Tucker Development secured a trio of leases at 900 West, the developer’s mixed-use development comprising 10 repurposed historic buildings in the Fulton Market District of Chicago’s West Loop. The first two leases will bring new food options to the area: Kinton Ramen as well as fast-growing artisan ice cream maker Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams. In addition, upscale menswear boutique Independence will relocate from its current Gold Coast location. All three businesses plan to open their new locations in 2019.
“Our ability to attract local, national and even international brands is a testament to the continued dynamism of Fulton Market and desirability of buildings like 900 West whose designs celebrate and remember the past while embracing the future,” said Aaron Tucker, CIO of Tucker Development.
Founded in 2012 by chef Aki Urata, Kinton Ramen was the first authentic Japanese ramen bar to open in Toronto and, today, boasts over 30 restaurants in Toronto, Montreal, Tokyo and Seoul, South Korea. The 900 West location will be one of the chain’s first in the U.S.
“Our design team, led by renowned designer Bennet Lo, has created a truly unique signature environment, with an open kitchen where our culinary offering, created by our celebrated executed chef Aki Urata, is on display,” said John Tirch, vice president of Kinton Ramen. “We’ve chosen Chicago as the landing spot for our aggressive U.S. expansion plan and look forward to sharing our unique brand with Chicago and the world.”
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams was founded in 2002 by Jeni Britton Bauer, a James Beard Award winner and pioneer of the artisan ice cream movement. Since the opening of its first store in Columbus, Ohio, the artisan ice cream maker has grown to 34 locations across the U.S. The show currently building out at 900 West will be the brand’s sixth in the Chicago market.
“Jeni’s has become the standard by which all other ice creams are judged,” said Britton Bauer. “Our new location at 900 West expands our network of physical storefronts that, together, complement our strategic partnerships with leading retailers including Whole Foods, Mariano’s and local independent markets.”
Independence, owned by George Vlagos, who also founded Oak Street Bootmakers, sells popular American-made menswear brands and, in 2018, was named “One of the 50 Best Menswear Shops in America” by Gear Patrol magazine. The boutique will relocate from its current Gold Coast location at 47 E. Oak Street to a new storefront at 900 West, adjacent to luxury beauty retailer Bluemercury.
“Since 2012, Independence has been providing Chicago with some of the best and hardest-to-find menswear brands, including Oak Street Bootmakers, Engineered Garments, orSlow and Kapital—all thoughtfully curated with the Chicago customer in mind,” said Vlagos. “Our knowledgeable and friendly staff is always eager to share the story of each individual piece.”
Completed in 2017, 900 West showcases the adaptive reuse of 10 renovated historic buildings in the 900 block of West Randolph Street, with frontage on Randolph, Sangamon and Lake Streets. Together, the buildings offer more than 45,000 square feet of retail space at street level and more than 45,000 square feet of office space on the upper floors, all of which is leased by co-working provider Spaces and private equity firm Parker Gale. Current retail brands at 900 West include lululemon, Bluemercury and Bonci Pizzeria.
The Fulton Market District continues to evolve from its roots as a historic meatpacking and produce district to a bustling mixed-use neighborhood with award-winning restaurants, upscale retail and hospitality offerings, and leading corporate employers including Google and McDonald’s. Several nearby residential projects are also in development.
900 West offers walkability and a convenient location near major expressways and public transportation, with adjacency to the CTA’s Morgan Station. The development is also close to several CTA bus routes.