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Added Apr 14 2017

Neighbors, if you are opposed to the drive-thru coffee shop proposed for the southeast corner of Irving & Central, letters of opposition are now available to sign and turn in to staff at Portage Grounds at 5501 W. Irving Park and Perkolator at 6032 W. Irving Park. See the text of the letter here:

You may also sign a letter at our April Public Meeting, where we will discuss this development and the reasons for our opposition. Because our April Public Meeting date falls on the same date as a Town Hall Meeting with Rep. Quigley and Rep. Schakowsky, we have rescheduled it, here are the meeting details:

PPNA April Public Meeting
Wednesday April 19th
7:30 p.m.

Location: @Filament Theatre, 4041 N. Milwaukee Ave.

PPNA will submit the signed letters to the Zoning Board of Appeals at the ZBA Meeting on Friday, April 21st.

  • joanie 20+ year Resident of Jefferson Park

    What about neighbors who are in favor of the project? I'd like to be able to have a more convenient Starbucks option closer to my residence. I've been to Portage Grounds once, do not live within walking distance, and parking was very difficult with the health club being next door. I've been to independent coffee houses all over the country and thought your product was "average." While I'm glad that an independent entrepreneur came into the area, it doesn't give them carte blanche to remain the only purveyor. Does every independent operator in our neighborhoods have the right to become the monopoly provider of goods and services? Chicago taxpayers, consider the revenues being generated in the near suburbs. Wouldn't we be better off providing the same goods and services in our neighborhoods.

    I've lived in Jefferson Park for over 24 years now. I have seen over a half dozen or so coffee houses come and go. I recall reading a review about one, a neighbor crooned about how "amazing" the coffee and baked goods were. Well, it wasn't "amazing," the parking area was isolated and scary, and the pigeons had a field day out back on my new car. Never went back a second time and they closed less than six months later.

    Starbucks has staying power, they are a recognizable chain, and they add value wherever they open up. If the PPNA wants to engage in protectionism, that's on them. I'm all for a drive thru Starbucks opening up closer to my home.

  • I agree with Joanie. I have nothing against Portage Grounds but am also philosophically opposed to businesses leveraging politicians to keep competition at bay. If a Starbucks opens in that location, those in favor of frequenting Portage Grounds are certainly free to continuing doing so. We should welcome more businesses moving into the area that add value and variety for residents.

    I understand there are other issues at hand regarding traffic, safety, etc and that it is important that those concerns are addressed.

  • Letters are also available to sign at Tea'se Tea Shoppe at 5755 W. Irving Park Rd.

  • There's a Starbucks going in at 6 corners, which is 4 minutes away and less than a mile (closer to 1/2 a mile). How is our neighborhood not being served by Starbucks when we're talking about a 1/2 a mile difference? Between this proposal, 6 corners, and the one down the street from there at Karlov, there will be 3 Starbucks along Irving Park within 2/2.5 miles. That's more than McDonald's. Why exactly do we want this?

  • Because it's better than a parking lot.

  • By that logic, anything is better than a parking lot, including a Taco Bell or another dollar tree. No thanks. This is the time for us to be picky about what goes into our neighborhood.

  • wow...i am truly shocked by the failure of neighborhood support for those entrepreneurs that have come into the neighborhood and opened businesses....
    really disheartening 😯

  • what's wrong with taco bell?

  • Nikki PK Another day in... OIP!!

    LOL, that's what I was wondering. I wouldn't mind if we had another Taco Bell that was closer =D

    I don't buy the whole traffic/safety issue, if that is what's being claimed, and I really cannot stand these supposed outraged citizens types with unspoken motives. It's Irving Park and Central!!! I sincerely hope you're not letting your kids play in street over there...

  • @Nikki PK: It's across the street from the second largest park on the Northwest side, many people walk and cycle there and those south of Irving have to pass this development. There is a similar development on Western Ave. which seems to be causing multiple safety issues, including cars in line blocking the sidewalk:

  • Those who oppose the project are opposing progress and the economic growth of our neighborhood. We all know that wherever Starbucks goes property value and economic growth occur. If we oppose this project we will have a parking lot with cars and with it will come the demise of portage park which will soon turn into Belmont Cragin and Hermosa. This project needs to happen.

  • This comment has been removed by EveryBlock staff.
  • I am in favor of it and live near by. 10
    Years in the neighborhood. Sincerely your neighborhood Sergeant.

  • @ppna Everything you have said in your document has been proven wrong. It will be a coffee shop according to the prints. And WPPA attained a document that says that all exits will be no left turn. How is your opposition valid now? The zoning board is going look at you guys and laugh.

