Monday, November 22, 2010

Pondering Potential Retail at Roosevelt Collection

Many peeps have been quite interested in the development around Roosevelt Collection. Yes, foot traffic has picked up ever since the Kerasotes movie theater opened and the condos-turned-apartments began welcoming tenants. An article from YoChicago in July noted that 95% of Roosevelt Collection was leased and that 85% was occupied. Pretty impressive numbers.


But the biggest and in our opinion most frustrating part of the development has been the lack of news around the retail in this building. Yes, we know about the "1.3 Million square feet" of retail space, but we haven't heard anything else really. Initially we heard retail would open in summer or fall of 2010. Then in Dec of 2009, we heard retail might open in late 2010 or early 2011. Last we heard in regard to the retail was in the YoChicago article from July which said:

The leasing staff still isn’t divulging any information about which retailers will be following Kerasotes into the development’s commercial spaces, except to say that about half of the retail space is under contract, and that occupants are expected to arrive in the next 12 to 18 months.

So 12 to 18 months would mean retail would open sometime between July 2011 and January 2012. Wow, that's still a long time away.


Anyway, enough with the frustrating news. Let's talk about potential. Back in December of last year, we asked readers to post comments about what they would like to see in this retail space. We got a wide range of 'dream' stores like Crate & Barrel, Trader Joes, Peets, Fox & Obel, CB2, Intelligentsia, American Apparel, Ulta, Sephora, Wishbone, Borders, Buffalo Wild Wings, Dick's Sporting Goods, and so on. Although some of these places seem like a long shot, our fingers are crossed.

Another way to look at this is to see who Centrum Properties has worked with in the past. As you may or may not know, Centrum also built a building on North Avenue called "North Avenue Collection", sound familiar? Within this building you will find some of the following retailers:
  • California Pizza Kitchen
  • Gap
  • J. Crew
  • Banana Republic
  • Express
  • Victoria's Secret
  • Crunch (closed)
  • Urban Oasis Spa

As far as we know, all of these retailers have locations on the Magnificent Mile or somewhere up North, but they don't have much representation on the South Side (or State street shopping). We would love to see them come to the Roosevelt Collection. Centrum has also worked on other developments and according to their website other retailers such as Borders, Qdoba, Verizon.

(Image from Centrum Properties Websites)

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

None of those stores are coming to RC. Please stop trying to compare North/Clyborn to Roosevelt/Canal. Apples and oranges. Night and day. Black and white.

Anonymous said...

I think a CB2 would be great! We need a home furnishing store in the area.

Anonymous said...

I completely disagree with you anon, this is a East/West street that is/has become a major big box magnet. People from the city, and the surrounding South and West neighborhoods flock to roosevelt to get basic merchandise. (Just like north and clyborn coridor serves lincoln park, lakeview, bucktown and gold coast. Same principle...I bet that's what Centrum properties was thinking when they began Roosevelt Collection.

Anonymous said...

Not sure I understand the comparison, other than the developer, but I do think all of the mentioned retailers are relevant to the discussion.

Anonymous said...

I think if they keep the underground parking lot free for customers, business will do well in this development. From my experience in the area, I've noticed that as long as a good product is offered, business seems to do okay. Whole Foods, Jimmy Green's Tavern, Yolk, DSW, etc. all seem to do very well in this area.

Anonymous said...

The developer is asking for TIF money to build out the storefronts so they can bring in retail. What do people think -- should we subsidize the empty space to bring in retail and in effect reward the developers who were caught short when the economy when south? Without tax dollar help I doubt you see any new merchants coming in until the economy turns around.

Should have been on Michigan Ave said...

And not one goes to those shops on Clyborn.

IMO An urban commercial development failure. This should have all been fronted on South Michigan Avenue as:
A. Takes advantage of a prominent street address
B. Takes advantage of existing public transportation infrastructure for access.
C. Builds critical mass that would have helped other
businesses on Michigan Ave and visa versa

Anonymous said...

I'm torn on the TIF comment. If Roosevelt continues to develop as the "southern retail" corridor for big box shopping (ie like North Avenue corridor has developed for the Northern neighborhoods), I think this would be a good thing for the South Loop in general. People would come to Roosevelt and as a result other businesses around the area would benefit. In this case I would say TIF dollars would help the entire neighborhood and as a result should be given.

I wish we could do something like TARP. Give Centrum TIF but get paid back down the line when they're doing better...not sure if that's possible

Anonymous said...

