CHICAGO-City officials will move to acquire 11 parcels in an area considered a gateway to the Lincoln Square neighborhood. The next step could be picking a developer to build a mixed-use project around the crossroads of Lincoln and Western avenues, one block north of Lawrence Avenue.

The department of planning and development received a blessing from the community development commission to acquire the sites, totaling 25,870 sf, at 4900-14 N. Western Ave. and 4825-83 N. Lincoln Ave. Insurance and medical offices, antique store, body shop and parking lot are among the current uses for the property. The parcels being sought are south of New Haven Homes’ 31-unit Townhomes on the Square at 4949-5007 N. Lincoln Ave.

“This is a gateway intersection for the Greater Lincoln Square community, that we’ve been working on for about 30 years now,” says 47th Ward Alderman Eugene Schulter. “This is a chance to unify a project, so we don’t have a hodge-podge there.”

Chris Jang of the department of planning and development says a developer has acquired land for a potential mixed-use project, but adds the city does not have a proposal. Most likely, the city will seek a negotiated sale of the parcels to a developer or issue a request for proposals.

In the East Garfield Park neighborhood, the department of planning and development is helping Chicago Gear Corp. acquire three vacant lots in the 200 block of N. Francisco Avenue and 2800 block of W. Walnut Street to help the company expand operations. Chicago Gear Corp. has been unable to acquire the properties on its own, primarily because ownership of the lots is difficult to determine, says Erik Glass of the department of planning and development.

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