A City-commissioned economic development master plan for Portage/Irving Park's Six Corners revels in the prospect of far denser mixed-use development and pedestrian street improvements radiating out along arterials. The southwest corner of Milwaukee, Irving Park, and Cicero is the prime candidate for a cluster of high-rises with some 300 units. Milwaukee itself would be targeted for low-rise mixed-use development. Streetscape improvements touted in the lengthy plan (pdf) include spruced-up alleys, new public plazas (principally one at Cuyler and Milwaukee and another on Belle Plaine), better pedestrian street crossings, and more plantings.
Speaking to DNAinfo, a supportive Ald. John Arena (45th) said "We need the density if we want the shops and the restaurants. It has to be done responsibly." Arena went on to add, "The worst development happens when there is no vision. The developer's vision has to match our vision, or they have to be flexible. Otherwise, they should go elsewhere in the city." Existing anchors like the Portage Theater and Sears will have to join with renewed spaces like the former Bank of America building at 4901 Irving Park and greater residential density to attract smaller grain retail and restaurants, which the plan insists is drastically undersupplied.
·Six Corners Must Become More Dense, More Walkable to Thrive, Plan Says [DNAinfo]
·Six Corners Economic Development Master Plan (pdf) [Lakota Group]