Plans for Restaurant, Cellphone Store, Hair Salon at Vacant Plaza Welcomed

Plans for Restaurant, Cellphone Store, Hair Salon at Vacant Plaza Welcomed

By Heather Cherone | April 1, 2015 5:59am

Ald. John Arena (45th) said he supported changing the property’s zoning from manufacturing to retail to allow the new businesses to open at Gladstone Plaza at Northwest Highway and Foster Avenue, which has been vacant for 10 years.

“This zoning change is needed,” Arena said. “It feels like the right move to me.”

Scott Goldman discusses the plans for Gladstone Plaza at a community meeting Tuesday night. (DNAinfo/Heather Cherone)

Immediate MD plans to open a 4,000-square-foot facility at the plaza May 1, said Scott Goldman, a managing principal of Revision Real Estate Investment Group.

AT&T, Supercuts and Potbelly have also expressed interest in the plaza at 5226-28 N. Northwest Highway, Goldman said Tuesday night at the meeting held at Hitch Elementary School.

Approximately three dozen residents attended Wednesday’s community meeting, with one praising the plans as “classy” and others saying a Potbelly’s sandwich shop would be welcome in an area with relatively few options for lunch.

“I’m delighted to see something happening here,” said Dennis Davis, who lives five blocks from the plaza. “It has been an eyesore for years.”

Potbelly and AT&T have expressed interest in taking over the standalone former Popeye’s Chicken and Biscuits restaurant on the plaza, Goldman said. That building will be renovated once it is leased to accommodate the needs of the tenant, Goldman said.

There is space for two other businesses in the same building as the urgent care clinic, Goldman said.

The site’s manufacturing zoning is a “relic of the past,” said Rolando Acosta, a consultant on the project.

When it is complete, ReVision will have spent $1 million to renovate the plaza, Goldman said.

Arena said his biggest concern about the project was the access to the triangular plaza, which can be difficult to get into and out of when traffic entering or exiting the Kennedy Expressway backs up. Several speakers at Tuesday’s meeting voiced similar worries.

There will be no drive-through in the plaza, a portion of the main building will be demolished and additional parking created to smooth traffic through the plaza, Goldman said.

Arena said he expected a scheduled traffic survey by city engineers to restrict the hours vehicles leaving the project can make left turns onto Foster Avenue or Northwest Highway.

The lack of a drive-through “will completely change the dynamics of the site,” Arena said.

Arena faces a runoff on Tuesday against Chicago Police Lt. John Garrido to keep his seat on the Chicago City Council.

Blank signs at Gladstone Plaza await new tenants for the strip mall. (DNAinfo/Heather Cherone}