The Chicago Department of Planning and Development has approved plans for a new mixed-use complex at 4458 S Cicero Avenue in Garfield Ridge. Dubbed the Le Claire Courts, the project would replace a large empty parcel of land owned by the Chicago Housing Authority that is bound by W 45th Street to the south, S Cicero Avenue to the east, the I-55 expressway to the north, and the name-bearing LeClair Courts-Hearst Park to the west. Developers Cabrera Capital Partners and The Habitat Company formed a large design team lead by Solomon Cordwell Buenz Architects for the sprawling project.
The multi-phase project will focus on providing new vehicular and pedestrian circulation, outdoor spaces, tenants that serve community needs, and fostering a sense of place. The first phase of the project will be mainly retail and office spaces including new grocery and medical office buildings along with 324 vehicle parking spaces, a landscaped plaza, and public art on the north and south walls of the grocery store structure. This phase will also align its streets to existing intersections and replace an existing CTA bus station as well as potentially add a new Divvy station.
The nearly 440,000 square feet of commercial space of this first phase complement the up to 725 residential units of the second phase spread across various mid-rise buildings on the rest of the site. Of those, more than 50 percent of them will exceed Affordable Requirement Ordinance requirements and those units that are a part of the housing authority will be available to those earning up to 80 percent of the Area Median Income, it is worth noting that the area median income is $74,962. While the final split of the units is unknown, it is known that they will include three- and four-bedroom options for larger families.
Eventually a separately developed school dubbed the Academy for Global Citizenship will join the residences on the northwest side of the site with its own private entrance and a small field inside of the project for their use. While people like Congresswoman Newman have supported the plan, locals have been outspoken against its design, many claiming it is too suburban for the location and is being treated like a shopping plaza. With this approval, the developer hopes to break ground soon on the complex while further working on the design of the second phase.