Saturday, November 19, 2011

Concerned Citizens of Chatham: Transit Chicago: Sawyer Vs Claypool- Who Will Win

Pic taken in 2009

Concerned Citizens of Chatham: Transit Chicago: Sawyer Vs Claypool- Who Will Win

First and foremost I also want to offer my condolences to the family of the construction worker who was killed during the demolition of this building.

Looks like 11 E. 79th Street is going down for sure according to Worlee:
I called the Alderman's office to inquire what was going to be built on the site, they stated the church was ordered to tear down the building and there were no immediate plans to build anything but the church was interested in working with the community to brig in businesses that would compliment the community. This is a departure from the arrogant stance Carter Temple CME Church and their leadership took several years ago.
The drama over this site:
This was the second building on this corner that was demolished. The 7900 S State building on the corner was torn down several years ago. The building contained a liquor store and other stores on the ground level. Carter Temple led a group to have the have the liquor license revoked. Subsequently the church purchased the building with the intent to rehab but had internal disputes and ran afoul with the city. Also, an apartment building to the south was torn down because it was designated a public nuisance. The last time I checked the church was $400,000 plus in the hole on this project. They had come up with a plan to build a seniors building but were being urged to sell by members who had stayed after this project collapsed. The church will argue that they community and former Alderman Lyle interfered with them completing this project because she would not release a demolition lien against the project. She was asked by the community not to release the lien because there was no solid plan and financing in place at that time. It is unfortunate because the Alderman worked very hard to get Starbucks interested in the site before the building was demolished and after the church indicated that they did not want Starbucks CAPCC indicated they wanted to open a coffee shop/convenience store but members of the church who made up the committee overseeing the building indicated they were not interested The church and the community got the short end on this because of a small group of greedy church members. The building could have been rehab as an experienced developer attempted to purchase the building but refused to get into a bidding war against the church. Also, the church never had the necessary financing to complete a project and they brought in experienced urban planning and development personnel only to alienate them.
Where does the CTA fit into this property? Worlee hopes that this corner could be developed as part of a stated goal for Ald. Roderick Sawyer - transit based economy. A place near the L stations in the 6th ward to buy coffee, donuts, newspapers, etc. Other than maybe 87th Street this type of shopping before boarding the L is generally not available within this ward. At that it's not just about generating revenue for the city, but jobs as well.

I've written about this building on several occasions. It seems like a waste that it's being demolished. I hoped it could be part of any transit-based economy plan. I hope this corner will get the attention it should get being a high traffic area.

1 comment:

  1. CTA had the opportunity to acquire the 7900 State lot through eminent domain. The former Mayor Daley pushed for the demolition after a drive by through Chatham. CTA nixed a parking garage/ retail development on the land where Save A Lot now stands. It was Claypool who stated it was unexecutable but really there was no will.


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