Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Rehab At Leland & Broadway Back On Track?

This development at Leland and Broadway had previously been put on hold but we spotted workers in the back courtyard today removing lots of debris from the building. The second floor window is open and there are a few lights on in the building. The former "Lights on Broadway" site is no longer up, but it might be marketed as something new. The only info we would find is here. Good news for this corner!

Update: A reader writes, "I spoke with a worker at the Broadway and Leland development and he said that they are just waiting for the permits. It should only be a day or two and then they will be moving full steam with finishing condos on the upper floors. He said that he believes that the commercial spaces are for sale but I think that he meant to say for lease."


  1. I found a couple of things in the verbiage of the link:

    Heart attack alert for Shiller:

    "High profile location at the corner of Broadway and Leland in rapidly gentrifying Uptown"

    Heart attack alert for Chip Douglas:

    "The ideal users would be a bank, restaurant, coffee shop/café, sandwich shop or a specialty retailer that can take advantage of this high-profile location."

    Wonder if we can get a nail salon, video game store, currency exchange (jk) or a massage parlor in there.

  2. Work on this building never stopped or was put on hold. There are men there every day at 8a and have been there at the same time for months. They have consistently had valid permits for construction and it has not stopped. The work that they had been doing was further in the courtyard.

  3. Chuck,
    I believe you are confusing the construction in the courtyard for the construction that took place to add on floors to the Uptown Recording Studio building. The construction workers for that used the courtyard of this building as a staging area for construction materials. I walked by this building tonight and this is new activity I've never noticed. I could be wrong.

  4. "Work on this building never stopped"? Are you kidding me?

    That building's been in the same state of partial re-development for at least 3 years. I still see the skeleton of roughed in wall framing inside every time I roll by on the red line.

  5. The family who lives above Uptown Recording built a major addition to their condo. That's why the workers were there.

    Good news if this property truly is under construction again.

  6. Yeah, can't wait to see what kind of coffee shop/cafe inspires David Bowie to come back for a visit.

  7. The construction of the building stopped when one of the sub contractors shot dead the developer who I believed was also owner of the building and the ownership was brought into court.

    There is indeed construction on a home hidden inside the area of the gate adjacent to this building.

    There is no reason to think construction will begin anytime soon until after the depression and the depression is just starting.

  8. I spend eight hours six days a week looking at this building. I watch the workers every day. There has been work INSIDE this building continually. Not a whole lot, mind you, but it hasn't stopped. Yes, the recording studio part was doing construction and so was the rest. The windows being open is not a new occurance. Some lights being on on the second floor is not a new occurance either. Walking by and seeing no activity is a far cry from looking at it for eight hours a day. Staring. Watching. Seeing.

  9. Where is the Uptown Snack shop? Seems like my kind of place.

  10. the uptown snack shop was gentrified out of the neighborhood a few years back. they were renting the space and couldn't keep up with increasing rents as the property values went up. so the place has sat vacant for years now.

  11. That building is for sale for the record.

    I have seen it listed on Commercial Broker sights.

  12. Jason, the Uptown Snack Shop is now closed. A major Uptown institution. I seem to remember that Suzanne said that she even went looking in dumpsters for the sign.

    I don't know if the landlord passed on all of the property tax increases to his renters but maybe he did. There are lots of businesses in Chicago---including places like daycares---that have had to move as property taxes have gone up. It is not just Uptown. But, xoxoxo Uptown Snack Shop.

  13. No, Ron, sorry, the Uptown Snack Shop doesn't fit your victimization role.

    The owner of the building sold the entire building, and the USS's lease wasn't renewed. It had nothing to do with rising rents; it had to do with the sale of the entire building. Thw owners RETIRED when that happened.

    Sorry, you'll have to find a different poster-victim.

  14. Ron Durham lying? Surely not. Making up facts to fit his version of reality? No way.

  15. Can't we get another methadone clinic in there? Surely the new tenants at the Wilson Yard tenement will require that type of service within walking distance. Thanks in advance.

  16. There's already a meth clinic across the street from WY. I think the area needs another convenient store or african bbq.

  17. Ron Durham,

    is wrong. The new owner of the building decided not to renew ANY leases in the building after buying it.

    Personally, I think that was a mistake both for the neighborhood and business wise.

    I've worked in construction and generally trying to keep tenants and working the renovation around them is best.

    The Uptown Snack Shop was a viable, if small, business and could have continued to prosper as the neighborhood underwent the evil ravages of gentrification. Such ravages include less crime, more business and annoying Ron Durham.

    After purchasing the building the owner was murdered by a pissed off employee.....not a subcontractor.

    The murder didn't happen in Uptown, but at the companies office.

  18. There was a story in issue #3 of the Uptown Exchange about the snack shop closing, you can find it online. it's a good article, you should read it Jason. here's a quote from that article...

    "Adam Stolberg, a member of the Advance Management investors group who now owns the building, said “We’d love them to stay.
    In fact, we offered them a place in the new building once it’s rehabbed. We gave them the opportunity, but unfortunately values will go up, and they won’t be able to afford the
    increase in rent.”"

    i heard a similar story from people who worked there. sorry to disappoint, but i wasn't lying.

