What's Up With This Building?

Hi, I'm Kate. I'm Al's girlfriend, and I'll be an occasional contributor here. I have a personal blog and a book blog that take up most of my time, but hey, who doesn't need another blog?

Self-promotion out of the way, I'm wondering if anyone knows the scoop on this building, at the northwest corner of Sheridan and Pratt:

When I moved here in 2005, all of the retail spaces you see along the bottom there were occupied: a hardware/convenience store, a hair salon, a storefront church, a taqueria, a video store, and a liquor/grocery(ish) store. Now, only the last two remain, and nothing's gone in to replace the others. (How the video store stays in business when the others haven't totally baffles me.)

I'm assuming the building's owner must be deliberately refusing to renew leases or sign new ones. It's not exactly prime real estate, but similar small businesses on Sheridan right around there seem to be doing fine--I'm sure those spaces could move if they were on the market. Anybody know why they're not? My best guess is, the owner wants to sell the building off to condo developers--but some of those storefronts have sat empty for over a year now. It doesn't make sense.

Al and I fantasize about all the things that could go in those spaces: jazz club, yoga studio, dog groomer, pub... Hell, I'd be psyched for another taqueria and beauty shop, and maybe a liquor store that's not quite as grotty as the existing one. But as it is, there's practically nothing on that side of that block, and there hasn't been in ages. What's up with that?

(Written by Kate Harding.)

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