After years of intense jockeying among City Hall, developers and the Shiner’s fraternal organization, a deal for the redevelopment of the Medinah Temple on Chicago’s Near-North side has been brokered. As part of the $63.5 million redevelopment project, Bloomingdale’s department store has agreed to locate its first stand-alone furniture store, Bloomingdale’s Home Store, at the site.

“The Medinah Temple site is unique because of the vintage nature of the building,” says Jack Hrufka, SVP store design at Bloomingdale’s. “That adds value for us.”

The Shiners organization, which has long owned the building, wanted to sell Medinah to a high-rise developer in order to maximize its returns on the sale. The redevelopment deal engineered by Mayor Richard Daley, who insisted Medinah Temple not be torn down, gives the Shiner’s a rich $21 million price tag for their property.

Hrufka says that preserving the character of the Medinah Temple, including restoration of the building’s long lost onion domes, is part of Bloomingdale’s strategy. “Because of the strong urban setting, we really want to preserve the building’s uniqueness,” he said. “The Medinah Temple store will not be like our other locations, which will be done more to a standard design. This uniqueness is very good for us in the urban setting.”

The 130,000 sf Chicago store is set to open in the Spring of 2002, while Bloomingdale’s Las Vegas Home Store will open in the Fall of the same year. Hrufka said other Home Store sites are in negotiation throughout the country, but declined to name where.

The developer for the project is Albert Freidman’s Historic Preservation Associates. Partners with Freidman in the Medinah deal include cosmetics mogul Marilyn Miglin and money manager Richard Driehaus.

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