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 15, 2013 at 06:51 PM
As a someone who is trying to open a small business in that area, I was told by a landlord on the other side of the street the same thing: "No start ups or locals - just national businesses" which is sad since the space I wanted is still empty.
Andy Ambrosius (Editor) January 15, 2013 at 06:57 PM
Seriously? That's pretty insane. Are you talking about the spot right next to the upcoming Dryhop Brewers? There are two spots in that building now vacant.
whammo January 15, 2013 at 07:46 PM
The owner demonstrated his total cluelessness by the Panera reference. Panera? Seriously? They can't afford the lease on their store on Diversey so they're giving away the food, ruining their store and the whole area. But Panera's going to forget that and open up a few blocks away?
TheDoctor1963 January 15, 2013 at 08:49 PM
There are so many open storefronts already on Broadway. Do we really need another jimmy johns and starbucks?
TheDoctor1963 January 15, 2013 at 08:50 PM
The LAST thing we need is a Panera Cares in this part of the "hood.
George Heitz January 15, 2013 at 11:00 PM
Does anyone think we might have a few too many restaurants on Broadway between Diversy and Addison?
Robert Salm January 15, 2013 at 11:10 PM
If Maureen Martino and Alderman Tunney got their panties in a wad over a freakin' food truck space on Broadway saying there are too many restaurants in the area last fall, they better damn well keep those trashy chains from muscling in, too.
bob January 15, 2013 at 11:28 PM
it's a typical hideous ancient chicago building predating the era of mrs o'leary's cow and should be torn down,then get frank lloyd wright out of the grave and construct a new building
bob January 16, 2013 at 12:19 AM
i already commented
The Truth January 16, 2013 at 02:08 AM
So when I first moved nearer to that building there was a vacancy there. I was hoping they might open something useful, to me anyway. Some empanada place opened up with much fanfare (and free Wi-Fi - woohoo!) and quickly closed because nobody liked them and they weren't authentic anyway. Next up? ANOTHER empanada place with a different name and probably the same owners. Anybody can see through this. Even if the "new" empanada place is better, I've already got a stain on my brain that Chicago style empanadas aren't my thing. It's stigmatized. See how this works now? A new Vietnamese sandwich shop opened up to much fanfare too. Suddenly you have TWO more Vietnamese sandwich shops in the general vicinity. You need some diversity and, most importantly, some stability in your neighborhood. It's TOO trendy for it's own good. Yes, there are too many restaurants on Broadway between Addison and Diversey. Most are way overpriced and mediocre at best. How many variations of hummus that all taste the same can you get on one 1/2 mile strip? You need USEFUL stuff. A reasonably priced fresh market is much needed. Clear out 3 of those junk businesses in that building and put one there. Walmart Express opening nearby will probably fill that need since you can't rebuild the grocery store that burned down 7 years ago. Even Walgreens has cashed in on this food desert w/produce. The new BBQ for the mentally perplexed or whatever that junk is doesn't appeal to me either.
The Truth January 16, 2013 at 02:20 AM
And one of those restaurants on the Belmont side of that building looks absolutely old and filthy and I wouldn't even consider ordering food out of it. "Great Head" isn't somewhere I'd get MY haircut either. It's kinda time to grow-up too people. You want to uphold your condo values like big girls and boys but still want businesses like this in your area. Oh, and you've got yet another used toy store for 40 year olds that can't let go of their childhood down the way too.
Rolando January 16, 2013 at 12:02 PM
I guess I don't have to apologize, but I'll go to a national chain restaurant over a local one any day. I don't know why people bother to open a restaurant if they don't know how to run it. I go to a national chain restaurant and I know that food safety and quality, cleanliness and service are better. And on top of that they provide better benefits and salaries to their employees, who are not illegal workers. The consumer trend to favor national chain restaurants didn't happen as a fluke, and it will continue until local restaurant owners raise the bar.
Gloria Picchetti January 16, 2013 at 01:40 PM
I hope the bank stays.
George Heitz January 16, 2013 at 03:06 PM
Couldn't agree more, although I am looking forward to checking out the new Mexican Steakhouse, La Revolucion!
jrhottle January 16, 2013 at 03:14 PM
You have to admit... the name "Great Head" is always good for a laugh! Out of town friends refuse to believe me that this place exists.
Harmon January 16, 2013 at 04:03 PM
National chains have their place - which isn't in a city neighborhood. The Loop has lots of them, and it's made it a nice, safe, bland place. The Diversey/Broadway intersection is becoming a suburban mall. Boring. We are allowing mediocrity to take over. Might as well live in the suburbs...
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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