A new Target is rumored to soon start development at the former LaSalle Bank on the corner of Lincoln, Belmont and Ashland avenues, but not every resident is happy to hear about the potential plan.
While Ald. Tom Tunney’s (44th) Chief of Staff Bennett Lawson said he couldn’t comment on plans at the site at 3201 N. Ashland Ave., Tunney told members of the West Lake View Neighbors association in November that the corner will soon be filled.
“We think that there’s going to be a proposal about a redo of the LaSalle Bank site at Lincoln, Belmont and Ashland,” Tunney said. “I must have had 20 meetings on the development, but I’m confident that by January we’ll have a project that we’ll be happy with. We’re bringing a major retailer into the neighborhood.”
Rumors regarding the Target were sparked by Lake View resident Brad Stone on the community forum EveryBlock where more than 75 readers sounded off on whether they liked the idea of adding the big-box store to the neighborhood.
"...I’m confident that by January we’ll have a project that we’ll be happy with. We’re bringing a major retailer into the neighborhood."
“I just heard from a neighbor that Alderman Tunney is talking with Target about putting a store in at the corner of Ashland, Belmont & Lincoln,” wrote Stone. “Could this really be possible? I've heard mixed things about Alderman Tunney but this seems to be so negligent to the community that it's hard to believe.”
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Both Tunney and locals have voiced concerns about the heavily trafficked intersection, with Lawson saying the empty space has been on Tunney’s radar for years.
And while some residents hated the idea of such a large store in West Lake View, others loved it. Resident David N. commented that adding a Target would be a far superior decision than building a Walmart like the one currently under construction in East Lake View.
“I agree, (I) don't quite understand the intense rhetoric of 'horrible', 'serious negative effect', 'negligent', 'hard to believe,’” David wrote on EveryBlock. “Sounds a bit over the top. Folks are right, that corner is a dead zone. Target does a good job with their street type store fronts and parking at the Broadway store is well designed and has minimal impact on traffic flow. Like someone said – it beats the heck out of a Wal-Mart.”
The site was formerly destined to be a $100 million mixed-use building with 130 new condos and 90,000-square-feet of commercial space, according to the Roscoe View Journal. After being approved for construction by the city council in March 2007, however, the collapsing market took its toll, putting the project by Centrum Properties on hold.