East 39th Street Commercial Corridor Plan by Chris Devins


Street Commercial Corridor Plan is a comprehensive commercial real estate development plan that envisions the future of the East 39th Street Commercial
Corridor and the surrounding 2 mile trade area in Chicago, based on current demographic, real estate market, zoning, land use, political and commercial business data. For more visit Chris Devins Creative on the web. https;//chrisdevinscreative.com


Along 39th Street’s western edge, adjacent to Interstate 90/94, there are several two to three

acre parcels that would be suitable for a Big Box retailer. One acre comprises 43,560 square

feet. An easy way to imagine an acre is as a rectangle measuring 88 yards by 55 yards, slightly

less than the size of a standard American football field. The designation “Big Box” calls

forth an image of a large, rectangular, windowless, single story building on a concrete slab,

surrounded by a huge surface parking lot. The Big Box retail model depends on high volume

sales with tight profit margins. To generate high volume sales, the Big Box retailer must occupy

a large amount of space, and offer enough parking to accommodate many shoppers.

To reduce design and construction costs, Big Box retail stores typically stick to a standardized

layout 9 . The American Planning Association defines a Big Box store as a stand alone store of

at least 100,000 square feet. On top of these space requirements must be added at least one

parking space for every 200 feet of floor space, a parking requirement of 500 spaces. Generally,

one hundred and fifty 8-foot parking spaces can be fit into an acre 10 , bringing the total

land use requirements for a Big Box store along Interstate 90/94 to approximately five acres.

There is a site on the north side of 39th Street up to 36th Street and between Federal and

State Streets that meets these requirements and where 232,800 cars pass by every day.

16 Nov. 2011. .

9 Dwight H. Merriam, Breaking Big Boxes: Learning from the Horse Whisperers (Symposium 2005), VT. J. OF ENVTL. L.

10 “How Many Standard Parking Spaces Are There in an Acre? | ChaCha.” Questions & Answers | ChaCha. Web. 16 Nov. 2011. .