WICKER PARK — Construction on a new building along a stretch of Damen Avenue that has drawn such major brands as Nike and Fjallraven is well underway, though there is mystery surrounding who will be moving into the storefront.
"They have set out to have it be a secret, and whatever they have done to create intrigue, they have been successful," said Paul Sajovec, a spokesman for Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd).
The renderings for a new three-story building at 1704 N. Damen Ave. by architect Elissa Frances Scarfano show a masonry and glass storefront behind an aluminum screen, with a courtyard in the entrance.
A permit for a $2.3 million construction project was issued by the city in November.
Zoning attorney Andrew Scott did not return calls, nor did Don Glisovich, the building's owner and a prolific local real estate developer.
The new development would replace a one-story, 24-hour Clarke's Diner, which closed in 2013 and was demolished over the summer.
Sajovec said it is rare for a project to be so far along without anyone knowing what's move into the building, though based on the zoning assigned to the project, it will definitely be a retail tenant. Because the business will not require a special-use permit, businesses like salons and tattoo parlors have been ruled out.
Sajovec said that Glisovich is not required to disclose his tenant to the city and then joked that "as long as it's not another shoe store, I think people would be cool with it."
For more neighborhood news, listen to DNAinfo Radio here: