New construction is expensive. It’s expensive to build. It’s expensive to lease. And it’s a magnet for expensive property tax assessments.
Forest Park seems to be learning that right now as Madison Commons, a signature success story in the renewal of Madison Street, is beginning to shed commercial tenants.
Now five years old, the mixed-use retail and condo building is cycling out of some of its first retail leases. And, so far, two shops have chosen to vacate the premises.
Run Chicago, a store featuring athletic shoes and gear, left Madison Commons a few months back. Happily, the store’s owners chose to relocate elsewhere on Madison. Today, we report that Byron’s Hot Dogs closed shop on Sunday and is not relocating.
Mike Payne, the business’s owner and an active participant on the street, expressed some frustration with Taxman Corp., the company that built and is leasing the complex. He felt Taxman didn’t cooperate sufficiently on negotiating a lower rent in difficult times.
We’re not going there.
That’s a private business deal and our point is not to criticize any person or firm in this editorial. We are simply making an observation. Madison Commons is one of the projects we’ve all pointed to over past years as a success on many levels. The village assembled the parcel. (Remember Brown’s Chicken and the Arc animal care facility?) The village found a solid developer in Taxman Corp./Focus Development. A range of good tenants was secured. (Remember the quivering when Forest Park got its Starbucks?) All good.
But there are economic realities with a brand-new building that make it structurally more expensive than most of the rest of the commercial stock on Madison Street. To go forward in a tough economy, provisions will need to be made.