Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Tonsorial Relief Coming To Uptown?

A reader sent in the photo to the right and says:  "Posted in the window of 1016 Leland is a Special Use permit to reopen a barbershop. 

Allegedly, the 46th Ward Master Plan done by the Alderman's office said 'No more barbershops in this area.' Not sure if that's true, but some nearby residents have been having some unsettling feeling about this as the previous barbershop apparently attracted a lot of loitering and litter outside."

Interesting!  1016 W Leland is one of the open storefronts in the infamous Mosa Building, which was run into the ground by a slumlord, culminating in a 2008 flood that ruined most of the retail shops downstairs.  The entire building ended up in Housing Court, where it was deconverted from illegally built condos back into rental units, and a receiver and new owner were found.  Most of the past year has been spent getting the building into livable and rentable space again.

Reflections Hair Salon was the previous tenant at 1016 W Leland.  It was forced out by the flood and moved around the corner, onto the 4700 block of Sheridan.

As for the 46th Ward master plan banning future barber shops, this is what it says under the section on Economic Development 
  • "In the Uptown area, the only general merchandise category that is saturated is Electronics/Appliance stores." 
  • In the section detailing the responses to the alderman's 2011 survey asking residents what businesses they would, and wouldn't, like to see in the ward, it says in answer to the question "What types of businesses and services should not be recruited any longer?" that "Responses were geared toward fewer beauty salons & supply stores, nail salons, check cashing services, wholesale clothing/accessories, liquor stores, clinics, phone stores, thrift stores, and fast food."
As for nearby residents' fears about loitering and trash outside, obviously none of us has a crystal ball.  However, we tend to think that a responsible owner/landlord would be less tolerant of any situation like that arising than the previous slumlord.

We are cautiously optimistic that long-empty, ruined storefronts are finally getting some nibbles after being empty and a blight on the community since 2008.  Is a special use permit something that the alderman's Zoning and Development Committee would take under consideration?


  1. The current building owner does not even have contact information posted on his building, as required by law. If they cant even get that done right, I question their ability to control a poor tenant ...

  2. Fill up these store fronts with paying customers. As someone who lives in the 70 unit neighboring building I sincerely hope new business woman who is opening the salon doesn't interpret one constantly crusading and unhappy neighbor to represent the entire building.

  3. Their application was approved 5-0 by the Zoning Board of Appeals last Friday.

  4. Why is this disappointing? Empty storefronts do not help us. Shouldn't we give this new business the benefit of the doubt?

  5. @ CitizenKEN

    I assume you're referring to my comment? Isn't it obvious after reading the post? Based on the fact that this is an over saturated business in the neighborhood as referenced in the master plan (which you should read) and the fact that neighbors have complained about loitering and litter - yes, it's not exciting.

    I feel like I'm constantly inventing new ways to get home in my own neighborhood as to not get harassed for money, robbed or shot. I already feel on edge walking past Lawrence and Sheridan at any time of the day with the loitering and deadly violence that happens there.

    Of course I hope this is a boutique, well-run establishment, but based on the others in the hood, like the one that just moved from this location to around the corner - yikes.