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CHICAGO-The Chicago Commission on Landmarks has voted to recommend that the City Council extend landmark status to the area known as Motor Row along South Michigan Ave.

Built mostly in the very early part of the century, the 56 buildings in the district are considered one of the largest groups of former automobile dealerships in the country. Many owners of buildings in the area have expressed strong opposition to the extension of landmark status to the district because that could interfere with future development plans for the area. Residential construction around the south edges of the Downtown has been booming and some owners have expressed an interest in tearing down their properties to build condos.

The Landmarks Commission may face a tough time getting its recommendation approved by the City Council. Alderman Burt Natarus of the 42nd Ward has expressed opposition to granting landmark status to Motor Row. Natarus is backing the huge 26-acre, $1.5 billion Lakeside East development along the Chicago River.

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