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Developer Moving Forward with Project After Trader Joe's Exit

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After multiple stalled attempts to develop the property at the southeast corner of Division and Honore, developer Smithfield Properties was issued a building permit yesterday by the city to construct a four story retail and residential development at 1819 W. Division, the same site that Smithfield had recently pitched a Trader Joe's specialty grocery story. According to the permit, the new development will include 33 residential units with the entire ground floor reserved for commercial tenants. The plan for a Trader Joe's was first announced this past February, and in March, developer Bill Smith along with reps from Antunovich Associates and Trader Joe's formally presented the plan to a community meeting in March. Reactions to the presentation were mostly negative, based on concerns over congestion, the rerouting of traffic and alcohol sales, indicating that the neighborhood was ready to put up a fight to keep the plan from happening. After months of debate about the plan, Trader Joe's walked away from the deal earlier this month.

Long before the Trader Joe's proposal surfaced, Smithfield had previously planned to build a five story building with 52 units and two restaurants on the ground level. A rendering of the previous development plan revealed a glass and steel box. After some back-and-forth, the plan was chopped down to four stories, with 39 residences, 35 parking spaces and only one restaurant. However, Smithfield did not move forward with the zoning change application for the project.

After the recent Trader Joe's exit, did Smithfield ditch the TJ's proposal and move forward with a previous proposal? The numbers don't exactly add up, but it wouldn't be a huge surprise. We'll have to wait and see.

·Permit [City of Chicago]
·Wicker Park Trader Joe's May Face A Long Battle To Be Built [Curbed Chicago]
·Behold! The Proposal For The Future Wicker Park Trader Joe's [Curbed Chicago]