Monday, April 12, 2010

Wilson El Renovations... For Real?

A reader tells us that he's been in touch with the owner of Lakeview Foods (the convenience store just south of the entrance to the Wilson Red Line stop).

"He told me today that they received a letter (assuming from CTA) that as of May 1st they will have to stop business because renovations will begin. He said the Broadway entrance will close and you will have to enter on Wilson. I can't find anything on the 'Net about this yet. I met with this guy two weeks ago and he mentioned this but without a specific date. Today on the phone he told me they were sent this letter and May 1st was the date. I'm very interested at what is going to happen. You guys hear anything?"

So, could it be... our neglected "crustiest station in Chicago" is finally getting some love after 20 years of promises?  Enquiring minds want to know.


  1. There are three seasons in Chicago. Winter, Construction, and Election

  2. Who will take credit for it...Helen...or Don...
    Elections are coming!

  3. The leases for the Wilson El station stores expire in 2010. The existing lease has a clause in it that says that tenants would have to leave upon notice from the CTA that they wanted the property back to renovate the station (as it was supposed to start 3 years ago when these leases were signed.) SO the tenants had notice that this could happen and the lease was priced appropriately. I'd feel worse for the store tenants if they had actually fulfilled their contract obligation to make the leasehold improvements (exterior painting and fix up) that their lease required.

  4. It's been previously reported what the renovation entails:

  5. I had to dig deep into the file cabinets for this one. Here are excerpts from a 2005 article from that indicates that the store leases expire this year or earlier upon notice that Red Line renovations are beginning.

    Chicago Transit Board Approves Contract to Create Station Design / New Leases for Retail Store Fronts at Wilson

    ....Construction on the new station and track improvements is scheduled to begin no sooner than 2008.

    In addition to the design contract, the Board approved lease agreements for three companies running existing retail businesses at the station, American Fast Foods, Inc.; Charles Stempien (Lakeview Foods); and Wilson-Broadway Mall, Inc.
    The new agreements will bring an additional $732,687 in rent and capital improvements to the CTA for a period of up to five years or until renovations begin at the Wilson Red Line station. The leases were competitively bid.

    As part of its agreement with the CTA, American Fast Foods, Inc., will lease, operate and make capital upgrades on a 3,065-square foot store front located adjacent to the Red Line Wilson station. The vendor will continue to operate a Popeye’s Chicken restaurant at this location.

    Charles Stempien (Lakeview Foods) will continue to operate a convenience store in a 2,467 square-foot store front located at 4612 N. Broadway. The business recently made capital improvements to the property.

    The Wilson-Broadway Mall will make capital upgrades to the store front at 1114 W. Wilson, and will lease and operate Alpha Electronics in the 8,445 square foot space.

    The CTA’s competitive bid process evaluates bids for the retail store fronts based on the vendor’s proposed rent and capital improvement expenditure, financial background, experience with retail and concession stands and design of the retail space.

    Total contract value is a combination of the bid rent and the amount of capital improvement to the retail space proposed by the bidder.