Wilson Avenue, which are approximately 20 minutes away by public transit.
“Having a Target nearby will be more convenient than going all the way to Wilson,” the 19-year-old said. “It’s going to make life so much easier.”