Mayor Rahm Emanuel took another step yesterday toward gaining control of a sprawling South Loop property once owned by imprisoned political fixer Antoin “Tony” Rezko.
Mr. Emanuel introduced an ordinance at yesterday's City Council meeting that would arm his administration with the legal authority to buy the 62-acre property between the Chicago River and Clark Street, south of Roosevelt Road, or else seize it using the city's eminent domain powers. The city wants to find a development team to build something on the empty site.
Owned by a venture of Luxembourg-based conglomerate General Mediterranean Holding S.A., the property has sat fallow for years, to the frustration of city officials.
The city wants to develop this land. Make sense to us:
Eventually, the city plans to release a request-for-proposals for the site, seeking a development team that wants to create a new project on the property, according to a spokesman for the Department of Planning and Development. Details about the RFP were unavailable.
The ordinance introduced yesterday instructs the city's corporation counsel to negotiate with General Mediterranean to buy the property. If talks fail, the city will move to seize the tract via eminent domain, according to the proposed ordinance. There are 27 parcels at the site.
We could use some more single family homes in the hood!
(Hat tip: AR & JJ!)