  19. Uptown Exchange.


    I'd rather have the opinion from an entity NOT on Shiller's happy list, and/or able to demonstrate some journalistic integrity (*ahem* Heather Henderson).

    Still, Ron, if it's available online, why not kick out the link so that we're assured of reading the same information?

  20. If you want to learn more about the Uptown Snack shop check out this link which also has videos.

    I don't think the new ownership was ever serious about letting the Snack Shop stay. I'm not sure what their plan was for the building, I'm not even sure they had much of a plan, but the Snack Shop was not what they seemed to be targeting. The upstairs and rest of the building could have been renovated while allowing the shop to stay open. It's almost as if they suddenly believed that stretch of Broadway was going to become the 500 Block of W. Armitage in Lincoln Park overnight.

    As I stated so eloquently earlier I think it was a bad decision to force the Snack Shop out. It's unfortunate the brothers who ran the shop hadn't purchased the building years before.

    Perhaps someone in contact with the brothers can get them to reopen in the Catholic Workers House. A special one block TIF district will be created to fund the cost of the free meals.

  21. I think it would make a great Currency Exchange location. LOL.

  22. Ron, did you even live here when the Uptown Snack Shop was in business? Because I was there a lot and I don't ever remember seeing you in there, or in the neighborhood, until the past couple years.

    Out of all the articles that say the diner closed because the owner sold the building, you're choosing to believe the one, a student paper, that says otherwise? Why not believe the many people who were actually living here and loved the Uptown Snack Shop?

    Try the Sun-Times: "The Uptown Snack Shop closes next Saturday.
    The 70-year-old building is going condo."

    Or Compass Rose: "the Uptown Snack Shop was given 30 days notice by the owner of the building."

    Or Uptown Chicago Commission: "The neighborhood spot, at the corner of Leland and Broadway, received a 30-day notice from the new building owner the beginning of February."

  23. So I found the article that Ron is talking about, but something seems fishy. The quote he's attributing is to someone working for a company called "Advanced Management Investors Group". I did a google search, and I can find no such company.

    I have no idea when the article was written, because the Uptown Exchange doesn't put a date on its paper(which seems incredibly dubious).

    Uptown Exchange

  24. Eagle,

    thanks for the link.

    It's dated Fall of '06, by the way.

    As an aside (and as a vet), I got a few giggles out of their anti-military/predatory recruiter article.

    Pretty much tells me all I need to know about that "paper".

  25. "It's dated Fall of '06, by the way."

    Plenty of time for the owner who gave the snack shop 30 days notice in February to do some revisionist history after finding himself reviled by the community for kicking the brothers out.

    Just sayin'.....

  26. yeah "trumansquarenabr",
    i was there a lot. one of my community mates was there everyday and i often went with him.

    i don't recall seeing you there but of course we may have just been going at different times, i wouldn't just assume that you had never been there.

  27. it doesn't matter much if the snack shop was ousted because of rising rent, new condos or for a new sushi bar. whatever the plans are/were, the economics of the situation were kicking out a business that had been in the community for a long time. whether some people say it's a good thing or a bad thing, it's important to be honest about that.

  28. "the economics of the situation"

    We know nothing about the economics of the situation. The owner of the building chose to sell it. That's all we know. Period. His or her reasons are unknown to us.

    That's the thing about being an owner instead of a renter. If you're an owner, you get to decide what to do with the title to your property, whenever you want and for whatever reason.

    I agree with IP, that it's a shame the brothers didn't buy the building long before. Then they would have had the choice about when to sell the building and close the snack shop.

    To fit this situation into a preconception that selling the building was solely due to gentrification says a lot.

  29. "Gentrification" (like "liberal") has been has been turned into a negative unnecessarily. I'll take gentrification to stagnation any day...just sayin'.

  30. Is there no such thing as private property in Uptown, or does everybody have to stick their nose in?

  31. Goodness, Ihatemondays, cranky, cranky, cranky!

    This is our community, our neighborhood. It's urban Mayberry.

    Of COURSE we want to know what's going on across the street and around the corner.

    If you didn't want to know what was going on in Uptown yourself, you wouldn't read this blog.

    (Unless, of course, you just want to lob verbal eggs at everyone. And I know that just isn't so, right?)

  32. TSN I care but I'm not going to dwell on conjecture or what someone heard from their cousin's uncle. It's OK to want to know but some of you act as if you have the right to know. Just take a look at the comments about the building on Clarendon someone is asking the city to tear it down. I'm sorry but if I want to leave my building vacant and seal it off I have that right.

  33. Of course you do. But it don't mean we ain't gonna talk about it. ;-)

    If there's going to be condos and retail somewhere, like the Leland and Broadway corner, it's a good thing to put the word out in the community, as they're doing. See the excitement about Fresh Harvest Foods, for example.

    There used to be a restaurant on Melrose in L.A. that had a murder in the 1930s. (Spanish Kitchen, maybe.) The owner literally just sealed the doors up and left the tables set and the chairs in place. For years! I think it just developed ten years ago or so. It was always fun to peek in the windows and see the "ghost restaurant." I think several books were even written about it.

    So if you want to seal off your building and board it up, there WILL be talk. Let's just hope no books. ;-)