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CHICAGO-A $35-million mixed-use project slated for the northwest corner of Cicero and Peterson avenues, as well as at the entrance to the northbound Edens Expressway, appears headed to the planning commission for a recommendation. Imperial Realty Co.’s plans call for a 40,000-sf store that would be leased by Whole Foods, as well as 136 condominiums in two buildings on the three-acre site.

The Whole Foods store would be on the ground floor of a five-story building. The top four stories would include 61 condominiums. Construction of that building could begin next spring, assuming zoning and necessary permits are approved, attorney Richard Klawiter told residents of the Edgebrook and Sauganash neighborhoods Oct. 28 at a community meeting. Occupancy could begin in the middle of 2005, he added.

The site once included a banquet hall, which has since been leveled in preparation for the development.

Al Klairmont, president of Imperial Realty Co., said pre-sales efforts will begin before a spring groundbreaking. The schedule for the second building, which will include 75 condominiums in six stories, will depend on sales of units in the first building, he added. “We expect they’ll be a high demand and we’ll break ground shortly thereafter,” Klairmont said.

The demand is fueled by a lack of affordable housing in the Northwest Side neighborhoods. The 56 one-bedroom units will range from $159,000 to $232,000. The 60 two-bedroom units are tentatively priced at $196,000 to $317,000. The 20 three-bedroom units will run from $252,000 to $364,000.

Tax increment financing also may be used to help fund the project. As a result, 20% of the units will be earmarked for residents qualifying under the city’s affordable housing guidelines. Klawiter said that may include police officers, firefighters, teachers and state’s attorneys.

“We expect the likely occupants to be first-time homebuyers and young families, and a significant number of empty-nester types,” Klawiter said.

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