“Demolition is [underway] for the former Wrigley factory site at West 35th Street and South Ashland Avenue, clearing the way for a last-mile shipping warehouse similar to other new commercial development nearby. The South Branch Commerce Center at 3535 S. Ashland Ave., Chicago, looks to rise this summer and provide space to tenants by the fourth quarter of 2020, said John Basile, senior vice president with NAI Hiffman, the commercial real estate firm managing the property.
“From Gum to Logistics: For nearly 100 years, the sprawling factory site stretching along West 35th Street between South Ashland Avenue and South Iron Street manufactured gum and other confections for the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company. It was shut down following the 2005 acquisition of the Wrigley Company by Mars Inc., then listed for sale in 2009. It has remained shuttered since its closing.
“The shuttered Wrigley factory has long been the biggest source of blight in the McKinley Park neighborhood and has often been brought up as a topic at community meetings.
“McKinley Park Development Council President John Belcik said the group was disappointed that no input or engagement was sought prior to development of the project. ‘Areas along major bus routes such as Ashland should be considered for mixed use and [transit-oriented development],’ he said.
“‘This location is in the transition zone both between 11th and 12th wards and also between residential and industrial zoning,’ he said. The soon-to-be-released neighborhood plan from the council and the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) will likely suggest transit-oriented development or mixed use for this area, he said.” (Kerr, 2/6/20)