did a post about the area of 63rd/Halsted complete with the above collage of photos asking what you would like to see happen here. Many of us probably never expected it but by 2016 Whole Foods Market will set up shop at the vacant corner you see in the bottom left corner. This post would explore what I would like to see there of course this will always be a discussion and it's important to know what YOU would like to see there.
The future store is expected to be 180,000 square feet and the anchor of a complex consisting of 13 acres with room for more retail. What other shops could be utilizing this future shopping center having a high-end grocer as their neighbors?
A friend of mine heard about Whole Foods coming and started speculating on what else could draw people to this area. He was the first to think a movie theater, perhaps a major chain might want to follow suit on this corner with a 10 screen cinema. In this vein I could envision a development such as the River East Center that contains condos, a bank branch, restaurants, hotel, Walgreen's in addition to an AMC Theater and Lucky Strike bowling alley.
While it's not likely anything as large as a River East Center would be built here I'm sure some type of multi-use development with space for entertainment and retail could work in this general vicinity. Let me emphasize that if there was ever an idea or a goal in mind it's to in some ways bring back that intersection as a major commercial area as it was up until the 1960s at least.
On this blog, we have shown various photos of how it looked in the past especially in this post back in 2010 which also contained some history of Englewood. The area centered at 63rd/Halsted was considered one of Chicago's bright light districts. In fact this map I saved from an archived copy of the defunct website Jazz Age Chicago shows what used to be in this area earlier as of 1926.
While the dreaded G word has come up in light of this news we can certainly be sure of one thing, the Whole Foods coming in about 3 years could only be the start of greater commercial activity. What else would you like to see here at 63rd/Halsted?