Tuesday, December 29, 2009

News on Roosevelt Collection's Retail

Lost in all the hoopla about the new Kerasotes ICON movie theater is that there is nearly 300,000 square feet of empty retail space at Roosevelt Collection.  It's easy to imagine how this might look eventually, but the reality is that it's weird that the retail portion of the complex won't open until late 2010 or even 2011.  Given the state of the economy it's been rumored that many of the rummored retail occupants have backed out of their leases.  It's hard to know since Centrum Properties, the developer of RC, has been relatively tight lipped about the retail portion of the complex.

Regardless, we wait patiently to hear more about the retail at Roosevelt Collection.  Last week, the Chicago Tribune had a small paragraph about the retail:
Windows in the plaza's storefronts now are covered with colorful vinyl murals, but eventually, said Lisa Balis, senior vice president of retail leasing and marketing, 300,000 square feet worth of retail space will be occupied by a mix of local and national chains. The retailers to include apparel, home furnishings and accessories, health and beauty products, shoes, jewelry, and restaurants are expected to move in by late 2010 and early 2011, she said in a statement.
Again, more vague statements.  It would be great to have all of these types of stores, but if you already have some people lined up, why can't we know?  I guess we will just have to wait....

28 comments:

Andy Sites said...

Aww, I was excited by the headline but this isn't really anything new?

Sloopy said...

yeah...not much new unfortunately...

Scrumpy said...

I'm keeping my hopes up that retailers will see the traffic the theater is generating and it will light a fire under them.

Jim in the Sloop said...

Being a pessimist, I don't see much hope in the short term. Target on the corner does great, but that's a destination in itself (and also has tons of free parking). Most everything else on Roosevelt Road is big box destination stores - even most of the things in the Whole Foods mall are big box types (and several have already failed). I just don't see the Roosevelt Collection being a retail destination, and the theater won't really help since most of their traffic will be at night when stores are closed! Even if Clark Street gets developed all the way down to Roosevelt, this development faces the wrong direction and feels like its marooned all by itself and in a different neighborhood. If the empty area South of Roosevelt ever gets developed, maybe, but right now the whole place just feels isolated, even though I know it actually isn't. BTW - when you go in there at night it is beautiful with the lights and everything, but the trick is to get people there in the first place.

Jason said...

Jim, one of the big boxes you mentioned that failed in the Whole Foods marketplace was Linens 'N Things. That's hardly a good example. The other was an Office Depot or OfficeMax. I can't remember the name or the exact reasons why the shut down, but I believe they were also closing stores around the country.

I agree with you that the theatre is beautiful at night and the parking is really nice. The VIP chairs in the balcony are great.

Anonymous said...

They are also banking on the Renters there as well. I forgot how many units, but that is going to bring some traffic.

JP said...

They have asked for TIF dollars to finish out the retail space. That means either they don't have deals in place because leases would include the build out allowances in them, or they had or have leases in place but lack the funds to finish the agreed build outs so that retail can move in. I think its the former. Right now is a terrible time to be a commercial space landlord. Hopefully the complex can make it on the theatre and rental revenue until the commercial market starts going back up.

Anonymous said...

Crain's Chicago Business Hinz' Blog has an article about the RC today. Calling it the 'Miracle on Clark Street. Here's a link:

http://www.chicagobusiness.com

Those of you that claim that all the concerns voiced here about safety and gang-bangers are unfounded are going to HATE this article. In it, both the author AND THE OWNER of the Kerasotes theater voice the same concerns.

Jim in the Sloop said...

@anon4:31

Just to the clear, while the author of the article says the owner has safety concerns, the article contains no quotation or statement that actually says as much. I guess he's implying it by the "no one under 17 unaccompanied" in the evening rule, but nowhere in the article does the owner actually cite safety concerns.

Another data point. The night we were there (Christmas evening) the upstairs bar was hopping with perfectly normal people drinking and noshing. Not a single "gang banger" like you're so worried about in sight. Just a completely normal mixed crowd of people having a drink and then enjoying the show.

Oh - would you please take 2 seconds to click "Name/URL" and enter a name so we don't need to call you "Anonymous". Thanks!

Lance Uppercut said...

If TIF funds get allocated for this, I'll be pissed.

Illinijay said...

I went on a Monday night a week or so ago and was really impressed with the crowd. While it appeared to be a diverse crowd, there were not any visible trouble makers.

Tim said...

Anon, I have been to the theater and I just read the article. The only mention of gang members was related to the failed theater of 15-20 years ago. A lot has changed since then and the new theater is just targeting the neighborhood's new demographic.

All other concerns about safety in the article were related to the fact that the theater is in an undeveloped, car-friendly portion of the city (the former rail yard known as Riverside Park or the Roosevelt corridor if you will), meaning that there is not yet a lot of foot traffic in the area.

Hinz does refer to the streets of the South Loop as a "sterile, windswept no-man's land." I agree that the still-growing South Loop can seem empty at times (though the dog walkers help), but empty is not the same as filled with gang-bangers. In fact nowhere in the article does the author or anyone he cites raise concerns about the current crime level of the South Loop, as you suggest they do.

