Save the Jackhammer Complex! Help us find an Angel Investor!

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We Need YOU to Help Us Save The Jackhammer Complex!

June is best known as a time to show pride in our LGBTQ Community, but this year brings a cloud of uncertainty as local well established businesses Jackhammer Complex, Leather64TEN and multiple tenants are told they may face imminent eviction. We need your help to find a buyer that will allow us to continue our legacy.

Chicago, Illinois – June 18, 2018 The Jackhammer Complex has been serving the Rogers Park community for 18+ years and the neighboring retail store Leather64TEN has just celebrated 13 years at this location. Both businesses are very well known and reputable within the LGBTQ community, neighboring businesses and the overall area that they occupy. Although not directly in the “Boystown” area of Chicago, they have managed to create their own neighborhood of nightlife, leisure and entertainment catering to visitors from across the globe. So why would a pair of successful and reputable businesses be in danger of immediate eviction? It’s for no reason of their own and that is exactly why we need your help.

The story of The Jackhammer Complex is one full of many trials and tribulations, but ultimately Jimmy Keup (Owner) has managed to overcome all of the obstacles thrown his way. Jimmy and his staff are genius at creating so many different types of events for all walks of life. One weekend, they’ll be hosting an afterparty for IML and the next weekend they’ll be hosting a charity chili cook-off to benefit the local youth center. Regardless of any struggles he may have endured, Jimmy kept the music playing, the glasses full and the masses dancing at The Jackhammer Complex. He takes pride in having a location that was always known as that local nightclub/bar that welcomed and encouraged everyone to just be yourself and have fun.

Leather64TEN is the creation of founders and partners Eric Kugelman and Michael Syrjanen. Coincidentally enough, the relationship between The Jackhammer Complex and Leather64TEN came to fruition during the very month of June - pride month of 2005. Eric wanted to create a retail store reminiscent of the iconic Male Hide Leathers and as luck would have it, there was a vacant retail space right next door. What was once a small pop-up store had now flourished into a beautiful 1,500 sq ft retail establishment. The clientele at The Jackhammer Complex and those at Leather64TEN were the absolute perfect fit for one another and it was a match made in heaven. Sure, it wasn’t easy and there were struggles, but Eric and Michael managed to create their footprint in the community and helped create a business that would consistently grow over the years. Eric, Michael and the Leather64TEN team are also actively involved in the LGBTQ and Rogers Park Communities. During the holidays they’ll host a food drive for a local food bank, they’ll contribute donations for a local church and they also always graciously raise funds for so many important organizations in our community.

So there you have it, two amazing businesses and one astronomical hurdle to jump over. We rarely ask for much, but now we’d definitely like to ask your help in our mission to Save The Jackhammer Complex!

What is actually happening and how can you help?

The building ownership has not always been successful and in time… crushed by the debt of overbuilding, poor rental management and vacancies, the bank started foreclosure. The debt was sold off to a faceless corporate buyer from an out of state capital fund, who successfully foreclosed on the property last month. Unfortunately, Illinois foreclosure law allows the new owner to terminate all current commercial leases and demand immediate possession. This means the building where The Jackhammer Complex and Leather64TEN reside need immediate rescue.

Fortunately, the local management company hired by the new owners to facilitate the complete re-tenanting of the building understand the importance of these long term businesses to the community. Time is of the essence though and with only 35 days to find a new buyer before the evictions take place, it is a priority the community is aware of what could happen. Powerbroker Laura Rahilly, from Rahilly and Associates with Coldwell Banker, was retained to find the right buyer on a very aggressive timeline.

Rahilly said “It would be a shame to see two such iconic businesses in the LGBTQ community ended from an out-of-town corporation motivated only by money. I am confident that someone will see the value of preserving these businesses while acquiring a great building & investment opportunity.”
“The building was extensively renovated with new plumbing, electrical, roof, kitchens, baths and HVAC. The building contains five 2-bedroom apartments, one 3-bedroom apartment and a 5-bedroom owners unit penthouse. Whether AirBnB or tenant occupied, this building would be a tremendous asset in the right operator’s portfolio” per Laura.

Jimmy Keup, owner of Jackhammer, and Eric Kugelman of Leather64TEN are hopeful that an angel investor will appear and buy the building. The leather store can move, but once the Jackhammer Complex is gone, it will be gone forever, as the licensing for the 5AM closing cannot be transferred elsewhere. 

We implore to our community to help us in this our time of need to show your support and help us continue the legacy of the Jackhammer/Leather64TEN Complex. We have a small window of time to help the holding company secure a buyer that wishes to help us in our continued success and shares our passion for the community.


If you are interested in more information or have any leads and who can help: Please contact Laura Rahilly for further information. or call directly at 773-490-0418.

Today: The Jackhammer Complex is counting on you

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