The restaurant, opened 10 years ago in a former city fire station, is next door to the longtime home of the National Association of Letter Carriers' Chicago Branch. Three years ago, union leader decided to sell their two-story building, hoping to turn a profit so they could build a new headquarters elsewhere in the city.Several developers were interested. The best offer came from Vanecko and his business partner, mayoral ally Allison S. Davis. They wanted to put up a 32-story building-either condos or hotel rooms - on the property at 1411 S. Michigan Ave. and agreed to pay $8.5 million for the land once the union built its new headquarters at 3850 S. Wabash.The gave the union a down payment - and advanced millions of dollars in city pension funds so the union could buy land and build its new home.To date, Vanecko and Davis have given the union more than $4.5 million in city pension funds - including an $850,000 down payment, a "predevelopment commitment" advance of $400,000 and a $2.9 million line of credit, records show.Last summer, Vanecko walked away from the company that he and Davis created, DV Urban Realty Partners, soon after a federal jury issued subpoenas to the company and the pension funds. Then, Davis and his son Jared Davis told the union they no longer wanted to buy the property - and they wanted the pension fund money back.
Obviously there is probably more to the story, but it appears not much is going on with this prime piece of South Loop property. The story is a good read and has quotes from Mayor Daley saying he advised his nephew that this was a bad idea. Interesante!
(Image from Chicago Architecture Foundation)