Roosevelt Collection Retail Announcements - One of the biggest South Loop victims of the real estate bubble was the massive Roosevelt Collection development. The big news of 2011 was that Centrum, the original developers, sold the property to a group including real estate tycoon Dan McCaffery. The sale has brought new life (and most importantly a new team) to the development. Everyone has been eagerly anticipating news about the massive amount of vacant retail space and based on a blog post from McCaffery, 2012 appears to be the year we get more information and maybe some new places to shop.
McCaffery is setting a goal of a retail grand opening at RC for mid-October. He states that "85% of the space" being leased is what they're shooting for. We should hear more about this soon and are excited to see what they will be bringing to the neighborhood.
Ward Gerrymandering - Not sure where these new wards are going to net out, but needless to say it's going to be interesting. Chicago is infamous for its political "business" and all signs point to some intriguing developments as talks progress on the new ward maps. Will Alderman Fioretti still represent most of the Sloop? Will the entire system be thrown out the window? Will the Sloop benefit from all of this? Again, not sure...but stay tuned.
Motor Row Development - Lots of talk about this in 2011, but 2012 should be the year that the rubber hits the road. Will Broad Shoulders Brewing and Cheap Trick Chicago prove to be "anchor" tenants for the new entertainment district? Does Alderman Fioretti have some additional ideas to move this vision forward? Who knows...but we should get an idea in 2012
South Michigan Retail Space - Businesses finally begun to move into vacant retail space on South Michigan avenue in 2011 and we're eagerly anticipating four other projects that are currently progressing (as far as we know). The highest profile one is probably Alain's (1355 S. Michigan), which a higher end restaurant being partially funded by Bears defensive stud Israel Indonje. We're also interested in the new "tavern" going in across the street at 1400 S. Michigan as well as the new pastry shop at 1250 S. Michigan.
And we continue to hear that an Italian restaurant will occupy the old Grace O'malley's spot. Haven't seen anything official, but this rumor continues to linger from various sources. Maybe 2012 will be the year something happens here.
Other Interesting Retail Projects - Across from Trader Joe's, the old dilapidated building (1150 S. Wabash) next to Bongo Room has seen a ton of renovation work. We've heard various reports about different restaurants moving in, but again nothing official. Should be interesting to see what come there. Also of interest is the fate of Spanglish (555 S. State), a Mexican restaurant being opened by the owners of La Cocina. They were planning on opening in the fall of 2011, but obviously that didn't happen.
What are you looking forward to in 2012?