LOGAN SQUARE — A building that has been home to Margie's Candies since 1921 is expected to be sold, but the iconic ice cream parlor is staying put, according to a real estate developer who has what he's marketing as "The Mil-West" building under contract for an undisclosed amount.
"Margie's Candies is a neighborhood staple; they are included in our renovation plans. We recognize their importance and value to the community and want them to remain part of the project," said Adam Radcliffe, owner of Outpost Development LLC.
On Monday, Radcliffe said his firm, Outpost Development, is teaming up with Baum Revision, a group led by David Baum, Scott Goldman and Mark Waligora to buy the 29,000-square-foot triangular building at 1965 N. Milwaukee Ave., by the end of the year.
Radcliffe said the plan was to redevelop the mostly empty building by bringing in tenants who will create "transformative change," such as a Downtown co-working space that has shown interest in expanding and renting out the entire second floor.
"This intersection isn't as vibrant as it could be," said Radcliffe, who lives three blocks away from Margie's. "There are 50 apartments [under construction] across the street. We think this intersection deserves to be reactivated. We are trying to transform this amazing building back into something that can improve upon the fabric of the neighborhood."
Margie's Candies is the only tenant in the massive structure, occupying just a sliver of the building's first floor. The building was built for First Securities Bank, later acquired by Cole Taylor Bank.
Built in 1916, the two-story limestone building bounded by Milwaukee, Armitage and Western avenues is "kind of an island but bounded by three of the most important streets in the area," Radcliffe said.
"It's technically Logan Square but literally at the confluence of where Bucktown, Logan Square, Wicker Park and Humboldt Park meet," Radcliffe said.
The building's owners are a private group of seven individuals and/or trusts who essentially have MB Financial as their tenant by way of a 100-year-lease that dates to 1933, Radcliffe said.
Peter Poulos, the third-generation owner of Margie's Candies, owns several buildings in the area but does does not own the spot where his parlor is located, according to county records.
Poulos said that Margie's Candies initially was called First Securities Candies when it started in 1921 and the name was changed in 1933 when his father, George Poulos, became the shop's sole owner and named it for his wife, Margie.
When asked about the impending plan to buy the building, Poulos said he welcomes the potential improvements from new landlords.
"I am supportive of the plan; it's better for the community. More jobs, more people working," Poulos said.
Radcliffe, who has just started to market the project to potential tenants in partnership with Baum Revision, said interest has been "really strong" due to the building's location, one half block north of the CTA Western Blue Line station.
"We want to have an open dialogue with the community and the neighborhood and make sure that any local retailers and restaurants are aware of this. We want the strong local and regional operators who have a cult following. Milwaukee Avenue is a great location; it's the hottest corridor in Chicago right now," Radcliffe said.
Working with OKW Architects, the same firm behind Eataly and New City, Radcliffe has created a preliminary site plan that can be modified for a single tenant or for up to six retailers to join Margie's Candie's.
Radcliffe said there is an approximately 600-square-foot safe deposit vault in the bank that can remain if a tenant wants to incorporate the antique structures into its design, similar to The Bedford, a Division Street restaurant that operates in the basement of a former bank.
In addition to the Margie's Candies building, Radcliffe said he is also buying an empty lot across the street at 1966 N. Milwaukee Ave., as part of the deal. That lot will be used for parking.
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