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Ace Hardware Building To Be Demolished For New Condo Development

Clark 5820 N_Elevation Marketing.psdAfter several years and two previous failed attempts, the old Ace Hardware building at 5820-5826 Clark St. has finally been sold. It’s been empty since the store closed in 2011. The first proposed sale would have brought a Whole Foods, which, when the sale fell through, fueled constant rumors over the next few years that the space would become the Trader Joes desperately wanted by many in the neighborhood. The second sale failed because a tenant was never found.

The space was bought by Candea Development, a company that specializes in high-end residential construction. According to the zoning application they submitted last month, they plan to knock down the current structure and build a 4-story mixed-use building that would include 19 condos and two2 retail spaces. Both the location and the plans are typical for their company.

Alan Candea, one of the two brothers who own the company, emphasizes the value of both indoor and outdoor space. He told EVB, “We really give a lot of thought to the floor plans, layouts and the size of the units, we try to provide functionality but also spaces that are customizable and architecturally interesting.” He added, “We also try to offer our buyers the type of outdoor living space they would get with a single family home or even bigger suburban homes.”

This purchase is so typical of Candea that this is their third property on Clark Street in a 1.5 mile stretch; they built the recently completed condos at 5434 N. Clark St. and are about to start construction on another mixed-use space at Clark and Lawrence. Their experience and success led an industry journal, BisNow, to predict that the required zoning changes will be “a breeze;” pointing out that Alan Candea lives in Andersonville and that most of the units at 5434 had already been pre-sold. Mr Candea said,”I grew up in the neighborhood so I obviously have a personal connection and long time investment in the area. I grew up with a vision for the neighborhood.”

These buildings provide a preview of what 5820 N. Clark might offer. Their condos are mainly 1,500 – 1,900 square feet and cost around $500,000. Units tend to have 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and include parking and outdoor spaces. Construction of the building is contingent on the zoning change – it is currently zoned as residential – but could be completed as early as next fall.

There is another popular rumor about the space besides those about Trader Joe’s: that it was the location of one of the original Ace Hardware stores. While it’s not clear if there was a connection with the store that closed in 2011, Richard Hesse owned a hardware store at 5830 N. Clark at the time he was creating Ace Hardware with other Chicago businessmen E. Gunnard Lindquist, Franke Burke, and Oscar Fisher. However after perusing the historical record it seems that Hesse’s store would have been knocked down to build the current structure at 5820-5826 N. Clark.


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