Friday, April 20, 2018

South Loop Rental Market "Challenged" in next 12 to 18 Months?

We were driving around the South Loop recently and were surprised about the scale of all the buildings going up in the neighborhood.  Yes, we've posted about them and spent a lot of time talking about them on Sloopin, but seeing all of them in the wild made us do a double take.

Along those lines, we were reading a recent post on The Real Deal about Chicago's real estate market and the development (both actually happening and proposed).  One thing that was called out was whether there is an oversupply.  According to a quote, some are thinking the South Loop could have a problem:
At the far end of the downtown area, in the South Loop, new inventory could present a bigger challenge.
Crescent Heights is building a 792-unit rental tower called One Grant Park in an area that includes a 479-unit project being built by Oxford Capital and several other large rental projects.

The projects will bring thousands of new units to a part of Downtown that doesn’t have as much of a longstanding history as a residential area as neighborhoods like Streeterville or the Gold Coast.

“I think the South Loop is going to have a few challenges 12 to 18 months from now,” Integra’s Ron DeVries told Crain’s in February.

While that might be true, a bigger question in our mind is whether the oversupply will eventually get absorbed.  While it's impossible to tell, we naturally are very bullish here. 

Upon that same trip where we were struck by all the developments, we were also amazed by the amount of foot traffic on stretches of the neighborhood that historically were light.  That seems like a good thing for the vitality of the neighborhood...which we assume would be good for the real estate market.


Thursday, April 19, 2018

Guy Fieri Hangs with Rapper Trae Tha Truth in Sloop

If you were hanging around the Sloop recently you might have seen a crazy haired dude who looked familiar (via Sun-Times):
Later, rapper Trae Tha Truth posted photos of himself with Fieri at Velvet Lounge in the South Loop.


He wasn't just in Chicago for any old reason, seems like he was doing some work:
Walking around Chicago on Tuesday, you might have been startled by a head full of bleached, spiked hair. Or maybe a bowling shirt covered in orange flames caught your eye.

That’s right. Guy Fieri, host of multiple Food Network shows, was in the city filming “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.”

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Mayor Emanuel Outlines His Vision for Extending the Riverwalk

Tribune had an article yesterday about Mayor Emanuel's plans to extend the riverwalk.  As part of the speech he spoke about the plans for the South branch:
The mayor also briefly mentioned that he was “looking at building a new trail” from Chinatown’s Ping Tom Memorial Park on the South Branch of the river up to the Riverwalk’s western edge at Lake Street. Emanuel did not offer details, other than to say it would build on concepts offered during last year’s Chicago Architecture Biennial.

As part of that event, architectural firms developed ideas for three locations along the 1.8-mile potential extension to Ping Tom: the Civic Opera House waterfront, the stretch beneath the Congress Parkway Bridge and the area below the St. Charles Air Line Bridge.
While details are scant, there are certainly a lot of developments planned for the South brand of the river that extends through the South Loop.  When all of those get built will ultimately help determine if this vision will ever become a reality.

Many stars would have to align, but it would be an amazing amenity for the neighborhood (and the city). 

One thing that could accelerate this would be if Amazon chose Chicago for their HQ2 location and chose the Related Midwest spot south of Roosevelt, we imagine that could spur a rash of development along the river.

Time will tell, but a boy can dream. 

Monday, April 16, 2018

Tiny Tunes Studio Opens at 69 E. 16th Street


We recently got this email:
Wanted to quickly introduce myself and let you know that I've opened a new business in South Loop and thought you might want to cover it. I took over the space after Geek Fashion (69 E 16th street) and opened a kids music studio in its place. We officially opened our doors on Monday, April 2nd; the space is called Tiny Tunes Studio. We offer drop-in music, baby yoga and zumbini (zumba for kids!) classes. We're open 7 days a week and have 1-2 classes per day. We also rent our studio for private parties (kids' birthdays, baby showers, fundraisers, etc.) on weekend afternoons!
While this stretch of retail hasn't always been kind to tenants, a kid friendly type of business could be a good fit.  Best of luck to Tine Tunes Studio and looking forward to checking you out soon!

(Hat tip: GM!)

Friday, April 13, 2018

Evangelist Franklin Graham Exploits Indecent Exposure Incident at South Loop Target

Remember when we posted about a very disturbing incident at Target last week

Well we recently stumbled upon an article that exploits the situation with a religious and political angle (via Christian Today):
Evangelist Franklin Graham has asked his followers to boycott Target stores after a man reportedly exposed himself to a child in the ladies restroom at one of the retailer's locations in Chicago.

According to NBC Chicago, the man entered the women's restroom at a Target store in the South Loop on March 25 and went into a stall that was being used by a young girl. He then exposed himself to the child and left the bathroom.

The police are still on the lookout for the suspect, who has been described as being black, about 30 to 40 years old, 5-foot-10 to 6 feet tall and weighing about 170 to 190 pounds.

On Tuesday, Graham took to Facebook to express his frustration with the retail store's restroom policies that allow biological men into women's bathrooms.

