Klee Building gets martial arts center


More than 90 percent of the commercial space in the triangular-shaped Klee Plaza building at Milwaukee and Cicero Avenues is now leased following last week’s announcement that Villari Family Center is moving into the plaza.

The 4,250-square-foot center, which will include a martial arts studio, will be the largest tenant in the building, which includes about 19,500 square feet of retail space on the ground level and 64 condominiums on the upper four floors, said Klee developer Marc Sussman. Other tenants include an eye care center, a chiropractor, a sports therapist and a vitamin shop.

The $20 million Klee redevelopment project is considered one of the major components in the effort to revitalize the Six Corners shopping district. The City of Chicago has earmarked up to about $1.6 million in tax increment subsidies for the project and sold the building to the project’s developer for about $200,000, which was significantly below market value, in exchange for an agreement to convert the office space to condominiums and to build an addition at the north end of the property.

Villari has centers in Arizona, Florida and Massachusetts, and the Klee location at 4024 N. Cicero Ave. will be the company’s first in Chicago. The centers often include a café, indoor playground, climbing wall, gift shop, party room and café, but the Klee location will not be large to include all of those amenities. In addition to karate, some of the centers offer yoga, art and music programs.

Also in Six Corners, the City News Café recently opened at 4018 N. Cicero Ave., and the following openings are in the works: Six Corners Bistro at 3930 N. Cicero Ave., Filament Theatre Ensemble and the National Veterans Art Museum at 4041 N. Milwaukee Ave. In addition, a restaurant with a rooftop garden is planned for a building in the 4000 block of North Milwaukee Avenue, but a zoning change is required for the project.


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