Multifamily N Illinois

Wicker Park Connection adds retail users, hits the market

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Two retail tenants, Philz Coffee and [solidcore], have signed leases at Wicker Park Connection, the mixed-use project co-developed by Hubbard Street Group and Centrum Realty and Development. Located just west of the intersection of Division Street and Ashland Avenue on Chicago’s Northwest Side, the new leases should attract buyers as the developers are looking to sell the community.

“With these latest commercial tenants, we’ve curated a true mix of lifestyle, health and wellness offerings that, we hope, will resonate with our residents and the broader Wicker Park community,” said John McLinden, managing partner of Hubbard Street Group. “This entire development is meant to be an experience—from the apartments, to the amenities, to the retail that lines our public plaza. As a result, we sought to partner with brands that would add to the buzz surrounding Wicker Park Connection, as evidenced by the brisk pace of leasing.”

San Francisco-based Philz Coffee plans to open its 2,100-square-foot flagship store, its first in Chicago, in summer 2019 with expansion plans for additional Chicago-area store openings next year. This marks the second market outside of California for the fast-growing brand, which specializes in coffee blends individually handmade and personalized to each customer’s taste. The new location will also offer a selection of locally sourced baked goods and freshly made foods.

“Philz Coffee felt an undeniable kinship to the Wicker Park neighborhood, as it’s similar to our San Francisco roots,” said Jim McPhail, chief growth officer of Philz Coffee. “We’re excited to bring that laid-back feeling to Chicago for coffee lovers who want to relax and drink coffee that’s prepared how they love it. Each coffee shop features design elements that reflect its surrounding neighborhood, and we love to invite local artists to display their work in our shops. Philz is excited to plant new roots in Chicago starting with our Wicker Park coffee house.”

Washington, D.C.-based [solidcore], a Pilates-centric fitness studio, will open a 2,350-square-foot studio in Wicker Park Connection next year. The chain, whose 50-minute sessions are held on “Sweatlana” resistance machines custom-built and patented for [solidcore], entered the Chicago market last year with a location in River North.

“Chicago has embraced [solidcore] and we are looking forward to expanding throughout the city,” said Bryan Myers, chief operating officer of [solidcore]. “Wicker Park is a great neighborhood with diverse residents and the fact that the building is brand-new, allowing for complete customization, made it a logical choice for our brand.”

In total, Wicker Park Connection, located at 1640 W. Division Street, and an adjacent first phase called Centrum Wicker Park, at 1664 W. Division, house more than 20,000 square feet of ground-level retail space anchored by a 12,800-square-foot Target store, which opened earlier this year. Other commercial tenants include national salon and beauty provider Salon Lofts, which will open a 5,000-square-foot location at 1640 W. Division in December 2018, and blow dry bar Blo, scheduled to open a 900-square-foot studio at 1664 W. Division in 2019.

Wicker Park Connection, a 15-story, 146-unit rental community, offers a mix of studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom units that are 80 percent leased less than six months after welcoming first move-ins. It is currently being marketed for sale with the 60-unit Centrum Wicker Park, which opened in 2016 and is fully leased. The buildings are separated by a public walkway called The Connection that, when completed in 2019, will link Milwaukee Avenue and Division Street.