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Chicago TIF Zone Information

  • Logan Square / Avondale: [1]
  • Other locations: [2]

New Location Requirements

Space Requirements

  • 5000 ft2 - 10000 ft2 or 460 m2 to 930 m2
  • move in date on or after September 15th
  • Light industrial or C1 zoning rating
  • We will probably need about 1 month to move into the new space and we need at least a Six month agreement from April 15th, the earliest we could get out is October 15


  • adequate plumbing--we need a bathroom that doesn't smell
  • Decent heating/control of our own heating
  • Good power - we only have 2x110V breakers we need more and also access to at least 220V and 220V 3-phase
  • access to water in the space


  • shower
  • natural light
  • High Ceilings > 16'
  • a real kitchen - room to move around in
  • Ventilation
  • Garage Door
  • Secure Entrances


  • very close to a 24 hour bus stop/el stop
  • reasonable parking of some sort
  • Decent neighborhood - check
  • Food near by that is of high quality, affordable, and open 24/7
  • nearby grocery store

Other Resources

  • Storage - room for lockers and materials
  • ability to modify/improve the structure to test out green tech (thus lowering our heating bills) and to get a discount on rent for it.

Prospective Neighborhoods

  • Avondale - same neighborhood as currently - shawn
  • Uki-Village - jim
  • Bucktown/wickerpark - jim
  • Bridgeport - ryan
  • West Loop - anne
  • UIC - anne
  • Logan Square - eli/shawn
  • Pilsen - john/anne

Report should contain

  • generating reports on each neighborhood - due January 31
    • crime rate
    • potential partners
    • Alderman
      • history with local organizations
    • public transport
      • 24/7 availability and bus tracker
    • Parking availability
    • food
    • home despot/big box stores
    • businesses
    • local organizations
    • how industrial is the area
    • local schools

Prospective buildings




Sample 1
  • Links to images/exact
  • address:
  • square footage:
  • ammenities
  • cost




West Loop



Budget Projections

Currently we have 37 full members and 5 members at the starving hackers rate, which puts out monthly income at $1800/mo.

Building Search Strategies

Prioritize personal contacts, but explore other options at lower priority.

personal contacts

John Stoner

  • Dan Simborg: Transamoeba/Catalyst collective (Burning Man community groups)
  • John Podmajersky: major property owner in Pilsen
  • Michael Burton: Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation
  • Payton Chung: works at Congress for New Urbanism
  • Center for Neighborhood Technology

Shawn Blaszak

  • Mark Norton: broker at Grubb & Ellis commercial real estate in Boston (my cousin)
  • Jim Higdon: VP at Grubb & Ellis commercial real estate in Chicago.

Avner Shanan

  • Gary Sigman: on the board of the Edgewater Development Corporation (my boss)

Other options:

Real Estate Agents

  • Steve Krzysiak is a licensed realtor with SourceOne Realty willing to represent and help PSO in anyway needed when acquiring a space, and will contribute his commission-taxes as a donation to PSO.


Probably not a good idea to take seriously until we come close to move-out date. However, it is a good way to get a feel on what the rental market is like and what we can realistically expect.

Your Alderman

They know what's going on in their wards. They want nonprofits like us.

Your eyes and ears

As you travel around the city, keep an eye out for properties for rent or sale, and promising neighborhoods.

Other Thoughts

What do you think the relation between members and available space is? I estimate that we will experience greater than linear growth for a linear increase in space.

To clarify, I feel that the difference in member capacity between a space that is 3000 sq. ft. and one that is 4500 sq. ft. is more than 50% of the first space.

Candidate Locations


  • contact info:
  • size:
  • other information:
  • PS1 person investigating candidate:

address: 2150 S Canalport (Lacuna)

report for John's visit on 12/18/09

  • contact info: Natalie Stubbs 773 552 2355
  • size: Various (saw one 3000 square foot space, another 5000 square foot space, in an 80,000 square foot building)
  • price: $1.25-1.75/sq ft as of 12/18/09
  • other information:
    • loft spaces
    • 3000 foot space finished on 4th floor, 5000 square foot on 5th not
    • $1.25 for 5th floor space without natural light, $1.75 with
    • nice view of city
    • space for large rooftop deck--not built as of this visit
    • small kitchen/bath on 4th floor
    • large elevator
    • They want to sell quickly. They are on a shorter timeline than us. Would not be a surprise if they had difficulty filling the building. Time is on our side with this candidate. Bears watching.
    • from the email where we found this:
Short or long-term lease
All utilities included (HVAC, A/C, Electric, Water Usage)
Abundant on-site parking
Secured entry / In-house management
Large freight elevators
Exposed brick walls
Original timber wood style beams and wood floors
Updated lighting & electrical
Free WI-FI access
A sunny roof-top deck with northern panoramic views of the Chicago's famous skyline,
In-house gallery hosted by Byron Brazier, Jr of THE HEIR GALLERY.
In addition to its impressive size, LACUNA offers studios ranging from 250 to 1000+ sqft and can be modified to specific needs.
  • PS1 person investigating candidate: John Stoner

Space comparison table

2603 W. Barry (bigger portion) 2609 W. Barry 800 W. Huron 3354 N. Elston 1157 W. Grand 470 N. Milwaukee 4317 W. Irving Park
Photos Uhh?
Size 7380 5120 2700 ~2456 (expanded) 3900 2580 3400
$/Mo 3690 2500 2700 2050 2500 2580 2500
$/SqFt/Yr 5 5 12 10.04 7.69 12 8.82
Utilities Gas: 500-1200 Elec: 300-400 separate $562.50 Included in Rent separate separate separate
Kitchen Hook ups maybe, kitchen on shared wall in next unit. ~100sqft exclusive kitchenette Partial kitchen (sink & fridge) No No No
Server Room No No Yes No No No No
Garage Yes Yes No Yes (shared) 3 OF 'EM! (one's even an airlock) Yes Yes
First floor Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes
AC No No Yes No No Yes Window possible
Heat Yes Yes Yes Yes, but only in the room next to the garage Yes Yes Yes
Ventilation Possible Possible Yes Possible Yes Yes Yes
Parking Ample street, bikes in garage Ample street, bikes in garage 2 for rent, free parking nearby Ample street, bikes in garage Street Some street, mostly metered Ample street, no meters or numbered parking, bikes in garage
Transit Blue line, Belmont bus Blue line, Belmont bus Blue line, Chicago bus, Halsted bus, Brown line Blue line, Belmont bus Grand Bus right in front, Blue line few blocks off Grand Blue line on the same block Irving Park Blue Line 0.3 miles down the street
Outdoor Space  ?  ?  ? Garage accessible back alley Garage(s) accessible back alley Available but in plain view Garage accessible back alley
Taken No No No No Yes No No