WICKER PARK — When a boutique closes at the end of this month and heads to new digs less than a half-block south, it will become the fifth vacant storefront on a two block strip of Milwaukee Avenue.
Personal Privilege at 1448 N. Milwaukee Ave. currently has a "for lease" sign in its window and joins Buckwick Organix, Gunner's Pub and People Lounge, which is closed for a two-month remodeling, along with Bin Wine Cafe at 1559 N. Milwaukee Ave.
The newest vacancy on the block comes just after a NYC investor, Jenel Management, snapped up a building that housed Reckless Records and Rodan in a neighborhood that Forbes magazine declared in September to be among the top five hipster neighborhoods in the nation.
The 3,100-square-foot space that Personal Privilege, a trendy, independently owned boutique is vacating soon, has an asking rent of $39 per square-foot yearly, or $10,075 per month, according to a recently updated Internet listing.
Agents Michael Weber and Ian Feinerman from @Properties are in the process of trying to find a new tenant to replace the boutique that's rented from them for the past two years.
Feinerman said he's "looking for a strong retail or restaurant tenant that can survive the going rates in the neighborhood."
According to Feinerman, the retail environment has gotten stronger and rents have been going up since late 2012, particularly in the 1400 and 1500 blocks of North Milwaukee Avenue.
"There's a still large fluctuation on Milwaukee Avenue. Jenel [Management, which recently purchased 1530 N. Milwaukee Ave.] is asking $70 per square feet for some of their spaces," Feinerman said.
"I want them to succeed, I like them, but we need to get the building up to the proper values," he added. "The space was larger than what they need. Retail is a tough environment if you're not a national company."
Sales representative Marissa Toomey, 21, said that she's excited about moving into the new space, which is actually slightly larger than Personal Privilege's existing space because there is more storage in its basement.
The space at 1420 N. Milwaukee Ave. was formerly home to RGB Lounge, a collaborative arts space that closed in September.
Until the move, the boutique is featuring plenty of red and black outfits in advance of Valentine's Day. Jeans and clearance items are priced as low as $15 and select shoes are marked 75 percent off, too.