I'm torn on this too. TIF funds are indeed intended as development investments but I'm skeptical about how Centrum is currently running their business. They really should have locked-in retail anchor stores before breaking ground . . . not sure Centrum is making for the best of neighbors.

A CB2 or West Elm seems like a no-brainer . . . can't believe there's not even a coffee or sandwich shop there yet.

Anonymous said...

The Pimp clothing stores and currancy exchanges along Roosevelt don't exactlly jive with J Crew and Banana Republic. Don't kid yourself, this is NOT North and Clyborn. Apple is not going to open a high-end store on Roosevelt. CB2 is not coming to Roosevelt. Restoration Hardware and Pottery Barn aren't going to open next to Target.

Anonymous said...

the anonymous kids posting on this blog don't seem to remember but 20 short years ago when about the only things of interest at north/clybourn were sam's and hookers. heck, even the CTA station there wasn't open on weekends back then. north/clybourn then had roosevelt road beat hands down in the category of seediest street. if there were blogs back then people like you would have been prophesizing a much bleaker future for n/c than what you're saying about roosevelt road now. cynics like ya'll are a dime a dozen. always have been.

Anonymous said...

I have been a visitor to this blog for nearly a year now, and I am always amazed at the racial undertones many of the comments include. Can we all have an honest and open discussion about the issues affecting our neighborhood without fear of being labeled a racist. I think Roosevelt's businesses do leave a lot to be desired, but all be respectful. I mean, pimp clothing stores, really? Is it really black and white comparison?

Anonymous said...

TIF money to finish out the commercial space, after the fact? What a load of crap. Your a big boy, have some accountability. In the period of lowest commercial interest rates in history, why should we have to bail this developer out? Then it appears this developer is not sufficiently qualified to be the developer, let it fail and get someone in there who can get it done.

By giving this guy TIF money, all you are doing is then artificially allowing other commercial spaces to keep their rents higher which is exactly the main problem in the South Loop. These commercial space holders are screwing it all up for the residents and potential businesses. No one wants to make money the old fashioned way, earning it over a longer period of time - they want the home run easy deal.

It has become more cost advantageous to take a tax loss by not renting, then lowering rates and signing mutually beneficial long term rental rates, that benefits the neighborhood and future development.

Anonymous said...

Ok. So in 2030 we should expect retail to start opening @ the RC?

Anonymous said...

If your "dream" retailers consist of Crate & Barrel, Dick's, Buffalo Wild Wings, Ulta, etc.; here's a suggestion: move to the suburbs!

The RC needs to go into receivership, and the Courts need to remove the developer as manager (just like what happened @ Block 37) before anything happens at RC. The ONLY reason that the movie theater opened is because the space was custom built, and the theater company couldn't simply pick up and open elsewhere, unlike any commercial entity which can simply "build out" in any plain commercial setting. Face it: that corridor is not now, and will not anytime soon, be more desireable than countless other spots in the city. And yes, racist or not, the adjacent strip along Roosevelt does not attract the type of "dream" tenants you want to see.

Anonymous said...

Disagree - that "strip on Roosevelt" attracted Whole Foods (which last time I checked catered to a upscale clientele) and a beautiful Movie Theater that is targeted at a higher end consumer as well.

Anonymous said...

Again, that movie theater only opened because of the custom buildout which was incorporated into the construction of the RC. The theater company, unlike every other commercial tenant affiliated with Centrum Properties, could not back out after construction contingencies were met.

Anonymous said...

I also strongly object to the "pimp clothing" personification of the shops on Roosevelt. If you took the time to actually go there you'd see second and third generation establishments that have been trying to adjust to changing trends. There's a top-notch hat store over there that's one of the best in the city and a tailor that has been making custom garments for celebs since the 1950's. There's also a shoe repair/supply joint that's second to none.

These are all locally owned and operated, non-chain businesses that should be patronized and praised. Not you cup of tea? Fine, but don't slam hard working people you know nothing about.

Brad said...

Anon 4:25 is missing the point. Regardless of whether or not the theater could or couldn't back out of the space, the point is that this high end theater wanted to open on Roosevelt even with these shops that you're referencing as the "strip along roosevelt" (which as the previous poster just explained are actually nice shops).

Anonymous said...

Maybe the should put the Trader Joe's here!

Ha! Ha! Ha!

Anonymous said...

It would be interesting to see how many of these ignorant, pessimistic anons are part of the 10% of visitors from outside the neighborhood. Do you really believe that a handful of working class stores on the outskirts of the Roosevelt strip are having a delayed negative impact on development? I suppose more vacant land or a Cabrini Green (as in the case of North and Clybourn) would be better neighbors.

