Originally Posted by Mr Downtown
But is it really? Cafe Selmarie opens to Lincoln, not to the plaza. The ice-cream shop is easily visible from Lincoln, only 50 feet away. And the connection is one that pedestrians already want to take, from the residential areas to the east to Lincoln Avenue and the L station.
I know it's not a perfect example and already acknowledged scale differences, but Cafe Selmarie's door is on the corner of the building and they only have one small window facing Lincoln, but several windows and street cafe on the plaza itself. It opens just as much to the plaza as it does to Lincoln.
Google Earth measures 120' from Lincoln to the ice cream shop awnings, and the signage is not visible from Lincoln in the Streetview imagery. The signage is on the south side of the building and vehicle traffic is one-way southbound on Lincoln. No one driving down Lincoln (an already heavily pedestrianized stretch, by the way) is seeing the signage for the ice cream store, even in the winter with no leaves.
I'd say given all that... yes, it counts as successful off-street/ped-only commercial space. I understand your point about success requiring a desirable connection. I think the Wicker Park project provides that. It's immediately adjacent to a CTA stop and provides a good ped shortcut between two busy streets.