Shopping Center Business

MAY 2018

Shopping Center Business is the leading monthly business magazine for the retail real estate industry.

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FOOD HALLS 122 • SHOPPING CENTER BUSINESS • May 2018 time you come in can be a completely dif- ferent experience." THE HATCHERY Less of a food hall and more of a "food incubator" development, The Hatchery is under construction in Chicago's East Garfield Park. Wight & Co., based in Chicago, is designing and developing the 67,000-square-foot space to serve entre- preneurs in the food and beverage indus- try. The property, slated for completion by the end of this year, will be home to 56 private kitchens, co-working space and bulk storage so that locals can devel- op their businesses and receive culinary training. The public will have access to some uses such as food trucks. The $34 million project is the brain- child of Accion Chicago and the Indus- trial Council of Nearwest Chicago, two nonprofit organizations that work to en- courage investment and economic devel- opment within Chicago neighborhoods. Accion is even moving its headquarters to the site so that the organization can pro- vide direct access to small business loans and support programs for The Hatchery's tenants. IFF Chicago, a mission-based lender, is serving as the project's devel- opment partner. The goal of the development, accord- ing to Matt Zolecki, project manager with Wight, is to provide a space that has both the infrastructure and business strat- egy to help entrepreneurs move forward with their businesses. The Hatchery is for "like-minded people working toward the same goal," he says. Wight repurposed an existing 10,000-square-foot building for a loading dock and storage space. The other 57,000 square feet is new construction. The proj- ect is slated to open by the end of this year. In addition to the large number of pri- vate kitchens, Wight designed a shared kitchen space and a multipurpose seminar room. The design strategy, what Zolecki calls a "village effect," gives the impression of different buildings within one building. Flexibility in the design is crucial be- cause the project is somewhat unprece- dented in terms of type and model, says Zolecki. The kitchen spaces, ranging from 250 to 400 square feet, are designed to be scalable so that they can accommodate various user needs. The Hatchery is a prime example of a community effort to bring something beneficial to an underutilized site. Kel- logg and Conagra provided additional funding, and the City of Chicago sold the project site to the developers for just $1. The local school across the street has even held an art contest to display students' art- work on banners at the project site. Projects like The Hatchery demonstrate the power that food developments have in transforming older real estate, revitalizing a community and jump-starting careers. As Flora of Cushman & Wakefield says, "Creating a marketplace that promotes the growth of small businesses and use of locally sourced ingredients produces loyalty in the community and encourages repeat customers." SCB We're not one to drop names, but

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