Magellan spearheading redevelopment of Sears lot in Ravenswood

Almost exactly one year ago, I took a ride around Ravenswood with Realtor Eric Rojas to check in on the neighborhood’s residential market. Halfway through our tour, Eric and I pulled into the Sears parking lot at Lawrence and Ravenswood avenues to discuss what was at the time a mixed-use development featuring condos and a Roundy’s supermarket.

Eric keeps tabs on the progress of this proposal and did so yesterday evening, following a community meeting about the project. Magellan Development has taken over the development and has eliminated its residential elements, planning instead to build a three-story retail building featuring a Roundy’s subsidiary and a fitness club, and a four-story parking garage with spaces designated for retail customers and for Metra commuters, Eric writes.

Read more of his observations and opinions on the development at his Chicago Real Estate Local blog.


  • the urban politician 9 years

    I think Mr. Rojas’ description of the meeting in his blog fully explains for me why the community approval process is so flawed.

    Need I say more?

  • UP,
    The “controversy” is a combination of zero information provided to the residents leading up to the meeting+ the residents having irrational objection to development in general. If you read the comments written by residents in my old posts from last years meeting, the opposition stems pretty much soley from those living adjacent to the development (i.e. they live on an industrial corridor and scoff at commercial/Metra/ anything development next door).

    Communication from the Alderman’s office could have been better. However, I’ve also said that people involved in large (or even smaller transactions like my residential deals) have to keep a tight lip for their clients. You don’t blab about deals.
    That said, the new plan will go through. The people I hear from are all okay with the new structures… They are in scale and make loads of sense. There is demand for a grocery store and high quality fitness club. The vocal opposition at these meetings does not reflect the support I hear from homeowners and residents (this is anecdotal of course, but I live in and have been writing about this area for five years on my blog).
    There have been lots of positive comments on our neighborhood Facebook pages etc.. too

    I will rally as many neighborhood supporters as I can to get them to the May 27th meeting and vote yes.

  • the urban politician 9 years

    Eric, I sort of figured lack of communication was the issue. Unfortunately, those “I don’t want anything built anywhere” types exist far too often in this city and wield a disproportionate amount of power at these community meetings. Anyhow, I hope this development goes forward as planned.

    I think it is a great use for the area and, I hope, enourages other retailers to develop their stores similarly. No more strip malls!

  • Bob Janes 9 years

    It is not the “Pacific Northwest” line. Shouldn’t a realtor know what local transit options are available when selling property?

  • Tom Moore 9 years

    A transit corridor is not an industrial corridor, but this guy writes off neighbor concerns as if it is expected. He must live on the other side of ravenswood and be a republican!

  • Bob Janes, I mispoke in the video interview and addressed that in comment on my blog. I’ve been writing about this area and the “north” line going back years on my blog; a quick example:
    That you consider the fact I say “northwest” in an interview rather than “north” some way suggests I’m inept in my career shows your ignorance. If you live in Ravenswood, it may benefit you that I invest time and money promoting my neighborhood and you may thank me later.

    Tom Moore. Have you ever looked at a Chicago zoning map?Another straw man personal attack on me from those opposed to this development, yet you have nothing to ad. The Ravenswood Chamber itself describes this stretch of Ravenswood as “Ravenswood Industrial Corridor”. Also, you might read this story

    The large lot just north of Lawrence and Ravenswood intersection and directly west of the Sears lot development site is zoned M1-2 for manufacturing.
    Residential development here has been slowed in favor of maintaining business on Ravenswood in the past.

    The opposition for this project from what I see comes mostly from those who live adjacent to the new development and/or planned Metra station moving north of Lawrence. Also, there are those worried about safety and “traffic” (I just don’t buy this as this is already a four lane street with commercial buildings and several stop lights), and those worried about competing smaller grocery businesses going under (the handful of these don’t do a great job serving the neighborhood demand in my opinion).
    Those buying/living near these sites live along Metra tracks, commercial/manufacturing, and industrial zoned sites. Any development could have come along at any time.

    It’s okay to oppose this for your self interest and there are legitimate concerns for those worried about safety and traffic next to their homes. I happen to not agree that these concerns will not be addressed and that they should outweigh the benfits to the entire neighborhood (and surrounding neighborhoods) in jobs, Metra parking, a walkable full service grocery store etc..
    Unfortunately, all many can do is weakly attack me as evidenced above (which I have no say or hand in this accept for a community vote) and sneer and jeer at the meetings.

  • Dan 9 years

    Bob and Tom, you got served!

    Def – “you got served”
    1. A slang expression that is usually used when someone proves that they are better than someone else.
    2. Another way of saying “You just got owned” or “Pwned!”