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New Commercial Space Offers Upside in Heart of Uptown

Uptown may not be booming with new retail and residential proposals like neighborhoods along Milwaukee Avenue, however the North Side 'hood certainly has some great opportunities on buildings that are ripe for redevelopment. Red Line riders and concertgoers queuing up at the Aragon have been staring at the vacant storefronts at 1101-1103 West Lawrence Avenue for years, but now a centrally located commercial opportunity is back on the market. The asking price for this transit-friendly, 10,000 square foot location, set squarely in the middle of the fast-developing neighborhood and anchored by a Chase branch at Lawrence and Winthrop, is $1.1 million. With new residential development and investments in shared streets and public space, there are plenty of catalysts that all seem to be clicking at the same time in Uptown.

The mixed-use, 'L'-adjacent building recently went through a boom and bust cycle a few years ago. A longtime home to Sharon's Hillbilly Heaven, a promised land of country music wrapped in wood paneling and images of pine trees and deers, the 1917 building made a brief comeback of sorts when it was purchased by developer James Gouskos and became the home of The Kinetic Playground, named after the famous northside concert hall. But the venue closed in 2011 and Gouskos was convicted of scamming investors in his never-to-materialize Theater District Lofts project. He squandered some of the lost $500,000 on video poker and a $100-a-day drug habit.

·Storefronts Across From The Aragon Now Bank-Owned, For Sale [Uptown Update]
·Failed Broadway Bank's money wasted on Internet poker, drugs [Sun-Times]
·Previous Uptown coverage [Curbed]