Just outside the boundaries of Wicker Park, the stretch of west North Avenue between Ashland and the highway has been a Bermuda Triangle for retail and restaurant development. A series of bars have come and gone, while the BMW dealership off the exit ramp has stared at a parking lot for years. However, this blighted stretch is quickly changing, as a new five-story retail and residential development may bring more commercial activity to the area. A permit has been recently issued for a project at 1545 West North Avenue, will include 30 residential units, unspecified retail space, parking and a green roof.
News of the project comes after Fletcher Jones, which owns the aforementioned lot at 1521 West North Avenue, announced earlier this year that it's seeking a zoning change to build a four-story, 95,033-square-foot Audi dealership on the property. Both of these developments come at a time when the Clybourn Corridor continues to expand thanks to the New City project and the demolition of the Finkl steel plant may suddenly put a large swath of nearby land in play. Clybourn is still a ways down North Avenue, and there's no telling what's in store for the future of Finkl, but these developments suggest that property in this stretch of the near northwest side may become a lot more valuable over time.
·1545 West North Avenue permit [Chicago Cityscape]
·Audi Dealership in Works Along Wicker Park's Eastern Gateway Off Expressway [DNAinfo]
·Previous Wicker Park coverage [Curbed Chicago]