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National Chains Planned for North Broadway Building

The building at the corner of North Broadway and Belmont Avenue recently sold, and the owner says he’s planning to snag fast food joints to replace the locally owned businesses.

After purchasing the massive building on the corner of North Broadway and West Belmont Avenue, investors say they’re interested in replacing the building’s current small businesses with national retailers, according to Chicago Real Estate Daily.

The building was purchased for just more than $5.5 million and includes six retail spaces, 12 apartments and four parking spots, CRED reports. The sale was finalized in late December, and its new owners—a real estate broker and two doctors named Arshad Ahmed and Bashar Kashlan—say they have big plans for the corner.

“We’ll look for national tenants,” Ahmed told DNAinfo.com Chicago. “Anything from Jimmy John’s, down the road, or maybe a Panera.”

The building was sold by Niles-based venture Bold Development LLC that purchased the property in 2007 for $5.3 million, CRED reports. North Community Bank is the most notable tenant at the East Lake View corner, with small businesses like Lakeview Chiropractic and Salad House filling the others.

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However, big changes aren’t expected to come anytime soon. DNAinfo found current tenants have years left on their leases, and Maureen Martino, executive director of the East Lakeview Chamber of Commerce, said such drastic changes to the corner would need to be approved by community officials first.

The move toward national retailers and fast food chains is similar to changes happening on Southport Avenue. Small businesses on the popular business corridor recently spoke out about the corporatization of the street.

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CubsFan007 January 16, 2013 at 04:31 PM
@Andy - Yes, I am referring to the place near the brewery. The guy owns the whole block and "took a chance" with the brewery and I guess their set backs haven't been received positively by the landlord. So, now he wants chains or franchises. He believes that they are more financially stable (even though there is an empty Borders down the street). I was ready to sign a 3 or 5 year lease and pay the rent but they didnt feel "comfortable." So, I have been looking more towards Andersonville.
garry albrecht January 16, 2013 at 04:57 PM
Sounds like massive 'food mart' concept for the owner - not a good thing for the corner nor the neighborhood. The neighborhood associations will have a field day on this one!
Rolando January 16, 2013 at 08:45 PM
That may be so. A good first step for local restaurant owners in general is to meet reasonable standards of cleanliness and food quality and safety. Consumers make the final decision as to who stays and who goes. If negatively-affected local restaurant owners don't know how to operate a restaurant, maybe they shouldn't be in the business. Local restaurants that are properly run will be with us for some time to come.
Link N. Parker January 16, 2013 at 09:01 PM
Yeah, I always like the "Great Head" salon too. Another good place was the gay bar that used to occupy the space that Hydrate is in now...it used to be called "The Manhole", and its sign out front was a painting of muscular man who looked like one of the Village People climbing out of a manhole. Epic! Im not gay myself, but stuff like that are reasons why I like living here, instead of some place like Naperville. I like the quirky, local stuff. Chains do serve a purpose though as well, but I like the fact that this area appeals to adults and I dont want it to be "sterilized". Do we need more police though? Yes!
BigDavidO January 17, 2013 at 08:06 AM
What makes you think that national chains are run any better or pay better than local businesses? It wasn't so long ago that many Chipotle outlets nationwide were raided and shut down for employing illegal immigrants and paying them less than minimum wage. And if you think that McDonalds or Kentucky Fried Chicken outlets are free of rat and insect infestations, you need to check out the Department of Health ratings and customer accounts. One of the charms of Lakeview used to be the diversity of restaurants, coffee shops, etc., but as national chains take over more and more of the storefronts, the neighborhood is looking more and more like a giant strip mall. Just how many CVS and Walgreens do we need in our neighborhood?

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