Could La Majada sale breathe new life onto Harrison St.?

Developers keeping their options open with future use

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By Timothy Inklebarger

Staff Reporter

The Oak Park Arts District on Harrison Street is getting a new tenant or possibly multiple tenants, following the purchase by local developers of the shuttered La Majada restaurant.

The restaurant closed in April 2014 and has remained vacant since. Adam Friedberg, a principle of Oak Park-based Brand & Co., said he and business partners Mike Streit and John Schiess purchased the property at 226 Harrison St., which was in foreclosure, last Friday.

"We've had five or six calls already [from interested tenants]," Friedberg said. "It's a good sign there are interested people."

Friedberg said it still is uncertain what the developers will do with the 6,000-square-foot property. He acknowledged that renting it to another restaurant, subdividing it into separate storefronts or demolishing the building are all possibilities.

He said there are "obviously a lot of high-quality vacancies in that market" and when asked if Brand & Co. had plans for more purchases in the area, he said, "It's a great market" and that "we're opportunistic buyers."

"We just bought the River Forest Kitchen property at 349 Ashland Ave.," he said. "We're active and we're well capitalized."

Friedberg said he was particularly interested in the property because of commuter traffic in the area and its close proximity to the nearby Blue Line el stop.

Laura Maychruk, a local real estate agent and owner of Buzz Café in the arts district, said the developers met with the Oak Park Arts District Business Association about a month ago and laid out their plan for redeveloping the building. 

"They're awesome; they did their homework," she said.

Maychruk said she would like to see another restaurant occupy the building, but added, "My hope is that it just gets rented. Period."

"I think they're going to wait and see what the tenants' request, depending on who comes forward," she said.

Contact: tim@oakpark.com

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Suzanne Vestuto from Oak Park  

Posted: July 21st, 2015 6:00 PM

The best for future development & investment in a great neighborhood!!! Lived there for 24 years & I would still be there, had more condos been available, when I was finally able to buy. Keep on with the friendly, community spirit!!!

Gail Mran from Oak Park  

Posted: July 21st, 2015 4:37 PM

Yea! Perfect location for first floor retail and a parking deck!!

Elizabeth Titus Rexford from Oak Park  

Posted: July 21st, 2015 3:50 PM

Before the properties at Lombard and Harrison fell down, we heard there was going to be an "upscale Chinese restaurant" there. It would be great if they would re-locate in the La Majada space.

Jeff Schroeder from Oak Park  

Posted: July 21st, 2015 3:43 PM

Well, at least their last names do not start with a K. That is great news for Harrison Street!

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