Anonymous said...

1) Brad makes a good point.
2) No development project underwrote the recession, and frankly 90% of the economy failed to see it coming. I'm sure the developers wish they had broken ground years earlier or were just breaking ground now, but this project seemed to handle the collapse better than many others I've seen (Waterview, Staybridge)

3) Looking at the names of tenants at their other project, that's pretty high end. I'd imagine they could lease to lesser quality tenants and spend less capital. If the TIF helps to attract those types of tenants vs. more boxes and strip center tenants, I'm for it, but they'd better add some nicer sit down restaurants to go along with the shops.
4) I don't get the Trader Joes joke.

westnorth.com said...

I don't think that these kinds of retailers would be unattainable, given the neighborhood demographics. The fact that there are tailor shops a few blocks away is completely immaterial: Cabrini-Green is a few blocks west of Oak Street, but that doesn't seem to matter. Target and Whole Foods actually make great anchors, and both appear to be doing well.

However, several of the "dream list" of retailers posted would likely not work here. American Apparel is facing financial difficulties and has curbed expansion; CB2's expansion model now favors adding new cities rather than infilling new stores within markets; Trader Joe's tends to choose quirky, low-rent sites.

Anonymous said...

American Apparel just opened a new store on S. State.

Anonymous said...

Every other neighborhood in the city has at least one (and in most cases more) of the "usual Centrum tenants." The Sloop has zero.

Anonymous said...

'Every other neighborhood in the city has at least one (and in most cases more) of the "usual Centrum tenants." '

Really? I guess that's if you only consider a "neighborhood" to be one of the yuppie lakeside enclaves. I used to live in Old Irving Park, and while it has undergone some wonderful changes since I left 10 years ago, it doesn't have any of those usual suspects, at least not last time I was up there. (Although it does have one of the best BBQ restaurants on the north side, Smoque.)

I think we will see some of those retailers, or something similar, come into the Roosevelt Collection eventually. Personally, I would prefer locally based more quirky retailers, but just given the nature of the development, it's going to attract upscale national chains.

And I just wanna say, I am often amazed at the comments here about how lacking the South Loop is compared to North Side lakefront neighborhoods. Anyone who understands the history of this area, and that is was virtually empty and/or desolated for decades before any development began (slowly in the late 1970s with Dearborn Park) and understands urban development, knows it takes decades to build a neighborhood from that. If you want to live in Lake View, fine, live there. But anyone who knew this area 30 or 40 years ago, will tell you that an amazing transformation has already taken place.

Trying to compare the number of new stores opening there to the ones here is apples to oranges. Lake View or Wrigleyville, or any of those areas, have been established neighborhoods for DECADES. The South Loop is just reaching that status, in my opinion.

I moved here because I knew it would be a great investment if I stayed long enough ( and I don't plan on moving any time soon), that I could afford a lot more space here than I could farther north, and it was so close to downtown and everything there, including my job.

Anonymous said...

If you don't want this property to be compared to Centrum Properties in other neighborhoods, then don't cite the tenants of other neighborhoods' Centrum Properties in the initial blog.

Anonymous said...

The last post hit it on the nose.

25 years ago I went to school here at the Art Institute, there is NO WAY you would have wanted to be in the South Loop after dark. 10 years ago I moved back here (Printer's Row) and was amazed at how much things had improved DESPITE an almost complete lack of national chain-type businesses . . . but within the past 5 years or so there's been just too much irresponsible development IMO. Now you've got all these half-empty condo towers going rental and more vacant retail space than once thought possible.

Chris said...

I'm the owner of Chiasso and noticed your comments about CB2 and West Elm. If we open a store at the RC would you shop there?

Thanks.
Chris Segal
President
Chiasso

Anonymous said...

I love Chiasso! I would definitely shop there if it was located at Roosevelt Collection...

Anonymous said...

Hi Chris. I'd never heard of Chiasso before, but based on the website, I think this would be a great fit for the South Loop and RC. I'd imagine the store would be popular with the Columbia students as well as all the young professionals in the area.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to speak up for all the families (and potentially university students) when I say I'd personally LOVE a bowling alley/arcade type place---not cheesy ala Chuck E Cheese (eek!)--but one that is retro and cool with interesting things to do in the winter.
I'd also suggest a Pump It Up (or the like), as I feel like I'm on the North Side every other weekend for a birthday party.