Please, oh please become a Chipotle!
No need for Chipotle when you have Carmela's on Lawrence right next to the Broadway grill. The best pork taco or burrito I have had in the city!
True, true. Problem is I'm a vegetarian, so Carmela's is pretty meaty. Chipotle is surprisingly veggie friendly considering it is a McDonalds brand. Honestly, I would love to see anything other than a currency exchange or needle exchange.
Yeah, don't think they do the veggie thing at Carmela's. I agree anything but a currency exchange, needle exchange etc would be a nice thing to see!
The property is available for lease. Whether the previous occupant just came to the end of their else or the business failed is unknown. Coincidentally, a friend is looking at this location now, possibly converting it into a green laundry.
Yes, we need laundries in urban neighborhoods! Despite all the new developments (here and elsewhere) with "in unit laundries" for each living space, there is still the need for a public laundromat. Your own machines may suddenly quit before the repair person can come; you may have a lot of loads that need to be done at once; the landlord for whatever reason doesn't provide laundry machines.Plus a lot of these places also have dry-cleaning dropoff services. This is important because many cleaners are not open Sundays but most laundromats are. For working people whose weekend time is precious, the chance to take care of both washable and dry-cleanable items at once is a blessing.
Coincidentally, a friend is looking at this location now, possibly converting it into a green laundry.Good luck to your friend, Suzanne! I hope they choose Uptown.On another note, does anyone know if Weiss still owns this strip mall?
Gayle, where does anyone mention that laundromats are not needed?
"there is still the need for a public laundromat"Apparantly not if they're closing. Although I do wonder if the gang activity at that corner has forced people to do their laundry outside the ward.
Zesty, businesses close for lots of reasons and not all closings are reflective of demand for service or even the competence of the owners. Gayle is right; clean, efficient laundry mats are needed. My friend purposely seeks out troubled urban locations because, like you, she knows how much time low- to moderate income families spend on laundry. To make that time more beneficial, she builds in tutoring, after-school homework help, and other value-added programming for parents and their kids. It's a real-world, business-based approach to supporting families and taking back urban corners that have been lost to less desirable activity.
Suzanne, my post was somewhat tounge in cheek, but the 46th ward is in desperate need of retail of all kinds. I would consider this business leaving yet another loss to the community and do, frankly, wonder if gang activity there impacted their decision to move. Gayle seems to be expressing the frustration that many of us do, that Uptowners are forced to go outside the ward to spend their money. Target will be a welcome change, but there is still a tremendous need for a range of goods and services that Target and the existing local businesses do not provide.
I amend my comment.Best of luck to your friend, Suzanne! I pray your friend chooses Uptown. How marvelous would a business like that be there!?
Amen, Sassy. This is the kind of development that gets to the core of things. Unfortunately, traditional financing sources are not enthusiastic about businesses with socially responsible genetics, much less triple net concepts like this one. My friend is struggling to wrap financing. Is it doable? Yes. Is it difficult? More than I wanted to believe.
Gee wouldn't it be nice if we could create some sort of system that leveraged a pool of tax dollars to encourage the private sector to develop businesses in struggling urban communities?Okay. Snark will get us nowhere. :)But how about microlending?
Micro development dollars have dried up. As for TIF dollars, well, my friend would like to avail herself of other funding mechanisms, preferably one that is not akin to cranking the kids up on meth and then opening a clinic. :-0
Well, I am sure your friend has thought through the options but I wonder if even a percentage of the start-up costs could be funded through microlending. I wonder if an organization like KIVA could help facilitate that? I also think that local residents might be a good source for small loans and might be willing to spread the word to other "investors" if there is a good business plan in place. Who knows? The bottom line for me is that increasing the number of quality local businesses will only make Uptown stronger.
What about the Small Business Administration?
The problem with that space is the landlord. To say that the rents he is charging for that shopping center is exhorbidant would be an understatement. The laundromat that was there went out of business last summer, when they found a new sucker to take over that lease, and start over. Now he's gone under too. With rental rates as they are, running a laundromat in that space is a losing proposition.That's why the huge space that was once part of Weiss hospitals has been empty for years, and the space that was once a 99¢ store in the corner is also empty for years. I understand the guy who owns the center has lots of money - so no motivation to lower rents.
Does anyone know who the owner is? Are they a member of the Chamber?
Mike, it looks like my friend is on the verge of verifying your appraisal of the laundromat situation. What a pity. Does someone on this blog understand commercial well enough to explain how/when leaving space empty for years is a good strategy? Rates frame revenue forward on long term leases so I understand why a landlord is willing to wait a year or more to maximize the entry point but at some point, I've got to believe one hits a point of diminishing returns, no? Is there a tax angle? Sassy, I should have distinguished between micro lending and community-based lending. The latter has dried up. The micro lending programs like Kiva and Grameen Bank are alive and well, though suited to smaller scale enterprise.
He can deduct the failure to collect rent as losses on his income tax. Called land-banking in some circles.