The Sears department store at 4712 W Irving Park Road in Portage Park continues to undergo a significant transformation, as the $90 million, six-story mixed-use redevelopment project takes shape. Led by Novak Construction as both developer and general contractor, the project will offer 50,000 square feet of retail space and 206 residential units. According to a February article by Block Club Chicago, Target will be the anchor tenant for the retail component.
The reimagined building will feature various residential layouts, ranging from studios to two-bedroom units. Many of these units will boast high ceilings and loft spaces. In compliance with the city’s ARO guidelines, Novak will provide six on-site affordable units and contribute $2 million to the Affordable Housing Opportunity Fund. Additional amenities include a rooftop lounge, an outdoor pool deck, and 275 parking spaces for residents and retail patrons.
The original Sears department store, built in 1938, was designed by the Chicago-based architectural firm Nimmons, Carr & Wright. To maintain the building’s historical character, Novak Construction and architecture firm MG2 have worked together to preserve many of its Art Deco elements. The updated exterior design will incorporate glass, brick, metal accents, and refurbished concrete paneling, along with the addition of a fifth floor and new ground-up wings of the building. A revamped pentagonal glass enclosure at the six corners intersection will also provide greater structural integrity.
The street-level infrastructure lining the building is also being enhanced, with Cuyler Avenue being transformed into a more pedestrian-friendly thoroughfare. This includes the addition of sidewalks, trees, benches, and public art.
Public transportation options in the vicinity include Routes 54, 54A, 56, and 80 at the adjacent intersection of Irving Park, Milwaukee, and Cicero. Grayland station, which is a 10-minute walk southeast, offers Metra rail service, while the CTA L Blue Line’s Irving Park station is a 20-minute walk east.
Although the project’s timeline met a pause due to a now-lifted stop-work order, the structure still appears on-track for completion this year.