Friday, September 13, 2013

BPN Updates What's Happening With Thorek & Nick's Uptown

Buena Park Neighbors, the block club whose area includes Thorek Hospital and the 1920 building that until recently housed Nick's Uptown, has put out a newsletter this afternoon with more information about the situation there and Thorek's possible plans for the building:
"As you may know, Thorek Memorial Hospital has purchased the building at 4015 N. Sheridan.  As of last Saturday, Nick's Uptown is no longer in business.  There has been a lot of concern about what is going to happen to the now vacant building.  Bill Petty, who is currently president of Buena Park Neighbors, met with Ned Budd, CEO of Thorek Memorial Hospital, yesterday afternoon and this is what he found out:

Why did they buy it?  They have been negotiating with Nick's on and off for the past few years and just recently came to a price that both parties accepted.  They made the purchase because they have plans to expand their campus sometime in the future and they didn't want to miss this opportunity to acquire this property.

Are they gong to tear it down?
  They have no immediate plans to tear the building down.  When it come time to build they will most likely want to tear it down, however, they are open to building around it if necessary (as in the case of Landmark status).

How about the facade?  They emphatically stated that the facade will be preserved no matter what.  One of three options will occur:  (1) If they keep the building the facade stays; (2) If they tear the building down they will either incorporate the facade into the new building, or (3) sell the facade to another organization that would dismantle it and re-install it at another site.

Why don't they rent the building back to Nick's Uptown until they are ready to build? 
They are a non-profit organization and legally cannot own a bar.

Could the building have Landmark status?
  A request for Landmark status has already been submitted to the Commission on Chicago Landmarks by a concerned citizen and according to the Alderman's office, they should be hearing something back next week."
We urge you to take the steps identified in UU earlier this week to ensure the preservation of this piece of Uptown history.  Further thanks to BPN for finding out more about the situation and informing residents about what's going on.


  1. It's unfortunate Thorek did not simply purchase an option on the building, allowing it to remain in business.

  2. "They are a non-profit organization and legally cannot own a bar."

    They did not buy the liquor license, they only bought the building. They would not "own a bar" they would be commercial landlords with a bar as a tenant. Nothing prohibited about that.

  3. Apparently, after several years, the owner of Nick's made the best decision for him. If the owner wanted it to stay as a bar establishment, the option of selling it to another entity that would keep it that way was open to him.

  4. Well the comments of the Thorek President make me a teeny bit hopeful. Not giddy, just hopeful. I suspect that the powers that be at Thorek may have been surprised at the level of vitriol directed at them regarding this building and their other "improvements" to the neighborhood. Given Thorek's record with other neighboring properties I would have guessed that quick demolition was in the offing, but I will take the Thorek Prez's remarks at face value. That's because I'm a kind and gentle pirate. Well, except when I'm not.

    Now it's time to put the Thorek presidents comments into some form of landmarking or something legally enforceable. "Trust but verify" as a President named Reagan once said about the Godless Soviet commies. Not that I want to compare the Godless Soviets to Thorek. The Godless Soviets might take offense to that.

    We're still likely looking at an empty building that's off the tax rolls as Thorek continues their years long process of "landbanking". Saving the building is good, but it's hardly a complete victory for Uptown or the folks who live around there.

    I also suspect that the unseen hand of the Alderman was involved in the Thorekian statement. As I stated in an earlier thread landmarking/preserving that building or facade is both good policy and good politics.

    Also Rahm is currently in the midst of kissing ass as he plans his reelection effort and supporting the community over a generally disliked hospital is good politics for him too. I can imagine a press conference in a few months in front 4015 Sheridan as Rahm claims credit for landmarking this property. Also many many press releases and that shit ass grin he has.

    I love Rahm sweating as he goes on an an apology tour around town. Perhaps someone can come up with a concert like T-Shirt for said tour. Name everyone and everything he's apologized too with dates and everything.

    Hopefully he won't try to rename Sheridan Road as he's trying to rename Stony Island Avenue on da sout side after a dead Bishop and political player.

    What would he try to rename it? Shiller Road? Nah, that would be a dead end.