Tuesday, July 9, 2013

City Planners Want Ability to Buy "Rezko" Lot South of Roosevelt

One of the more infamous vacant lots in the Sloop is in the news again.  The Chicago Sun-Times reports:
Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration, at the risk of reviving memories of old political scandals, wants the authority to acquire a huge tract south of downtown once owned by convicted influence peddler Tony Rezko.  
The 62-acre property is vacant. It’s where Rezko and cohorts a decade ago wanted to put up 4,600 homes and an Ikea. 

The article goes on to explain:
City planners want permission to buy the site, which runs from Roosevelt to 16th and from the Chicago River east to Clark. The matter is on the agenda for Tuesday’s meeting of the Community Development Commission, which reviews city land deals. 
Approval would give the city the right, but not the obligation, to negotiate a sale or buy it forcibly through eminent domain. Municipalities sometimes use the threat of eminent domain to push property owners into selling or improving a parcel.

If you recall, back in February of this year a couple readers sent us emails about a potential zoning change Alderman Solis was seeking for the property.  Crain's Chicago did some more digging on the topic, but didn't unearth anything substantial.  That's the last we heard about that.

The gigantic lot has a ton of potential and could go a long way in shaping the future of the neighborhood.  Some fear it could be used for a casino.  Some want it to be developed into mixed used residential/retail.  Only time will tell what happens to this prime piece of real estate.

(Hat tip: SC, TOC, EJM!)

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