CTA Welcomes New Locally Owned Concessions to Green Line
by Kai EL’ Zabar
Businesses Will Fill Vacant Concession Space and Improve Services at Cottage Grove at King Drive Green Line Stops
The Chicago Transit Authority welcomes two new locally owned vendors to the Green Line, continuing CTA’s strategy of partnering with local businesses as part of its ongoing expansion of concessions offerings to CTA rail customers.
The CTA Board approved new leases with Chris & Cedric Newsstand for a newsstand at the King Drive station, 400 E. 63rd St., and with Liquids 1, LLC, for a juice bar at the Cottage Grove station, 800 E. 63rd St.
“We’re pleased to partner with local businesses that can provide our customers with a more convenient and pleasant commute,” CTA President Dorval Carter Jr. said. “In addition to increasing CTA revenue, these local businesses will provide added amenities to Green Line customers and benefit the local community.”
Chris & Cedric Newsstand is the first business venture for owners and longtime Woodlawn residents and best friends Chris Montgomery and Cedric Harris. Montgomery is a military veteran and Harris has been a lead technician with Comcast for the last eight years. Their business, Chris & Cedric Newsstand will be filling a concession space that has been vacant since construction commenced on the Lake/Englewood/Jackson Park Line in 1994.
Their presence will certainly correct what was an eyesore and place for vagrancy, tagging and all the other residuals that come with vacant property that sit for long periods of time. Having a thriving business at a busy place in open view will also not only supply a deans but also inspire and give hope that the community is on the move towards greater prosperity. Lastly it makes Black residents feel good to see their community members in business.
Chris & Cedric Newsstand will provide the Woodlawn community and CTA riders with the latest news, magazines and more,” Montgomery said. “As longtime resident of the area, we are looking forward to the opportunity to serve our community by keeping everyone up-to-date on the latest events.”
Liquids 1, LLC will be operated as a juice bar by owner Donald Grayson Jr. who successfully ran a juice bar while attending Ottawa University in Kansas when pursuing his Master’s in Business Administration. Grayson is a Chicago native, and this will be his first business start-up in the area. The juice bar will fill a concession space at the Cottage Grove station that has been vacant .since April 2013. Grayson said he hopes that Liquids 1 will bring a healthy option for people in the community.
“I grew up on the southeast side of Chicago and I have been riding the Green Line my whole life,” Grayson said. “I’m truly excited to be able to help so many people in the neighborhood by offering something healthy.”
The Chris & Cedric Newsstand lease is a three-year term with a net present value calculated at $4,194.17. The Liquids I lease is a 10-year lease with a net present value calculated at $23,300.97. Both leases hold two five-year options and reflect CTA’s effort to eliminate month-to-month leases and secure more long-term leases, which are mutually beneficial to the CTA, CTA tenants and the surrounding community.
Revenue generated from retail leases help boost CTA’s non-farebox revenue and provide customers and the surrounding neighborhoods with additional amenities and services that help to boost local neighborhood economies and very little bit helps.