Plaza looks to expand to the north
Harlem Irving Plaza expansion plan
Updated: July 29, 2012 6:26AM
A shopping plaza expansion project has cleared a hurdle.
The Norridge Plan Commission and Advisory Review Committee unanimously approved a plan to add nearly 100,000-square feet of space to the north end of Harlem Irving Plaza, 4104 N. Harlem Ave.
Harlem Irving Cos. still must present its plan to the Norridge Zoning Board, which then must make a recommendation to the Village Board.
The Zoning Board will meet at 7 p.m. July 9 at Village Hall, 4000 N. Olcott Ave., to consider such issues as parking variances and traffic and lighting.
What the expansion will mean in terms of sales tax revenue is unknown, according to Joanna Skupien, assistant financial director.
“When the state send us the sales tax money, it’s a lump sum,” she said. “There is no break-out by store or by mall, so we don’t have any specific numbers.”
The June 19 meeting dealt only with appearance and architectural designs.
Senior Advisory Review Member Domenic Pezzuto said while he accepted the general concept, he was awaiting traffic and lighting studies. He also noted if Harlem Irving Cos. makes any changes in design or colors used, it would have to come back before the Planning Committee.
Richard Filler, president and chief operating officer of Harlem Irving Cos., said the plan took into consideration comments from village officials and residents.
“Things need to be tweaked,” he acknowledged, noting that the revised plan is “more in harmony” with the neighborhood.
The proposed plan call for the elimination of the space currently occupied by Claire’s Boutique to make room for a corridor connecting the plaza to the expanded area.
The expansion will house a one-story, 32,500-square-foot Sports Authority and a two-story, 45,000-square-foot XSports fitness club. The area also has room for smaller, retail shops.
Landscaping will include berms to buffer noise, trees to screen the area from the homes on Cullom Avenue and a fountain at the corner of Cullom and Harlem avenues to give the addition a “village square” look, said Architect Andrew Koglin.
Plans call for the demolition of two floors of the current three-story building and then add a new façade.
Asked by Pezutto whether the cabs of trucks making deliveries would be sticking out onto the street, Koglin said trucks would come off Octavia Street and back into the dock bay, which will be deep enough to keep truck cabs off the street.
Commission Member Michael Glaub said he was concerned truck lights would shine into a couple of the home along Cullom.
Filler said the company would work with those homeowners to provide landscaping to lessen the light pollution.
Resident Anne Cipriani, who lives on the 7200 block of Cullom, had a list of concerns, including why dumpsters would be placed near Cullom instead of near the loading dock; whether the demolition would harm homes’ foundations and walls; and whether the demolition area could be tented to contain dust.
Koglin said the dumpsters near Cullom would serve the smaller retail stores that don’t have access to the dock.
Filler said demolition would be “more like surgery,” with the use of smaller equipment.
“It will be a careful demolition,” he promised. “There won’t be any imploding. We’re not using a wrecking ball.”
Workers would be using fire hoses to keep the area wet as a way to control dust, Filler added.
After the meeting, Cipriani said she was satisfied that residents were able to air their concerns, and officials took the time to listen.
The plaza “has always been a good neighbor,” she said. “We just wanted to let them know we had questions.
“They listened to our concerns; they raised the berms.”