Rice Paddy Motorcycles Closing, Land Bought by Developer
A longtime business on a prominent corner in Weinland Park will be closing this spring. The last day for Rice Paddy Motorcycles, located at 1454 N. Grant Ave., will be some time in mid-March.
Wagenbrenner Development, the developer responsible for building dozens of new single family homes and apartments in the immediate vicinity, has acquired the property and will take possession on April 1.
Tom VanStavern, the owner of Rice Paddy, said that the changing retail climate, combined with “congestion caused by the development, and the right offer,” led to his decision to sell the two half-acre parcels that have been the business’ home for the last 21 years.
“It was a lot of different factors,” he said. “Retail everywhere is declining, and I could see that in my year to year results…people like to buy online, and my sales were just dropping off too much.”
Property records show that the parcels were sold for $935,000.
Steve Bollinger, of Wagenbrenner Development, said that the company is interested in renovating one or more of the four buildings on the property, but will need to assess their condition more closely.
“We walked through it and the (main) building looked awesome,” he said, although a detailed inspection was not possible at the time. “Come April, we’ll get in there and really assess everything going on with building and see what we can come up with, see what kind of users are out there.”
Bollinger said that they envision a use that would function as an amenity for their Grant Park development, but also serve residents of the surrounding neighborhood.
Additional Reading: Project Update: Grant Park Apartments