BUCKTOWN — Welcome to Bucktown, where gas stations are becoming luxury condos, manufacturing facilities are morphing into preschools and a long-vacant oil change shop is set to become a "yoga garage."
The building was purchased by real estate developer Bill Senne in September, rezoned in December and has undergone "a complete interior renovation," according to Senne's zoning attorney, Sara Barnes.
Belinda Carucci, owner of Chicago Teacher Store at 1855 N. Milwaukee Ave. said that the building's been "vacant for years" and was a "short-lived Jiffy Lube."
A customer service representative in Jiffy Lube's corporate headquarters said the garage closed in 2003 but was unable to confirm when it opened.
"As a business owner, you want more businesses on the block, you don't want empty spaces. It's been a hard stretch to fill [1800 block of] Milwaukee Avenue, so we're all really excited," Carucci said.
The yoga business is less than one block north of an entry park to the Bloomingdale Trail, which is also gearing up for a July opening.
Carucci believes the trail will be good for shops like hers in the stretch of Milwaukee Avenue just north of the 2.7-mile project — Chicago's first elevated, multiuse linear park, which runs through the Logan Square, Humboldt Park, Bucktown and Wicker Park neighborhoods.
As for Senne, the Zen Yoga Garage represents a passion as well as a business investment.
Senne, owner of Property Consultants at 2200 N. Damen Ave. in Bucktown, "got into yoga several years ago," Barnes said.
"He decided to balance out his life and wanted to own a studio as well," Barnes said.
According to Barnes, Senne practiced yoga at CorePower and has recruited a former manager from there to teach classes at Zen Yoga Garage, which plans to open in July.
Senne was unable to be reached for comment. However, Joe Rucci, an electrical contractor from Rucci & Sons said Monday that from what he understands, the yoga offered at the studio will be "very hot, up to 140 degrees."