CHICAGO – Residents in Portage Park demonstrated Friday night over a stagnant water-filled hole that's lingered for years next to Six Corners.
Once filled with a Sears and other thriving stores, residents say it's tough to walk by the area now.
"It’s tough to walk by a swamp for the last five years every single morning to see Canadian geese or rats or graffiti and five feet of stagnant water," resident Ellen Hill said. "We want it gone."
The giant hole, located at the intersection of Milwaukee, Cicero and W. Irving Park Rd., is representative of the struggling commercial area after several retails stores have left.
A plan to turn around Six Corners was on the table, but recently elected 45th Ward Ald. Jim Gardiner said no.
Developers from Clark Street and Ryan Companies proposed a $130 million 10-story complex with senior housing and Aldi grocery store known as The Point at Six Corners.
"There is a lot of concerns from the community with regards to the height of the building. By no means am I against senior living. I would like to bring more senior living into the community, more affordable senior living into the community," Gardiner told us.
Farther west, 38th Ward Ald. Nick Sposato is keeping close eyes on the project.
“Had they come to me I would have said no," Ald. Sposato said. "A 10-story monstrosity is too big for the Northwest Side. I support my colleague whether he is for it or against it.”
In the end, it may be Ald. Gardiner who has the final say due to aldermanic prerogative.
Earlier this week, Mayor Lightfoot, who’s trying to end the practice of deferring to the local alderman on these matters, was asked whether she will allow Gardiner to block the Six Corners project.
"I think Alderman Gardiner overstates his abilities," Mayor Lightfoot said.
Ald. Gardiner said he wants to negotiate with the developers, but he says a meeting was canceled last week. However, the alderman pledges to get something developed here during his term.