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For a while, there has been a hush surrounding this confusing plastic sheet on the plywood barricade depicting a flow chart on the outside of the large space that used to be Barnes & Noble at Clark and Diversey. The flow chart on the exterior of the reconstruction of this bow and truss building has three parent bubbles that say "Get Coached", "Take Classes", and "Join The Community". Each red parent bubble leads to a sub-categorical baby brown bubble that says things like "Grab a Coffee", "Knitting Posse", and "Discuss Goals". Well we looked a little further into it and found out its a new retail venture from State Farm Insurance Company called Next Door which will be geared toward urban lifestyles. It will combine knowledge from State Farm agents with the creativity of a local start-up.
When we started to learn more, we found this space will be an open-source community space where anyone can ask questions about money matters, insurance, or other financial issues, and find answers to some of the worlds questions in an open dialogue format. In similar style to ING Café, where bankers steam milk for lattes, which allows a larger brand to comfortably interact with a targeted market, Next Door will also have a café with free wi-fi. So they sell coffee and insurance and pretty much act as an incubator for anything having to do with how and where to spend your money.
The construction is now underway by Englewood who also built the fifteen thousand square foot Trader Joe's which is scheduled to open May 6th. Next Door is planning on opening August 1st and is currently hiring lab research analysts, hosts, and store manager (aka) baristas and sales staff.
· State Farm [Official Site]