Six Corners Association in partnership with Alderman Arena's office worked to secure $1,050,000 for the design and construction of a permanent community plaza on Cuyler and Milwaukee Ave. The funds were allocated from the Irving/Cicero Tax Increment Funding.
The City of Chicago will manage the RFP process and select the vendors for the project. Once the vendors are selected, about a 4-6 month process, a task force will be created to provide feedback on the design elements of the plaza. Community members will be encouraged to take part in this process.
The Six Corners Master Plan proposed the creation of a gathering space north of the Portage Theater, specifically citing the Belle Plaine Plaza as the proposed plaza space. Due to ownership and construction constraints of that private property, Cuyler was viewed to be an exceptional alternative to the originally proposed site next door.
This people plaza helps continue the efforts of creating a pedestrian and bike friendly culture in our commercial district. Some of the great improvements that have been made to cultivate this culture is the installation of bike lanes on Milwaukee Avenue, between Addison and Lawrence, the installation of sidewalk bump outs at the Milwaukee Avenue and Cuyler intersections, and the installation of a Divvy Bike Station, bike corral, and fixit station on Cuyler Avenue.
The plaza is planned for Cuyler at Milwaukee west to the alley entrance. To accommodate residents, businesses, and other people accessing Six Corners, Cuyler will be converted into a two-way street with a cul-de-sac at the eastern end. Additionally, we are working with CDOT to determine whether or not converting the block of 4000 N LaPorte Ave into a two-way street would improve traffic flow.
Residents and business owners of this community have expressed much interest in a gathering space similar to that of Giddings Plaza in Lincoln Square. The people plaza on Cuyler will provide people the opportunity to have this open space that they can utilize. The plaza would help activate a street in a way that would attract people to the shopping district and bring great economic benefits to the already existing businesses and encourage more development along Milwaukee Ave.
Plans for the plaza are still in the preliminary stages. As the process begins Six Corners Association is planning to engage the community as much as possible to make sure that the design of the plaza is informed by what community members want. We will host a community meeting in the coming months to explain to people the project, gather their feedback, and address or take into consideration any concerns that they have.