As you can see I completely disagree with your interpretation of this article, but I appreciate that you were able to provide a source.

The Spin Ends Here said...

Stop spinning stories my fellow negative anonymous users!

Crain's Article States: "And I still have concerns about security. But the good thing is, so does Mr. Kerasotes. One rule the complex has is that anyone under age 17 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian in the evening."

The only reference to gangs was 20 years ago: "The last time anyone tried to build a movie complex in the South Loop was 15 or 20 years ago... Eventually, it looked and probably was seedy and dangerous, overrun by teenagers, often black gang members, and was closed."

The article is pretty spot on and they even mention how RC is more suitable for vehicle traffic, which is true.

Yes, the spin ends here! Everyone go watch a movie in RC and forget AMC!

Anonymous said...

More and more I'm realizing that the South Loop completely missed the boat when it came to making this a "livable" city hood. If you haven't noticed, all the unique "city-type" things are bypassing the south loop and opening up shop in Pilsen. Pilsen is getting coffee shops, art galleries, botiques, book stores, etc. The south loop is getting big box stores and a data center. Even though everyone here denies wanting this hood to be like lincoln park or wicker park, you have to admit it would be nice to have even a small percentage of the amenities (shops, dining, galleries, etc.) which those hoods have. Pilsen is on its way, we are not.

Lance Uppercut said...

Pilsen is great, no question . . . but don't p!ss down my back and tell me it's raining.

The gallery scene there is flat/dead and not exactly a great business model on a good day.

Real estate values are like night and day when compared to South Loop spaces.

Sure, they've got some nice eateries, etc. but not to a degree where I'd say it was some kind of mecca.

And you wanna talk crime? It's no stranger to Pilsen.

Anonymous said...

There's some Lincoln park/wicker park vibe in certain areas of the Sloop, like Printer's Row. Personally, I could care less if South Loop becomes LP or WP. I like my streets wide, clean, with shiny new buildings. As long as I have my shiny new high-rise condo in a suburban-quiet clean neighborhood that's in walking distance to work and close to clean big-ass park... it's all good. I was on a SL bus yesterday and when I smiled at the African American bus driver, she called me "baby". Hells yeah, if all residents of the Sloop was as positive as that bus driver, this area would be rocking.

Jim in the Sloop said...

About foot traffic. The Target on the corner draws a steady flow of traffic from the East - I think people are coming from both the high rises in that area and also from the State Street EL stop. A lot of people also get off the #12 bus at that corner. I also see some people making it further across the bridge to Whole Foods, etc., but far fewer than on the stretch to Target. One problem for the Roosevelt Connection is that you can't really SEE the retail area from the Target corner, you need to be right in front of the building to notice it. The trick is to draw people beyond target. With time people who go the the theater will become familiar with the space and hopefully come back to shop - assuming anything ever goes in.

There is also a fairly steady stream of people walking south down Clark St. - again as far as the Target. Many of these people look like they're students who live in the rapidly expanding number of student apartments in the area. College students seem to go to movies, so this may help traffic flow as well.

Someone mentioned the data center. HATE IT and I keep hoping they'll move out somewhere. They have like 5000 fans on the roof and big generators in the alley. The noise in horrendous and is present 24x7 year round. It adds nothing to the area - zero foot traffic I've ever noticed - and a large amount of noise pollution.

Anonymous said...

What data center are you talking about? I would guess the one mentioned previously is the new one being built(?) at Cermak & Indiana.

FGFM said...

I generally like Hinz's columns, but I think that he'd be better off if stuck to reporting about things north of Harrison.

Anonymous said...

Hinz will stay North of Harrison if Mary Mitchell stays South of 35th street. Deal?

Les said...

While eating at 'The Counter' on Diversey, had a conversation with a manager, who stated they had looked at possibly opening at the Roosevelt Collection and decided against it. There was once a 'Taste of Bakers Square on Lincoln Ave, something like that or a Steak and Shake or a Sweet Tomatoes would be different and fit in with the movie crowd.

FGFM said...

Hinz will stay North of Harrison if Mary Mitchell stays South of 35th street. Deal?

What the Cappleman!

FGFM said...

It adds nothing to the area

Funny to read people on the Internet complain about data centers.

Anonymous said...

Steak and Shake? That would be a tacky nightmare for the area.

Anonymous said...

Move to the burbs if you want to live near a Bakers Square, Sweet Tomatoes, or Steak and Shake.

Or if you want free street parking.

Anonymous said...

Well, I don't see CB2 (mentioned on the earlier "wish list" post) opening:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/chi-biz-cb2-store-closing-jan07,0,6618298.story

Tim said...

Hey, if they're opening a new store in Miami (another place overdeveloped during the housing bubble, like the Sloop), maybe the South Loop makes sense!

Carl said...

Then maybe a West Elm would be a better fit?