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The North & Clybourn Retail Industrial Complex

By Matt Wood in News on Feb 19, 2007 12:51PM

The North-Clybourn shopping district is about to get a lot more congested. Crain's ran a piece this weekend about more retail development in the areas around Clybourn Avenue between North Avenue and Division Street, including a massive 350,000-square-foot shopping center at the New City YMCA site. That complex will be joined by the new home of the British School of Chicago on Halsted, which will include 90,000 square feet of retail, redevelopment of two industrial sites, and undisclosed plans for a lot near Kingsbury and Division.

chicagoist_200702_northave.jpgEver since the opening of the North Avenue Collection mall at North and Sheffield, Chicagoist has tried to limit trips to that area because of the traffic. Now, with the North Avenue bridge under construction, we avoid it completely. The few times we did find ourselves passing through, that little section of Kingsbury between North and Division/Halsted was a favorite shortcut. We should have known it was too good to last.

We wonder about how the transit infrastructure will support that much more development. The Halsted, Clybourn, and Sheffield intersections at North are already straining under existing traffic conditions. It's clearly a car-centric area, with just the one lonely CTA Red Line station at North/Clybourn and the Halsted and North buses for commuters. Free parking is nonexistent, unless you're willing to run the risk of getting towed by zealous rent-a-cops at the Whole Foods/Best Buy or Crate & Barrel/Container Store complexes. But obviously these developers think it will work, expecting more than enough business to have such extensive expansion plans.

Image from windy234.