I spoke to Eric U. Strickland in June inside of 3333 Arthington, an office building on the former Sears headquarters complex in North Lawndale that Strickland is trying to develop. The West Side businessman, who is the former head of the Lawndale Business and Local Development Corporation, was a catalyst behind the Lofts on Arthington development, which comprises 180 affordable housing units that sit near the 3333 building, where Stricklan now keeps an office.
He’s hoping to transform his office space into a hub of major redevelopment. During a brief interview in June, he spoke about the building’s potential.
I am actively working on trying to get this building redeveloped. Right now, it’s owned by the Royal Imperial Group. When Royal Imperial shut this building down, they told me I could stay based on my work with the lofts.
I’ve been in this office going on three years. We had attracted Chicago State to the site, but with a change in leadership and their budget situation, that deal fell through. I’m in the process of trying to talk to interested groups who might need the space and are looking to expand.
On the space’s potential
The benefits of being in this space are enormous. You’re close to downtown and the public transportation is fantastic. It’s a growing neighborhood. If you look at all the development going on right now in the West Loop, this is the perfect location to create an offshoot of that.
— Michael Romain