Monday, May 7, 2012

Examiner: Replacing Chicago business not an easy task

Here's some news on the site of the former Chatham Pancake House it was demolished within the past month and as you see above it is now a vacant lot! Now the plans for this lot by the developer of the nearby Chatham Village Square:
“If I could purchase the land behind the car wash occupied by a tennis field no one uses, I could combine that space with the pancake house and that would allow me to offer potential developers enough space to build,” [Musa Tadros] said. “But until then I needed to demolish the building to keep it from being taxed as an operating business. And besides, it was starting to deteriorate so there was also a liability issue.”

One business Chatham residents can rest assures will not be built on the site is another liquor store.

“I hate that there is a liquor store across the street now so I know I would not accept any proposals for a liquor store. There will be no pawnshop there either,” he explained. “And whatever goes up there the community will have a say.”

The Chatham Business Association already has a few ideas for the location.

“There are numerous fits in the community. I would love to see a WiFi coffee, breakfast type establishment to replace the pancake house,” said Melinda Kelly, executive director of the Chatham Business Association, a non-profit Chicago organization.. And Alderman Roderick Sawyer, whose sixth ward includes the pancake house site, said he supports redevelopment of the land and is excited about the possibilities for it.

“I am pleased there is a plan to redevelop the old Chatham Pancake location, while I regret the loss of that business I look forward to a new vibrant business on 87th Street,” Sawyer said. Local, black business owners are pushing for another Black business to move into the space.

“I hope that whatever is put there it is a black-owned business,” said Milton Moses, president and chief executive officer of Community Insurance Center, a 50 year-old, black-owned agency at 526 E. 87th St. “That’s what wrong with black neighborhoods now. As soon as a black business goes under or relocates a non-black business moves in.”

Tadros added he would not discriminate and is open to all proposals regardless of race.
Tadros had purchased the lot of the former pancake house pledged to only find a development that would make "good business sense". Also noted that the limited space on that lot could cause any attempt at development to take much longer. The article noted it could take as much as two years to develop the pancake house lot.

Also I'm sure taking away the tennis courts of Brown Park will raise some eyebrows even if they are rarely used!

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