Casey Cora | DNAinfo Chicago

Josh Levy, an executive with First American Properties, meets with Ald. George Cardenas (12th) at the construction site for a new development project.

BRIGHTON PARK — The site of a demolished, century-old CTA bus garage will get new life as a major retail development under a plan OK’d by the City Council.

Plans for the 6-acre “Archer Station” development at Pershing Road and Archer Avenue, approved by the City Council last month, call for four new commercial buildings and 366 parking spaces. The project will be anchored by a 40,000 square-foot L.A. Fitness center with an indoor pool, group exercise classes and child care options.

“It will attract folks and be a neighborhood convenience. That’s a big seller for a community that’s starting to see some opportunity,” said Ald. George Cardenas (12th).

Josh Levy, an executive with the First American Properties, said the project will “establish a high standard” for development in the Brighton Park and McKinley Park neighborhoods. First American bought the 274,810-square-foot property for $1.6 million.

Cleanup at the site, which includes the removal of contaminated soil, asbestos-laden building materials and fuel and oil storage tanks, is underway, Levy said.

To help reverse a century’s worth of damage — “the bus port was spewing toxins,” Cardenas said — developers are planting more than 200 trees throughout the site, and the parking lot will be built with special permeable pavers, which help keep stormwater out of the city’s aging sewer systems. Read more