"Why is anyone shocked? Target prides itself in its policy that allows biological men to use women's restrooms. On Sunday in one of their Chicago-area stores, a man entered the ladies restroom and exposed himself to a little girl who was at the store shopping with her mom," he wrote.
This makes me angry!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Founder of Willow Creek Community Church - Who is Opening a Location in the Sloop - Steps Down Amid Allegations of Inappropriate Behavior with Women

The Rev. Bill Hybels, founder of the Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington,
delivers a Sunday sermon on July 14, 1985. (via Tribune)
Earlier this year we posted about Willow Creek Church taking over a pretty big building on South State Street (1319-1347 S State Street).  At the time we were surprised that a church could just plop themselves in such a big space, but upon reading more about Willow Creek Community Church we realize it's a pretty big enterprise.

The church's founder just resigned amid allegations from various women (via Chicago Tribune):
Forty-two years after founding one of the nation’s most influential evangelical megachurches, the Rev. Bill Hybels told his congregation Tuesday night that he would step down from the helm of Willow Creek Community Church six months ahead of schedule.
His departure comes less than a month after a Chicago Tribune investigation disclosed that Hybels had been the subject of inquiries by church leaders into claims that he ran afoul of church teachings by engaging in inappropriate behavior with women in his congregation — including employees — allegedly spanning decades. The inquiries had cleared Hybels.

It will be interesting to see if this affects anything with the South Loop location - our guess is no, but we will see.

The Tribune article goes onto explain legacy with regard to the development of the church:
Hybels’ resignation marks the end of a remarkable ascent in evangelical circles as he grew Willow Creek from a group of zealous 20-somethings inside a Palatine movie theater to one of the largest megachurches in the U.S.
From the beginning, he affirmed women in leadership, tapping them to serve as elders, key volunteers and teaching pastors.

In 1992, Hybels expanded Willow’s reach around the world by establishing the Willow Creek Association, a network of more than 11,000 churches worldwide that share Willow’s core philosophies. He also served as a spiritual adviser to President Bill Clinton around the time of the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Prime Printers Row Parking Lot Ready to be Developed?

A reader writes about what we assume is a piece of property that is ripe for development:
Lot is for sale, not sure its its for the entire lot or just whats noted in red.

The reader then sent us the following email with follow-up:
Nevermind should've read the description a little closer, looks to be for a section of the area.
Here is the listing (via redfin):
This property is located at the southeast corner of West Harrison Street and South Dearborn Street. The subject property consists of a land parcel of approximately 5,325 square feet within a larger 22,862sf parking lot. The portion for sale measures approximately 75 feet along Dearborn Street and Plymouth Court and 71 feet deep. The entire parking lot is surrounded by Dearborn St. , Harrison St. and Plymouth Court.
Curious to see if this sells.  It seems like the entire lot would be more desirable and suitable for a large development vs. this smaller portion of the parking lot.

Any real estate experts have a perspective on this?

(Hat tip: KK!)

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Cocktail Bar Square One Closes at 14th and Michigan

A reader writes:
Noticed a few weeks back that Square One at 14th and Michigan closed.
We heard about this a couple times, but was never really sure if it was true.  It's probably been closed for awhile now...

Square One was an interesting place.  When it first opened it brought a trendy cocktail feel that was relatively unique to the neighborhood.  They also had an interesting self-service wine station.

The spot was always trying to do something new.  At one point we remember they envisioned movie nights being showcased on their massive walls.  They also added board games at one point.  As you're probably figuring out...the bar struggled with it's identity throughout its time.

Nonetheless we had good times at Square One and think the space is prime for a good bar.  Hopefully someone else will see the possibility of the space and open something up. 

More and more foot traffic is coming to this stretch of the Sloop so looking forward to seeing what comes in.

(Hat tip: JL!)

Monday, April 9, 2018

Bob's Furniture Coming to Roosevelt Road by Dan Ryan Expressway

Looks like the Sloop is getting a new Bob's Furniture store:

This is coming in at the recently demolished retail strip on Roosevelt road and Ruble st (which is essentially at the Roosevelt Road exit from the highway).  Google maps apparently already knows about this impending location:

We don't know much about Bob's other than their annoying commercials.  Does anyone know if they have good stuff?  good prices? 

(Hat tip: NR!)

Saturday, April 7, 2018

#ShotsAroundTheSloop: Brave Tulips

From the strange snow earlier this week...
(Hat tip:  JH!)


Friday, April 6, 2018

Budget Car Rental Closing at 714 S. Wabash

A reader writes:
The 714 S. Wabash location is closing on 4/24/2018, according to the Budget website.

Sure enough - the website says that:

So the big question is what's happening with this space?

As we know, Columbia College is building a new student center next door.  We wonder if that has anything to do with this closing.

(Hat tip:  DL!)

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Mikkey's Retro Grill Coming to New Retail Spot at 2026 S. Clark

Looks like we're getting a new burger joint (via Eater Chicago):
SOUTH LOOP— Mikkey’s Retro Grill, home of one of Chicago’s most underrated burgers, is opening a second location. A social media post reveals a location, with a sick Michael Jordan mural, coming to 2026 S. Clark Street.