  • This comment has been removed by EveryBlock staff.
  • Their letter was more than about people turning left. Also mentioned how there are two other coffee shops within distance. Why can't PPNA just come out and directly say they are against Starbucks? It isn't about people turning left.

  • "Also mentioned how there are two other coffee shops within distance."

    Correction: We mentioned there are two other coffee shops with drive-thrus within one mile of the site. And that that there are seven (7) coffee shops with drive-thrus within 2 miles of the site that already cause traffic issues, with cars sometimes blocking the roadway.

    As one of the criteria that the ZBA may consider in their decision is traffic generation, PPNA is well within its right to make this argument.

  • PPNA stay out of west Portage Park and worry about where you live in six corners.

  • @Me123: "PPNA stay out of west Portage Park and worry about where you live in six corners."

    None of the PPNA Board Members live at Six Corners. Also, is that a threat?

    Are you involved with the WPPNA? It took us a while to get the developer's attorney to give us the site plan, seems like WPPNA has some kind of special access to the developer. Makes you wonder...wouldn't be the first time a developer pulled that trick.

  • No, just heard of them actually. Didn't know they even existed. But from the posts on here they are making you guys look like idiots.

  • Since the PPNA has already decided to partner with at least one local business to quash this project, we can assume there are no concessions the developer can make that will cause them to support it.

  • There is a similar development at the corner of Northwest Highway and Harlem. Go watch what happens to traffic during the morning coffee rush.

    Strip malls suck, even strip malls that are anchored by popular chain coffee shops.

    Rather than another drive thru strip mall, the neighborhood would be better served by something that keeps people in the neighborhood as opposed to just driving "thru". A mixed use building with a business on the first floor and condos or apartments above for example.

  • starbucks is missing the boat. Send you store west to our startbucks desert.

  • @metallicblue Portage park
    I don't think those opposed to this are opposed to "progress and economic development ". However, if that "progress and economic development" means the possibility of losing the "entrepreneurs " who decided to take a chance and open their shops here when we wanted "progress and economic development " years ago, well, then, guess I am!

  • Response to KNicas - you say they are opening Starbucks at 6 Corners? Oh wow, this is very convenient for people who live around Portage Park area... Do you drive on Irving park during rush hours? Your half a mile will take forever. So, nope, not a good argument for people who love Starbucks and live by Central and Irving, sorry! Super excited about this and ready to sing a letter in the favor of this development. And yes, tried both local coffee shops and not a fan.

  • @Inna on Facebook, it said that the WPPNA will have a letter to sign if you want the development. I messaged them and they said they will have one shortly.

  • Nikki PK Another day in... OIP!!

    If all you care about is traffic safety, then why are the letters of opposition being asked to be turned in at local coffee places?

    I think it's pretty obvious, so kudos for being at least somewhat transparent, but at the same time, just come out and say so instead of undermining your own goals and insulting the community by trying to gin up outrage.

    I'm as much for small business as anybody else, but I value honesty a lot more. Really tired of reading the fake 'oh please think of the children' threads...

  • Michael McDonough Resident of BelCragin

    See the kind of trouble that darned cup of coffee is stirring up now?

  • The only way the majority of the residence in Portage Park will be happy is if all corporate businesses move out (including Jewel, Sears, etc...) and it's all small business shops... Just keep Irving and Central what it is...even if it is an eyesore...

  • In response to Inna: I live off of Irving Park just a couple blocks west of Central. I walk with my family to the park down Irving often, and I would rather not get hit by a car doing so simply because you prefer to overpay for mediocre coffee. When figuring out the time btwn the Irving/Central proposed site and six corners, I hit just about every red light and it's still only took me 4 minutes. There are also side streets to go down in case of very heavy traffic. If you are that eager to overpay for a coffee at a chain restaurant that is on par with something like a McDonald's, there are much better options for the proposed Starbucks other than that intersection where there are families walking to the park. The Brown's Chicken on Central and Lawrence is already zoned for a drive-thru restaurant. There's also an empty bank with a drive-thru on Montrose and Austin. These two locations would make much more sense than at the particular intersection where this is being proposed, since half a mile is too far for some people to drive for their corporate coffee.

  • I can't speak for everyone but I'm sure most of us who are opposed to this Starbucks and rezoning feel that our community can do better for itself. We all want families to move into the neighborhood and yet we want to add a dangerous drive-thru where there's a park across the street with families walking. This neighborhood is very well served when it comes to coffee shops and even with drive-thru coffee shops. We should be pushing for something other than yet ANOTHER coffee shop, like a steakhouse or Brewery or something else that will bring people to the area.

