Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Fill This Front: Southside Cleaners & Shirt Laundry

1342 Lombard Street

                Ok, so I'm a little late on this one because there is some activity in motion for this storefront after nearly 8 years empty. Nonetheless, I shall still tell you all about it. This storefront has only ever had one occupant-- Southside Cleaners & Shirt Laundry. The reason for this, of course, is because despite how it looks, this building is only 29 years old! It was built in 1986!
               Its origins, however, go back to the end of 1981. Back then, some young bull named Bart Blatstein had acquired an empty lot/former car dealership that covered the entire corner of Broad and Lombard. The next year, he built the shitty drive-up retail building that now takes the corner, still standing today with a combined Smokers Express and Subway Restaurant-- something that belongs in a rest stop off the highway in the middle of nowhere, not at Broad and Lombard.
              Having had split the lot into two lots, Bart commissioned local architect Jerry K. Roller (nowadays JKR Partners) in 1985 to design a small retail/office building on the 20' x 52' lot behind his new place that would face out to Lombard Street. By 1986, it was done and Southside Cleaners & Shirt Laundry had arrived, staying in business for 21 straight years.

As seen in 2007 via the Google Streetview Time Machine.
                   The building was up for sale by 2009 and sat empty for years. This last September, the owners of the building got approved for a third floor addition that would add two apartments to the structure under the designs of local architect Yao Huang (aka YCH Architect). This must have become a big selling point for the place because it sold exactly one month later for $390k to the folks who own BJ Hardwood Flooring. This only leads me to assume that they are planning to open an outpost of their store in this location, but what the hell do I know? Maybe the owner is just graduated from the Restaurant School and will try his hand at a vegan spelt flour waffle cupcake restaurant.
                 A construction permit for the addition went in on January 22nd and judging from the pile of trash bags out front, the place is getting gutted now. Good! So how about this-- take the goddamn "Available" sign down! I'm excited to see yet another long empty storefront not only get filled, but completely upgraded. However, I'll be even more excited when its done and the new occupant comes along to FILL THIS FRONT!

The proposed addition by YCH

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