The four-tenant shopping center at 2111 Packard is looking at big changes. Over the decades, the site has been home to Century House, a small department store; Hollywood Video, a downright large video rental store; Jack’s Hardware, which continues to serve campus a few blocks north; and a few different pizza shops, as well as a Dom Bakeries location. For the past decade it has hosted an eclectic retail mix, including an industrial supply store, a restaurant, and two education centers.
Mi Compadre Mexican Restaurant was first to close. In February, an employee suggested that the family-owned restaurant’s taco truck, “Godfather,” might roll again in the future, and a handwritten postscript at the bottom of the farewell note encourages customers to follow them on Facebook.
The site is currently under contract to be purchased by Jackson Dearborn Partners, and the new owners-to-be are sharing a vision of a mixed-use residential development with apartments upstairs and retail spaces at ground level. This might sound similar to The George, a few blocks down Packard, which opened in 2018 on the site of the former Georgetown Mall shopping center. Ryan Tobias, of Jackson Dearborn, differentiates his group’s project through architecture, promising the finished structure will be smaller (seventy-two apartments vs. 247 in The George) and more traditional in design. One of the concept drawings shows an angled, Flatiron-ish northwest corner that leverages the diagonal shape of the lot.
BgreenToday, on the west side of the building, emphasizes sustainability and environmental consciousness in their inventory of construction and home-improvement materials, as well as food-service supplies. BgreenToday arrived in 2010, coming from a smaller site in Colonial Plaza on South Industrial, to fill Hollywood Video’s former streetside space. Daniel Stephens, owner of BGreenToday, says multiple years remain on his lease and he recently made upgrades to the showroom, including a new model kitchen. All but one of Bgreen’s employees live within walking distance of the store. “There’s not much going on right now,” Stephens says, “so calm down.”
Jackson Dearborn hosted an informational meeting for neighbors and community members in January. A second meeting scheduled for mid-March was postponed as COVID-19 began to spread in the Midwest; as the Observer went to press, the company was planning to reschedule and conduct the meeting online.