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CTA Still Seeking Retailers For North Side Stations, Granville Spot Snagged

By Benjamin Woodard | August 19, 2014 6:49am
 The CTA is negotiating with prospective tenants for several of the empty storefronts, a spokeswoman said.
The CTA is negotiating with prospective tenants for several of the empty storefronts, a spokeswoman said.
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DNAinfo/Benjamin Woodard

EDGEWATER — New tenants are on the way to two Far North Side "L" stations, a Chicago Transit Authority spokeswoman said.

The CTA is reviewing bids for leases at three of the vacant CTA retail spaces at Morse and Granville stations that were renovated in 2012, CTA spokeswoman Catherine Hosinski said.

But five Far North Side spaces, at Morse and Loyola stations, were still out to bid, she said. Jones Lang LaSalle, the firm that manages the retail locations, extended last week the bid deadline for spaces at 1400-02 W. Morse Ave. and 1200-08 W. Loyola Ave.

Ben Woodard explains why some people may be hesitant to rent the CTA spaces:

The CTA began looking for tenants in January 2013.

At Granville, 48th Ward staff member Sara Dinges said to expect "a really exciting announcement" in the fall for the storefront retail spaces on the north side of the street.

Dinges declined to identify the type of tenant that's interested, citing ongoing negotiations.

Filling up the empty locations is the final step in an $86 million project to rehabilitate six Red Line stations on the North Side.

But Ald. Joe Moore said in an email that potential tenants had been "scared away because of the proposed rents and build-out costs."

Most of the spaces are blank slates, with white walls and only rudimentary utility hookups.

Moore said the CTA had been willing to negotiate on both the terms of a build-out of the spaces and rent.

Dinges also said tenants had been wary to bid on spaces at Argyle and Berwyn stations because of the recently announced complete reconstruction of those stations.

Meanwhile, Dinges said, the ward is looking for temporary uses for the retail spaces, like the art displayed on Granville Avenue.

"We’re really open to creative, community uses," she said.

Hosinski said 83 percent of the CTA's retail locations are occupied, for a total of 76 spaces, including eight leases approved last week.

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