Englewood Construction has been awarded two cannabis dispensaries in the Chicago area for Chicago-based Windy City Cannabis. Additionally, the commercial contractor has recently finished two Rise-branded medicinal/recreational cannabis dispensaries for Chicago-based Green Thumb Industries (GTI) in Ohio and Pennsylvania.
“The ongoing pandemic has definitely caused construction activity in some commercial real estate sectors to fall off, but the cannabis space continues to be a bright spot for us with a strong pipeline of work,” said Bill Di Santo, president of Lemont, Illinois-based Englewood Construction. “These recent completions just go to show that despite current economic uncertainties, cannabis is a burgeoning industry as more states legalize both medicinal and recreational use. As a result, cannabis firms are mobilizing to create new facilities and increase their footprints to meet demand.”
In Chicago, Englewood Construction completed a new Windy City Cannabis dispensary at 923 W. Weed Street, which opened in July as the second recreational dispensary within Chicago’s city limits since Illinois legalized recreational marijuana Jan. 1. Des Plaines, Illinois-based Camburas & Theodore, Ltd., was the architect for the new space, located in an existing commercial building.
“Timing is always critical for a dispensary project, since licensing is often contingent on hitting certain deadlines, and for this project we were up against the added challenge of not only building out the space on a short timeline, but also doing so during a pandemic,” said Di Santo. “Since Chicago is our home market, we were able to leverage our relationships with subcontractors and vendors to make sure the entire process went as smoothly as possible.”
The Englewood team has started work on a second Windy City Cannabis location at 1413 W. North Avenue in Melrose Park, a western suburb of Chicago. Slated to open in September, the dispensary is located in an existing stand-alone retail store. Camburas & Theodore, Ltd. was also the architect for this project.
“We are seeing cannabis firms benefit from the variety of vacant retail spaces available that lend themselves to being retrofitted as dispensary locations, from mattress stores to bank branches to former restaurants,” said Di Santo. “This project was an example of the type of ‘blank canvas’ that works in incorporating some of the specific requirements for a dispensary, from security and storage considerations to the layout of spaces for serving customers.”
In Lakewood, Ohio, Englewood built out a Rise-branded medical dispensary at 18607 Detroit Avenue, which opened in late Q4 2019. The ground-up project was the second dispensary the Englewood team has built for GTI in Lakewood. The Arlington Heights, Illinois office of GreenbergFarrow was the architect.
“This was a unique situation where GTI brought us in on the project in an advisory role after another general contractor fell behind on the schedule, putting the project in jeopardy of missing regulatory deadlines,” said Di Santo. “Since we already had great relationships with local subcontractors and the Lakewood building department, and were already familiar with the Rise concept from our previous work with GTI, there was virtually no learning curve for us to come in and get the project back on track.”