A data-processing company is planning to move into an old record store on the West Side.
Matthew Lambert, the business development manager for Tab Service Company, said the firm is leaving its West Loop office after 21 years and moving to the former home of Walles Music store in Galewood, 6846 W North Ave. He said the move should be completed by spring 2023.
Tab Service, a family-owned company, started in 1960 as a bookkeeping service for businesses. As technology advanced, Tab Service evolved into a data-processing company for organizations with high-volume data operations.
Lambert said Tab’s services include tax form printing, reporting to the IRS, document scanning and survey data processing.
Lambert said Tab didn’t renew the lease of their West Side location because they could no longer enjoy a view of Chicago’s skyline.
“A lot of expensive condos are going up all around us,” Lambert said. “We lost our view of the skyline.”
As renters owning a 62-year-old business, Lambert, his father and his aunt, who all manage the company, wanted to own a permanent space for their services.
“We’re looking for a change, and we want to have our own space and no longer be renters and start building some equity for the company,” Lambert said.
The former Walles Music store had been located in Galewood since 1968 but became vacant in 2014 following the death of Jay Walles, who was the second generation to manage the store. It has remained vacant for the last eight years, said Judith Alexander, chair of the North Avenue District Inc.
Lambert said he is an Oak Park resident, so he’s familiar with the area and thinks the move to Galewood will lead to even more business success because of the neighborhood.
“If we’ve got hiring demands, I don’t think we would have a problem filling job slots,” Lambert said.
Vacant buildings tend to suck the energy out of a district, so Tab Service taking over the space will add vitality to the North Avenue district, Alexander said.
“The employees and customers who come to that location – they are prospective customers for the other businesses in our district,” Alexander said.
Lambert said Tab Service will move out of the West Loop in the spring after their busiest season, tax season, which lasts from January to February.
The buildout of the new location is nearly 70% complete, Lambert said, adding that next steps will include rebuilding the storefront by knocking down the knee-high wall and replacing the glass.
“We’re going to stay put,” Lambert said. “We’ve got some time left on our current lease, and then we’re going to make the move when everything’s not so chaotic.”