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The ever-evolving State Street

So far, 2012 has brought some remarkable changes to the Chicago Loop. From new retail stores to expanding schools, growth on State Street is evident. As the economy begins to improve, the spaces on State Street are filling up fast. Just ask our Pop-Up Art Loop program director, Tristan Hummel, who has noticed this changing landscape as he welcomes new tenants to once empty gallery spaces in the Loop. Though it's sad to see the temporary galleries go, he's “ecstatic that the Pop-Up program is fulfilling its mission to bring new people, in particular new investors, to the Loop.”

Which new additions are creating the most buzz in the Loop? The Walgreens at 151 N. State St. (State & Randolph) and Target at 1 S. State St. (State & Madison) are exciting residents and tourists alike. The two-story flagship Walgreens store offers everything from fresh sushi rolls, to manicures, to a selection of over 700 fine wines. Expect the unexpected at this massive Walgreens, because it's nothing like the Walgreens on your corner at home. Likewise, CityTarget boasts two stories of merchandise in the spectacular Carson Pirie Scott building, which has maintained its landmark architecture while blending seamlessly into a red and white shopping paradise. Purchase clothing, grab a quick bite at Pret A Manger, or stock up on groceries. CityTarget has it all. If you live in the Loop these two giants will quickly become your go-to stores, and if you’re just visiting then you know where to run to get that toothbrush you forgot! Burlington Coat Factory will also be joining the State Street family later this year, just in time for jacket season.

Other transformations on State Street have also been in the news recently. The John Marshall Law School expanded its Loop campus into the former Walgreens building at 304-308 S. State St. Likewise, Block 37 has recently been purchased by the Los Angeles-based firm, CIM Group, who aims to fill vacancies in the modern shopping complex. Rumors have circulated of a possible Blues center filling the building with everything from a music school to a museum. However, details regarding upcoming tenants inside Block 37 have yet to be released.

There is no doubt that State Street is growing, and will soon reclaim it's former moniker "State Street that Great Street." With grocery stores popping up and retailers staying open later, the popularity of the Loop neighborhood is on the rise. Expect apartments to lease quickly, vacancies to disappear, and the population to grow throughout the rest of 2012 and into the new year. For more information on visiting the Loop go to http://chicagoloopalliance.com/visitloop/.


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