  • With almost 15 years of law enforcement experience in a supervisor position I have gotten to know the city very well. My spouse having vast real estate experience. I am in the know and can tell you that where ever Starbucks is crime rates are lower and property value is higher. I have lived in portage park for more than 10 years. Crime s on the rise. It's coming from the south and moving north. My very strong belief is that Starbucks would help the communities economic growth, property value which in turn would lower crime. It is proven time and time again that Starbucks helps community development. This drive through plan needs to be better coordinated with the alderman, zoning board and 16th district local law enforcement to better address the traffic issue. Instead of having a lot full of cars it would be better to bring businesses. I know and trust this plan would greatly improve our neighborhood and its future.

  • Hey Michael McDonough, "cup of coffee is stirring up now", hahaha. Go into Portage Grounds and get a cup of coffee, you couldn't stir it if you wanted too. The stir stick would disintegrate while your stirring your coffee. The coffee is terrible, in my opinion, for all you PG supporters! Seems like this "anti new coffee shop" agenda PPNA's pushing is nothing more than their fascist predecessors, A.K.A. Alderman Johnny!!!! And yeah, I'll be at the other Quigley/Shackowski town hall for the mentally retardard! Not!!! Go Starbucks, it will be a refreshing change.

  • There is a steakhouse on Milwaukee called Community Tavern. If a new Starbucks at 6 corners is adequate to serve all of Portage Park, then certainly a steakhouse at Irving and Central is equally redundant.

    Look, I like the idea of a steakhouse or brewery also. Guess what? No one is proposing either of those things. I'm not sure how us residents can "push" for these imaginary people to open their imaginary businesses there and if it's that lucrative, feel free to hang a shingle and open one. You'll have my support.

    The safety aspect of this proposal is also wildly overstated. A drive-thru has no magical power to impact people in the park. It's a busy intersection already, yet we all manage to navigate without incident virtually every day.

  • Deutsch portage36

    This is America! If starbucks wants to open, we should let them. Competition is good. Starbucks is a great company and would do wonders for that intersection.

  • joanie 20+ year Resident of Jefferson Park

    I"d love to see the Starbucks at Central/Lawrence where Browns Chicken folded up shop. Also for those who mentioned 6 Corners, I try to avoid that area because of the intersecting intersections and congestion.

    I'm with the peeps who miss Taco Bell too. Closest one is around Addison and Harlem.

  • Pedrito I offer you the RED PILL, that's all.

    Caribou coffee is way better.

  • i say to each their own, if everyone liked the same thing there would be only one coffee place.

  • Caribou Coffee closed all of its stores in Chicago years ago.

  • In response to Knicas: and why shall I spent "4 extra" x 2 (both ways) minutes on my busy morning schedule if there is a possibility not to? Also, Starbucks is overpriced but local coffee shops not???? When did you buy coffee cup at local coffee shop last time? The prices are very comparable. It sounds like you are just repeating known "over priced Starbucks" phrase because there is nothing else to argue about. You have your opinion and I have mine. There is room for both as we live in democratic country, so let community decide.

  • Alice

    Inna I could not agree with you more. KNicas estimate of 4 minutes is ridiculous. During rush hour you are lucky to make it from 6 corners to Irving and Central in 10-15 minutes. But then the option of zig-zagging your way through residential side streets was suggested to save time. I thought we were concerned about safety here?......

    KNicas then stated that she walks a couple blocks to the park so this is a safety concern for her. "How about putting it at Lawrence and Central?" Well, Jefferson Park is a block away from there so I'm sure there are other families who walk to their local park. I'm not sure how exactly that is helping your cause, if it is truly safety that you are fighting for. Also, please do not cry safety and condemn a Starbucks but suggest a Brewery ( "where there's a park across the street and families walking" ) at the very same location. It sounds incredibly foolish. Don't get me wrong I am all for any and all new businesses in the Portage Park area setting up shop wherever they please (breweries included 😉) just pointing out others with their own agenda.

  • Well we know the red light cameras and speed cameras were all for the safety of our city (wink..wink) but in all reality it turned out to be a big, fat, revenue stream that really drove the decision.

  • Since this matter was continued until the ZBA Meeting on May 19th, letters are still available to sign at Portage Grounds and Perkolator.

  • Michael McDonough Resident of BelCragin

    Darn that cup of coffee is still being a troublemaker

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