Residents Protest Plan For Old Lincoln Park Hospital

They Say They Don't Want New Grocery Store

CHICAGO (CBS) — Residents of the Lincoln Park neighborhood say they do not want a new grocery store to replace the old Lincoln Park Hospital.

They held a rally Sunday, protesting plans by a developer to build a 20,000 square-foot store at 550 W. Webster Ave.

Some of the protesters say they do not want a grocery store in the middle of a residential block because they say it will bring too much traffic.

Forty-third Ward Democratic committeeman Michele Smith said on her blog in November that she believes the store simply would be too big for the area where it would be located.

“The new Apple Store on North Avenue is 6,500 square feet. The proposed store is more than three times that size,” Smith wrote. “Will this really be a “walkable” type of store, when the principle amenity of the site is 255 parking spaces? Common sense tells us that this is a ‘destination’ type of grocery store, bringing not only residents, but many others who will drive to the store.”

A spokesman for the developer disputed Smith’s claim, saying published reports indicated that the size of the Apple store (18,000 square feet) and the proposed Fresh Market grocery store are almost the same in size.

Lincoln Park Hospital, formerly Grant Hospital, closed in October 2008 when its owners couldn’t find a buyer.

The latest plans for the proposed new Webster Square development call for a 12-story, 120-unit residential building, a separate 40-unit, 55-foot tall building on Grant Place, the grocery store, a parking garage with 255 spaces, and more than 95,000 square feet of medical and professional office space.

In January, developer Richard Zisook said the project would make the former hospital buildings fit in far better with their surrounding architecture. The plan calls for using most of the existing structures to reduce the impact on neighbors.

  • Marty


  • cyd

    You have got to be kidding…”bringing not only residents, but many others who will drive to the store.” Well forgive us peons Alderman Smith, we did not REALIZE that Lincoln Park is now a “gated community”, when did that happen?

    I say build it and build it big and make it the cheapest discount grocery in Chicago. Let the precious Lincoln Park residents wake up and join the rest of the city. They do not seem to have a problem coming up to Rogers Park in their Escalade’s and buying their drugs in my neighborhood, so they should not be upset about me coming to their neighborhood to buy bread. What a bunch of snobs.

    • J

      Amen, brother!

  • royalfuzziness

    Such a tough decision keep an vacant building, or build a grocery store that will bring in jobs and revenue. I though Lincoln Park residents were smarter than that. I guess i was wrong.

  • MallyK

    I completely agree with Committeeman Smith. I live right near the Apple Store on North and Clybourn and it is a monster. It is always crowded and quite frankly, kind of ugly. Anything bigger would be a blemish on Lincoln Park. The amount of traffic that this grocery store would bring in would make the already congested streets of Lincoln Park even worse, especially with the plans for the loading dock on Webster.

  • cyd

    Let’s see….hmmmm….it is a tough one there….on one hand we have a store bringing in jobs for those without, and a more convenient and less costly place for many (not just residents of Lincoln Park) to buy groceries for their families…on the other hand is the residents of Lincoln Park who can not be “bothered” with the traffic congestion that the rest of Chicago has to deal with…after all, they DO live in Lincoln Park, and that makes them so very, very special.

    Sounds like a lot of people in the over 250K bracket live in Lincoln Park. And here we were told that if they got their 3% they would be creating jobs left and right….guess Alderman Smith did not get that memo.

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