As the city gears up to start on the major road construction project that will reroute the Damen-Elston-Fullerton intersection between Lincoln Park and Bucktown, developers are beginning to offer ideas for how the land that surrounds the busy intersection can be used. Major anchors near the intersection are moving out, with WhirlyBall having already completed its move to its new facility on Webster Avenue and Vienna Beef looking to relocate its factory and store. And as these longtime fixtures along Fullerton vacate, a large parcel of land will become available for new uses. Mid-America Real Estate Group has proposed adding a handful of new buildings on the property that would bring 105,000 square feet of retail and 437 parking spaces to the rerouted intersection.
According to preliminary drawings, Mid-America seeks to attract a major grocer to the former Vienna Beef site, providing about 68,000 square feet of retail space and 192 surface parking spaces for this use. Three other smaller buildings and surface lots are also planned to be built for various retail uses. A three story building with 15,000 square feet for offices could also find its way onto the new Elston Avenue.
Tomorrow evening, Alderman Scott Waguespack is hosting a public meeting to discuss the proposal and the future use of the large parcel of land. The plan follows the same formula that the areas just east and north of this intersection already exhibit: big box retailers and large surface lots. There's a good chance that a new grocer will be well received but almost no question that this type of development and the number of surface parking lots that come along with it will become a contentious component of the proposal. However, residents will have an opportunity to chime in about the proposal tomorrow evening at the Vienna Beef factory starting at 6:30 p.m.