Below is a press release from DevCorp North, the economic development corporation for Rogers Park, announcing the City’s issuance of an Request for Proposal (RFP) that will ask for proposals for commercial, residential or mixed-use developments at the former site of the Lerner Newspaper building, located on the southeast corner of Howard and Ashland.
The current owner of the property received city approval two years ago to build and townhome and condominium development on the site. Inexplicably, the owner has failed to move forward with his plans and the property continues to lay fallow.
The property falls within the Howard-Paulina TIF, which gives the City the power to acquire it through a process known as eminent domain. After consulting with the 49th Ward Zoning and Land Use Advisory Committee, I asked the City to place the property on the acquisition list, which set into motion the RFP process. After the proposals are received, I will present them to the community and together we will determine which proposal best meets the needs of the neighborhood.
While the plan and the developer are being selected, the City will attempt to acquire the property from the current owner at a mutually agreed price. If an agreement is not reached, the City will file an eminent domain action in the circuit court. The court will determine the property’s fair market value. Either the City or the new developer will then acquire the property and pay the owner the court’s determined price.
If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call my office at 773-338-5796.
January 5, 2007
WHAT: City of Chicago issues RFP for neighborhood eyesore in Rogers Park that has sat vacant for more than 10 years.
WHERE: Corner of Howard and Ashland
WHEN: RFP now available. Pre-submittal conference January 8, 2007
INFO: www.rogers-park.com or Dan Butt at 773-508-5885
City Takes Action to Force Development of Vacant Site
A 46,000 square foot parcel at Howard and Ashland in Rogers Park that once was home to the Lerner newspaper facility has sat vacant for more than 10 years. The City of Chicago, at the request of the community, has issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) for redevelopment of the site. Although the City does not own the site, they have authority through eminent domain to acquire it. The RFP will provide a much-needed push to get site development to occur.
New development on Howard Street couldn’t come at a better time. “New mixed-use development will really benefit the community,” said Amy Campbell, the Howard Street Special Service Area Manager. “Revitalization on Howard Street is linked to development on that site. The timing of the RFP also coincides with the release of the Commercial Corridor Plan for Howard Street,” said Campbell. “Developers now have a useful tool to guide their development, based on the community’s wants and needs.”
The site is within the boundaries of the Howard/Paulina Tax Increment Finance (TIF) district. TIF assistance is potentially available for proposals that demonstrate tangible public benefits, including affordable housing, new retail or environmentally sustainable features.
The aim of the RFP is to solicit proposals for commercial, residential and/or mixed-use development that comply with the new B2-3 zoning designation and are consistent with the surrounding area. Since the site is located in the Howard/Paulina TIF area, it is also subject to the vision of the TIF plan, which seeks to make the TIF redevelopment area “an important activity center contributing to the neighborhood and community focus of the Howard/Paulina Area.”
DevCorp North, the business, community and economic development organization in Rogers Park, provided the City of Chicago’s Dept. of Planning and Development with detailed information about other developments occurring on Howard Street for the RFP, including Bob Coe’s development at 1523-25 Howard and the new Gale Park Community Center being developed across the street from the site. “The community has been waiting too long for something to happen with that site, it was time the city stepped in and took over,” said Kimberly Bares, Executive Director of DevCorp North. “That’s why DevCorp North submitted a letter of support for the City of Chicago to initially place the property on the City’s acquisition list, which was supposed to light a fire under the current owner to move forward with developing the property. When that didn’t happen, we supported the City in putting together a RFP for someone else to develop that site. Rogers Park and Howard Street deserve good development that enhances and serves the needs of the neighborhood, not vacant sites and inattentive property owners.”
A hard copy of the RFP is available at DevCorp North’s office, 1557 W Howard Street, or downtown at the Department of Planning and Development in City Hall. A pre-submittal conference will be held at 10am on January 8, 2007 in conference room 1003A of City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle. The due date for submittal to the city is February 5th. The Morse Avenue and Howard Street Commercial Corridor Revitalization Plan is available on the DevCorp North website, www.rogers-park.com.
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