Stop work order halts redevelopment of former Sears in Six Corners

Builder hasn’t yet obtained necessary permits, city says

Novak Construction's John Novak and 4714 West Irving Park Road (Novak Construction, Google Maps, Getty)
Novak Construction's John Novak and 4714 West Irving Park Road (Novak Construction, Google Maps, Getty)

City officials hit the redevelopment of a former Sears in Six Corners with a stop work order for the second time this year, halting the progress on the $90 million project.

During an Aug. 23 inspection of the 4714 West Irving Park Road site, the Department of Buildings found that Novak Construction was performing “significant structural and mechanical work” without the necessary permits.

“The work far exceeds the interior demolition work being performed under separate permits,” department spokesman Michael Puccinelli said in an email. “In the interest of safety of workers and the public, no work may be performed until all necessary permits are obtained and all other remedial issues are resolved.”

The project to redevelop the 1930s-era Sears store into a six-story Art Deco style building with 207 residences, an accessible rooftop and 50,000 square feet of retail gained approval last year from Chicago city planners. The store shut down in 2018 as shopping trends shifted toward e-commerce.

It’s the second time the project hit a major snag. The Department of Buildings issued a stop work order for the site on Jan. 26 after finding that interior demolition work was going on without a permit, delaying work for about three months.

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“The unpermitted work included the removal of escalators and elevators which left unprotected openings and a dangerous and hazardous condition for workers, first responders, and the public,” Puccinelli said.

The property owner received permits for interior demolition work on March 8 and permits for exterior demolition work on May 27.

Novak didn’t return a request for comment.

Though construction has halted, the planned multifamily development has already contributed to higher profit margins for area property owners. Peter Borzak’s Pine Tree sold a 40,000-square-foot retail strip on the Six Corners intersection this year for $12.6 million, $5 million more than when it changed hands in 2016.

Another development underway down the street, a 10-story senior housing development with a retail complex anchored by an Aldi grocery store dubbed The Point, is also expected to boost the retail property’s value. Also proposed for the area are a two-story medical office redevelopment of a former parking lot and Shops at Six Corners, which would turn a former warehouse into apartments and retail.

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The current Sears building and the proposed development (CallisonRTKL)
Former Sears store set to be replaced by six-story residential building
The property on the SE Corner of Milwaukee & Cicero Avenue in Chicago with PineTree ceo Peter Borzak and Realty Income ceo Sumit Roy (PineTree, Realty Income, Google Maps)
Redevelopment boosts Chicago’s Six Corners retail center in $12.6M sale