Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Former Borders & Adjoining Retail Bought

Good news!  The former Borders building and the adjoining retail spaces have been sold to a new owner.  No renters yet, and the owner doubts he'll be able to rent the Borders area to one tenant without subdividing.  But according to the Sun-Times, he promises "that whatever businesses move in will be 'in keeping with the neighborhood, and something the neighborhood would ultimately need and want.'"

Here's the beginning of the story; click here to read the whole thing.
The former Goldblatt’s department store in Uptown — vacant since the Borders bookstore moved out last year — has a new owner.  Joshua Mintzer, head of Saxony Capital LLC, said he closed on the elegant old building and adjoining real estate in the 4700 block of North Broadway earlier this month, paying $3 million to the previous owner, Cole Taylor Bank.

Mintzer, who said he typically buys “‘C’ buildings in ‘A’ locations,” said he was attracted — among other things — by the building’s location to a host of music venues, including the Green Mill, The Riviera Theatre and the Aragon Ballroom — and Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s talk about possibly turning the area into an “Entertainment District.”
Update: Here's another article about it, from CBS2 Chicago.


  1. Mintzer is an opportunistic guy and recently made headlines flipping a similar C building in a much nicer location into a Wal-Mart.

    I'm hoping the nearby Target insulates us from that kind of disaster and the likely sub-dividing talk is a plus.

    Either way, the guy makes money and it won't be vacant long.

  2. Are you talking about the Walmart Express in Boystown?

  3. Very interesting.

    I'm not sure this would be a desirable location for a big box anything because of parking, even with the lot across the street. That lot gets a lot of use from local and event parking already to compete.

    Whatever fits in there might need to be a bit pedestrian/bicycle oriented and friendly to succeed, for lack od a better term.

    This is good news.

    A semi-related side note:

    I walked by the ol' Borders this morning and someone spraye painted on the Broadway side marble "OH S#^T".

    This is a very new and very prolific tag goin' round the Uptown.....has anyone else noticed?

  4. if even semi-serious discussions for a walmart began, I would picket every free hour. that would kill any potential uptown has. they suck the life and economy out of every community they enter. and the irony of the street banners of boystown saying "support local business" when they allowed a walmart express to move in is equally disgusting.

  5. Wal-Mart would be a great addition to Uptown they will just drive down the other national chain prices. Walgreens, CVS, Dominick's and Jewel/Osco.

  6. I think anything over vacant would be an improvement.

  7. Alderman Osterman, where are you? This is your ward and not a single message out there on any discussions you may or may not have had with the developer for such a key building in Uptown? Really? Sorry, but I expect more of you. Former Alderman Smith certainly would have reached out to us, why havent you?>

  8. It's a perfect place for a brewery. I heard Three Floyds and Laganitas were both interested in opening up in Chicago.

  9. I'd rather have a vacant storefront than a walmart. And no, a local addition of a chain store will not significantly drive down the prices of currently available goods at Osco/CVS/Jewel nearby. Economically and statistically speaking, there would be an influx of lesser quality goods available at lower prices, which other nearby stores would adopt to compete with. Not the direction I'm looking to go in as a resident of the neighborhood (not to poo-poo the dollar stores either; just saying given the possible options...)

    I did notice the graffiti as well. An unfortunate situation to have lost the previous tenant and have such a beautiful building sitting in such a prime location, empty.

  10. Before getting too worked up, I think it is important to note that Mintzer simply bought a building (the former Pearl Art store on Chicago Ave.) which he then sold to Wal-Mart. He made a good business deal.

    That said, I'll join Jamie on the picket lines. A Wal-Mart should not be welcomed into the community simply because it would "drive down" prices at other local stores. The pennies you save at Wal-Mart are lost in value far beyond dollars in the detriment Wal-Mart does to a community's locally owned businesses and the broader economy at large.

  11. Why WALMART??? Why not Ross, TJ Maxx, Marshalls etc.?

  12. It would be nice if it were an upscale gym. It is much needed in the area!

  13. I can see this area being akin to Damen/Milwaukee/North very soon.
    Restaurant/Live Music/Shopping/Art Galleries...etc....

    (Actually I could see it eventually being NICER than that major intersection in Wicker Park
    because of its proximity to Wrigley Field and the Lake)

    @LIttleton... Sorry to hear about the tagging, its a city wide problem and why the penalties will be harsher for tagging, because its ugly, its vandalism and its costing the taxpayers ALOT of money to remove.

  14. I'm always amazed at the risible comments about how a vacant space is better than a Wal-mart.

  15. No, no, no to Wal-Mart. We can do better.

  16. All this outrage against a store that hasn't been mentioned once by the owner. I think this is the very definition of a straw man. What are you going to be fired up about next? The non-existent plans to turn the Uptown Theatre into Frederick's of Hollywood? The non-existent bulldozing of Wilson Skate Park? There are all SORTS of things that are never going to happen that everyone could clutch their pearls about!

  17. It would be nice to see the coffee shop come back. In the same location it was in Borders on the northern tip 1st floor.
    The Starbucks across the street has more biz then it can handle.
    Or maybe a hookah bar who knows.....?
    A hookah bar is about as likely as a Wal-Mart at this point.

    @ Superhero...there has been a lot of discussion about this building and that inntersection....where ya been? This is going to be in th 46th Ward shortly, we may as well consider it so.

    Intersection related side note:

    The offices above the BoA branch next to the Riv should be art studios. The 2 floors were never finished, they could leave it a little rough. Artists just need a bathroom per floor and a slop sink.
    The windows have great exposer, artists would love it
    and who else is going rent those floors?
    Livin' up things..start some good buzz.

    There I said it.....

  18. Dyin Man has the right idea...Three Floyds would be a legit destination and bring in people from all over the city...that said it's pretty likely they end up along the Milwaukee corridor.

    I only mentioned the Wal-Mart as an example of the developer's previous work...I think the Target insulates us from that disaster...not to mention the lack of parking and that he mentioned sub-division.

    Best bets are a Subway, Walgreens and a nail salon or three.

  19. I think it should be left to the owner of the property to do with it what THEY find most economical as long as they are in compliance with the city of Chicago ordinances. Who are you to dictate what can go there? Can I dictate to you in who lives where and what you are doing in your house?

  20. For the record, I OPPOSE gg's plan to raze the Uptown for a new Frederick's store, and am SHOCKED and APPALLED that the rest of you are silent on this issue.

    The BEST USE for the former Border'sbookstore is of course, as a bookstore, and I demand that Barnes and Noble be contacted at once.

    Failing that, is must be an outlet for fair-trade, gluten-free sweaters for my cats. (They get chilly, even on days like today)