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'Mystery Storefront' on Damen Sheds Construction Fence: Take a Peek In

By Alisa Hauser | June 19, 2015 5:49pm | Updated on June 22, 2015 9:24am
 The construction fence has been removed, exposing an empty but alluring space at 1704 N. Damen Ave.
Mystery Storefront Loses Its Cover
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WICKER PARK —  An aluminum and glass storefront that has been shrouded in mystery since November has shed a construction fence that obscured views inside, revealing an empty yet alluring ground-level entryway of clear glass.

"It looks like you can walk through it," a passerby was overheard saying late Thursday at 1704 N. Damen Ave., along a stretch of high-end boutiques and shops to which both Wicker Park and Bucktown lay claim.

A tree grate in front of the building, just north of Wabansia Ave., surrounds a newly planted Honey Locust. The protective metal appears to be spray painted a rusty orange.

An orange tree grate. (All photos by DNAinfo/Alisa Hauser)

A serviceberry tree, which can grow between 10 and 25 feet tall, was planted in the building's courtyard next to the front door, also in mid-May.

Perhaps from the torrential rains that came down on Monday, or from over watering by a human, several leaves on the young tree appeared to be dead on Friday.

Dead leaves on a newly planted serviceberry tree.

In the back of the store, facing an alley, there is a green garden with several small plants.

Months earlier, Paul Sajovec, a spokesman for Waguespack, said it is rare for a project to be so far along without anyone knowing what's moving into the building.

On Friday, Waguespack said he has not heard anything new about the project and does not know whom the tenant will be either.

Based on the zoning assigned to the project, which was issued a $2.3 million building permit in the fall, it will definitely be a retail tenant.

Since the building has been outfitted with fiber cables for high-speed Internet, and there are several electrical outlets inside, there has been speculating that it could be a high-tech store.

Don Glisovich, the building's owner and a prolific local real estate developer, has declined to discuss the tenant.

The new development replaces a one-story, 24-hour Clarke's Diner, which closed in 2013 and was demolished over the summer.

1704 N Damen Front Elevation

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