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Added Feb 19 2018

Hi Neighbors. We noticed that there is a for sale sign at a parking lot on the 2100 Block of South Indiana (adjacent to The Lex and across from the Wintrust Arena). Our community needs a full grocery store and a pharmacy. Any suggestions regarding how we can encourage these types of businesses into our developing neighborhood?

  • Women's Park & Garden Advisory Council

    Suggest you contact the area community organization for ideas - Prairie District Neighborhood Alliance

  • The retailers don't develop properties, special commercial real estate companies do. That area is being developed by one of the biggest around - and it's backed by the government...

    That parcel you are looking at is destined to be parking in the short term and a hotel in the long term. I doubt that the City would let thing else get in and create an anchor that would prevent this development from expanding, when it's ready.

    What's wrong with the Jewel at Roosevelt and Wabash?

  • Sheila A. Donovan Have been an owner at the Stratford since 2001.

    It's my understanding that a developer has purchased the property and is trying to get the zoning changed to put a high-rise there. Think I saw it in Crain's Chicago Business.

  • Jambo neighbor

    I also saw this article.. I was disappointed that another high rise rental building may be coming in. Too many rental buildings in our neighborhood and not enough retail/food.

  • The parcel is already zoned for DX-5, so some sort of mid-rise could be inevitable at that location.

    Back in 2006, Rokas International Development purchased that parcel and the loft building (now Vesta Lofts where Pizano's is housed), with plans for a combined redevelopment of the 4 story loft building and the addition of a new 27 story condominium building in between the Lex and the Vest Lofts.

    The project PD was approved by Chicago Plan Commission, but after the market crash, the developer fled to Lithuania or somewhere unreported, and NY group including local developer Kargil picked up the property on the cheap and finished out the Vesta Lofts part of the project (now rental lofts).

    Who knows why they want to sell now, perhaps the timing with arena being completed (with high profile of MArriott, new Hilton hotel about to be finished) or they could be needing of cash for other projects (they may be involved in the 1000 S Michigan Ave Project).

    Would be tough to go anything taller with current zoning than the 27 stories proposed in 2006; additional zoning beyond that has gotten more expensive for upzoning, so that would factor into any plan.

    Here is the links to the 2006 project.

  • I am not a fan of Jewel. A pharmacy is needed for this growing area. As a practical matter, I would rather see a pharmacy than another mid/high-rise!

  • A land developer would never put a supermarket or pharmacy in that area due to the state of development. (Unless it was part of a larger full-block development and other buildings that would anchor the space and provide a large base of customers.) The area is changing too rapidly, as well.

    Bronzeville would be a better place to site a new supermarket or pharmacy, near the hospital. If that type of development went in other parts of the South Loop, it would be going head-to-head with Marianos or Jewel.

  • @Gary -- You're confusing me ... this area is developing like crazy, why wouldn't a developer want to include a store/pharmacy in an area that will have a ton more density within the next few years? Bronzeville just added a Mariano's and there's already a Jewel on King Drive. If anything, that neighborhood should be looking to add a Target or another big box store to anchor Lake Meadows (a development in desperate need of some TLC). The Jewel is laughably bad....

  • Developers don't make decisions so much on the need for tenants but for the need for space and real estate.

    A retailer (or supermarket) may want to move there, but the space would have to exist first.

    A developer is not going to want to put a flat development in that space right now (like the Jewel at Roosevelt and Wabash because it's in a hot area for high rises. A few years after they build something like that, they might have to bulldoze it for a high rise. (Loosing a chunk of their investment.) There are a number of mechanisms how this happens; one of which is property taxes. (It's like gentrification for multi-millionaires.)

    I think West Loop Gate (West of the West Loop; East of Ashland Ave.) is a good test case for the South Loop to look forward to. They had 10+ years of high rise development before there was a large enough nucleus of people to demand multiple grocery stores and the Targét. Even that wasn't enough. The high rises had to get dense enough that the City started capping their development. (So the existing supermarkets and Targét are somewhat protected from being encroached upon.)

    So, @Douglas_Peep, I think your observations are correct. There will be a rabid future demand, which fits the West Loop Gate model.

  • @Gary, got ya, thanks for clarifying!

  • Sheila A. Donovan Have been an owner at the Stratford since 2001.

    There's a Walgreens on 22nd St. at the west end of Chinatown. I don't use it often, because I don't have a car. I'd hoped when they developed the building at the N.E. corner of Michigan and 22nd, that they'd put a Walgreens in there. Walgreens wants to develop only on corners, not mid-block. Problem is, they also want a parking lot. That building does have parking within the building, but if Walgreen's was interested, they would have developed it. Instead, the South Loop Market is there.

  • Craig Stanley Board President Locomobile Lofts

    If the lot is zoned for 27 stories, assume that will be the minimum that is built. Perhaps a supermarket will be on the bottom, but I doubt it due to parking constraints. If another supermarket is built in the immediate area, my guess is it would be in the Ickes redevelopment at State and Cermak (whenever that actually happens), as they can program in the parking they want given the size of the lot. I doubt another Marianos or Jewel would open there given the 2 Jewels on Roosevelt and the Marianos is 6 blocks north. Another Trader Joes is possible as the one on Roosevelt is so small and cannot keep items in stock now. Given the 6 massive high rises going up now and 1000 Michigan to start, all within a 4 block radius, that store cannot handle the demand.

  • @Craig, I thought Ickes was breaking ground soon, no? I know there was some controversy regarding the affordable-to-market-rate ratios (there always is), but I was under the impression the matter was settled with the city ... maybe not? If things go to McPier's plan and that area in and around Motor Row/McCormick Center truly does become an 'entertainment district', the Ickes redevelopment is going to be a huge wild card. Outside of Reese, that's the largest empty parcel left. I believe the city still really wants to build a downtown casino, and building something like that in close proximity to the convention center and the new arena is a no-brainer. Who knows, as the city/state budgets get more and more out of hand, maybe a casino approval fast-track is closer than anyone imagined ... maybe that's also the holdup for shovels in the ground.

  • Craig Stanley Board President Locomobile Lofts

    Yes, I was being a little cheeky about Ickes happening, but I have been attending meetings for years now and still not a shovel in the ground yet. Conversely, the new South Loop Elementary was approved long after the Ickes plans and that is going up at a furious pace. While I believe something will go up at Ickes, I think people and the politicians are ambivalent about it. It would not surprise me at all to see a reduction in the final number of public and affordable units.
    As for a casino, it baffles me that the city just watches people cross the border 12 miles from our neighborhood and contribute to the State of Indiana. I have little doubt campaign contributions flow from those connected to our city officials to kill such an idea. Given the history of Ickes, I doubt a casino would ever go in on that site.

  • Ickes still planned - go through some design iterations and approvals. Being multi jurisdictional entities and involving federal $$ takes time

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