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White Elephant shop at Children’s Memorial to end 93-year run

Updated: July 16, 2012 6:32AM



Children’s Memorial Hospital’s resale shop, the White Elephant at 2380 N. Lincoln Ave., will end its 93 years in operation at the end of business Aug. 31 after deciding it cannot afford to operate at market rates in its Lincoln Park neighborhood, a store official said Thursday.

The hospital allowed White Elephant, which donated all of its proceeds to Children’s Memorial, to operate without paying rent or property taxes. That arrangement disappeared when the hospital, which has moved to Streeterville, sold the property, said Leonard Muircroft, director of retail operations who is joining Children’s Memorial in a new product-development capacity at its downtown site.

“We looked at surrounding properties, operating costs, cost of buildout and moving. It just wasn’t possible to remain self-sustaining,” Muircroft said. The shop also determined it didn’t make sense to move with the hospital.

Plans call for the Lincoln Park hospital properties to be redeveloped into a town center with retail, open space and housing.

The White Elephant plans to return each April as a popup shop so it can sell the new products it receives each year from the International Home & Housewares Show, Muircroft said.

“We’d like to keep it in the Lincoln Park-Lakeview area, wherever someone is able to donate the space to us,” he said.



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