Where Edgewater meets Rogers Park

A proposal has been made regarding a parking lot north of the Caroline Hedger Apartments located at the northwest intersection of Devon, Sheridan and Broadway. It’s a quirky intersection with a few traffic controls to manage an excessive amount of traffic. I’ll start with a background of the area.

When Lake Shore Drive ends, drivers are dumped in one of two directions, Hollywood continuing west after the curve or a right turn north onto Sheridan. Hollywood isn’t relevant after this, as a note though, it is a feeder west to Ridge. Sheridan continues north until Loyola University, 90 degree turn west and then approaches Devon and Broadway.

Because of IDOT and CDOT’s expectation of travel, Sheridan is a four lane road from Lake Shore Drive and into Evanston. In Edgewater, Sheridan is a tree lined street with a vast number of high rise buildings, many over 10 stories tall and no parking along the curb. This abruptly stops in Rogers Park, with a few scattered along the street, the tree canopy remains but allows parking at the curb with rush hour restrictions.

To accommodate this expectation of travel, there is a glorified slip lane in the northeast corner of Devon, Broadway and Sheridan. A two lane slip lane. Two crosswalks border the slip lane, at the beginning and end. The one located at the beginning is often blocked during rush hour as drivers bunch waiting for the turn.

West of Sheridan, Devon is a two lane road. Driving east on Devon, no left turn is allowed except CTA buses, leaving a straight lane, bike lane and right turn lane. Broadway south of Sheridan is a four lane road until Foster where the BBL and PBLs are. (buffered bike lane, protected bike lane)

The last traffic count measurement of Sheridan I read numbered roughly 20,000 vehicles. Some suggest this level of traffic qualify for a road diet, though I’ve been told IDOT has a role in how Sheridan is handled. Similarly to how CDOT stopped BBLs at Foster on Broadway because it runs into IDOTs jurisdiction.

From my experience, pedestrian traffic along Sheridan is low outside of Pratt (6800) to about 6400 North Sheridan — where most businesses and residencies end at the southern edge Rogers Park. This increase in pedestrian traffic is primarily due to Loyola Station, Loyola University and a fairly dense cluster of housing and restaurants.

Biking along Sheridan is even more limited, many riders use residential streets due to them being calmer and safer. Some bikers maintain “I use Sheridan because it’s faster, I pay attention to be safe.” For the record, I avoid riding on Sheridan like the plague.

And now for the details

  • Caroline Hedger Apartments assumes 80 feet of Sheridan
  • Center median from Devon, 180 feet north between north/south traffic
  • Proposal could be 275 to 400 feet of street face, depending on outcome of community center building, beginning at 80 feet
  • 670 feet rest between Devon and the next traffic signal north on Sheridan at Arthur and the Granada Center

This leaves roughly 490 feet between the median at Devon and traffic signal at Arthur. Sheridan is likely difficult for drivers traveling north attempting to enter the existing parking lot on the proposed property. If Target were to pursue this proposal, it’s unlikely they will accept it without an additional traffic signal. Otherwise it will essentially be enter from southbound Sheridan lanes and increase risk entering from northbound lanes.

Although Target has done a reasonable job ensuring street facing entrances, parking clearly plays a role in their developments. The Peterson and Jackson store floors are on the second floor and beyond, parking at Broadway was buried below the street level first floor. Peterson’s entrance is not obvious and I doubt there’s much pedestrian traffic along that stretch.

Here’s the kicker: This proposal offers a footprint of about 58,000 sqft.

The existing Peterson target has 150,000 sqft, Jackson 170,000 sqft and Broadway boasts nearly 100,000 sqft per floor with two floors. A comparable space to what’s available at this proposal is the Whole Foods Market at Elmdale and Broadway with about 50,000 sqft. The Jewel-Osco at the Gateway Centre is nearly 70,000 sqft.

Why does the floor space matter? It creates variables obviously out of their control and constricts what they’re willing to do, they being Target or any other developer. To match the floor space of other area stores, this location will require three retail floors. Target has made an effort to build out smaller locations, including the Loop’s location at State and Madison utilizing approximately 90,000 sqft.

So many unknowns at this point, though I hope to offer some specifics given the location and comparable spaces elsewhere — I’m sure my concerns are visible though I didn’t intend to leave those out.

  • Will Devon, Sheridan and Broadway be reconstructed?
  • How much parking will be made available to the new residential units?
  • How much parking will be made available to compensate for the loss of the existing lot?
  • Will the TOD ordinance play a serious role given the promixity to Loyola Station, approximately 1,000 feet away? (Notable, bus routes within 300 feet include 36, 147, 151 and 155)
  • The structure is assuming 22 stories at the moment, how much of that will actually be parking?
  • One curb cut is on Sheridan for the existing parking lot, will more than one be approved for this proposal?

From top left: Southwest corner of Devon, Sheridan and Broadway; northwest corner of Devon, Sheridan and Broadway; west side of Broadway facing north from Rosemont; east side of Broadway facing north from Rosemont; midblock of Broadway facing west between Rosemont and Devon; midblock of Broadway facing east between Rosemont and Devon; random shot comparing southwest and northwest corners of Devon, Sheridan and Broadway