The most consistent worry among South Loop residents lately--other than a guy snooping into people's patios looking for unlocked bikes--is this: Is Roosevelt Road west of Clark, past Canal--all the way to Halsted, which already houses a Home Depot, a Best Buy, a Target, a Whole Foods and literally tons of other very big retail chains--getting like the Clybourn Corridor at North Avenue, just west of Clybourn and north of North? With lots of traffic, too many retail outlets and too much congestion?
Each of the four is promoting a complex along the Roosevelt Corridor at some stage of development. And here's a small smattering of what they had to say:
The bricks at the coming-along-nicely mixed use development on the north side of Roosevelt at Canal called The Maxwell-- soon to host everything from a Potbelly's to a Dick's Sporting Goods--are dark brown for two reasons, said Robert Bond, president of Bond Companies. They won't show soot and they will make the store signs "pop."
Bob Flannery, CEO of JRG Capital Partners, which is in the pre-construction phase with The Shops on Clinton at 1120 S. Clinton, a neighbor-to-be of Manny's Deli and Binny's Beverage Depot, said this: "In 2015 we will break ground." And he gave the lunch attendees a nice brochure outlining possible plans for the site.
The Roosevelt Galleria--represented by Greg Moyer, a partner at Ravine Park Partners--is on the south side of Roosevelt and contains 41,000 square feet of retail space. Moyer waxed poetic about a new Petco that was to open any minute in the new complex, right next to a Sleepy's and a Vitamin Shoppe. "What will happen to the nearby PetSmart?" whispered a worried woman sitting beside me. "Why can't they lease space to a good old-fashioned bakery?"
Last but not least--but very much leased--we heard from Tyler Quast, director of property services at McCaffrey Interests, which not long ago rescued a beautiful mixed-use mall called the Roosevelt Collection--on Roosevelt just west of Clark--from downright dead dormancy, a victim of the economy. Known for housing a successful 16-screen movie theater and free parking, the rest of the complex was a "victim of a cycle, not a failure," said Quast.
Now the sky's the limit. Everything's there. When I go there for a movie all I can think is this: Hey, when I want to visit places like Ann Taylor Loft, Ulta or H&M in the future, I don't have to walk to the Loop anymore. I have my own branches right here--a block and a half from home.
And pretty soon, there'll be a new bbq place, a new sushi place and a new Container Store there, too. And a new noodle place, a new Pier 1, and new health clubs at other spots along the Roosevelt Corridor.
We will have almost everything that they have on the Clybourn Corridor. Like traffic, congestion and too many retail outlets. When we get our very own Crate & Barrel, then we'll have everything.
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