Summer Brings New Life to Chicago Retail
Jun28

Summer Brings New Life to Chicago Retail

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything good about Oak Street (or, indeed anything at all), so it is with much delight that I recap some of the recent events that have been happening in the neighborhood. The big news is, of course, the opening of the new Hermès store.  After seeing a raft of other boutiques set sail for other shores, it’s great that this has finally come to fruition.  The old Barneys New York...

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Pix: Block37 LED Displays

Earlier this year we mentioned the new LED displays now adorning the atrium of Block37 (1 West Randolph Street), and posted a few pictures and a video.  Now we’ve been sent a press release from the company that engineered the displays, along with some much better pictures than we had: Block 37 and Daktronics Video Displays Unite for Powerful Visual Advertising Impact New LED Video Screens Position Block 37 as Chicago’s...

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More Acorns Fall From Oak Street

It’s been a painful couple of years documenting the long series of closures that have turned Chicago’s Oak Street into a shadow of its former self.  The economic crisis has hurt boutiques along the street, and the hit keep on coming. The latest bit of bad news — Crain’s Chicago Business notes this week that Liz Claiborne is trying to sublease it’s Lucky Jeans space at 47 East Oak Street.  Liz has been...

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Chicago’s Newest Empty Mall

It wasn’t that long ago that Chicago Place decided it couldn’t make a go of it as an urban mall and decided to reinvent itself. Since then, the city’s retail landscape hasn’t gotten any better. In fact, there are dozens and dozens of premier retail locations at the heart of the city from Oak Street to the Michigan Avenue corridor to State Street and beyond that are sitting vacant. So while much has been made of...

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Quickie: New Stores For North Bridge and Wabash

While in the Shops at North Bridge (520 North Michigan Avenue) today I noticed two stores being built out. First, is the Art of Shaving store, which we mentioned was coming on this blog back in the fall.  It looks like it’s finally coming to fruition, and if it’s anything like the one I visited in San Francisco, it will be quite nice. The other is on the second floor, and called “Teavana” — some kind of...

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The Gold Coast’s New Marc Jabobs Store Looks Ready To Go

It looks like things have really come together at the new Marc Jacobs store. The boutique inside the Elysian Chicago Hotel (11 East Walton Street) has finally shed its cloak and you can clearly see the shelves stocked and the windows being decorated with stuffed animals. We haven’t heard what the official opening date is, but it looks like it could be pretty...

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Would The Last Boutique on Oak Street Please Turn Off The Lights?

Another Oak Street boutique is taking advantage of the crummy economy to re-tool. The Yves Saint Laurent store at 51 East Oak Street closed last Friday (January 23, 2010).  Word is that the interior is being completely renovated.  The new design is based on plans from Paris and is intended to upgrade the Chicago location to flagship status. When will that be?  At this time it’s anyone’s guess.  Estimates are running two to...

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The Malling of Michigan Avenue

For the last few years I’ve heard occasional complaints about the “mallification” of Michigan Avenue. Glamorized in their own minds as the “Boul Mich” by people not old enough to have experienced its more genteel incarnation, Michigan Avenue was once lined with low-rise residential blocks and boutiques.  That started to change in the 1960’s as property values rose and construction technology...

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Status Update: 930 North Rush

It’s hard to tell from this CrappyCameraPhone™ picture, but there’s a welder working on the steel beams that form the third floor of the new 930 North Rush Street.  The former Gino’s East location, shut down by the city’s health department years ago, is finally being replaced by something. It’s supposed to be upscale retail, of the sort that has fled the mallification of Michigan Avenue for the side...

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First Farmers’ Market of 2009

It’s farmers market season in Chicago once again.  It’s your best chance to sink your teeth into the freshest food possible without leaving the city. Today was the first one — at Federal Plaza in the Loop.  The next one is Thursday at Daley Plaza, but they become more frequent and widespread as the season progresses. Because the schedule can be somewhat haphazard (I’m looking at you, Museum of Science and...

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