by Kelsey Shea

Northsiders can expect to see progress on The Garden Theater Block by the end of the summer said developers at Zukin Realty.

Wayne Zukin, Zukin Realty president, said that construction on the Masonic Building at 12 W. North Ave. and the Garden Theater Building at 10 W. North Ave. is on schedule and will begin within the next two months.

“We should have the first two buildings done by early 2014,” said Zukin, who said the developers’ current focus is on completing financing and closing on the two buildings.

The Central Northside City of Asylum signed the lease for the Masonic Building, where they plan to build a literary center, bookstore and café called Alphabet City.

The Garden Theater building will be the site of an Italian restaurant, appropriately named Il Giardino, run by Piccolo Forno owner Domenic Branduzzi.

Zukin Realty is still talking with several other businesses about the remaining store fronts in the block.

“We’re excited to get in there and get started,” said Zukin. “It’s going to be fun.”

  • garyg

    Summer ended about 35 days ago and the Garden Theater Block continues to sit there rotting. When will the URA dump this developer?!

    • Nob Roll

      When the URA lives near the development.

  • cam

    We’d love an update on this project.

  • Rebecca_White

    An update would be great. I heard Picolo Forno has started construction. What on earth is going on with this project that started so long ago?

  • Nob Roll

    Poor contract writing without goals and deadlines. Government officials are rarely stakeholders in developments like this. They get paid a salary with little or no oversight and often benefit by “slum and blight” designations (or similar Gov. red tape )in order to receive more funding. Make the government URA officials live near the project and then watch if it takes another 7 years.
    A simple Google search of this developer can tell the average person what is going on with this absentee developer.