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CHICAGO-Reza Toulabi hopes to serve more than food at 9 W. Kinzie St. The River North and Andersonville restaurateur was the top bidder Wednesday for the four-story valet parking garage at $2.78 million in a sale held by Sheldon Good & Co., Auctions, LLC.

Toulabi hopes to capitalize on current zoning that would allow the building’s 71,283-sf size to be doubled. Besides a restaurant offering 315 parking spaces, he is considering adding multifamily units, either rentals or condominiums, says Sheldon Good & Co. Brokerage, LLC executive managing director Kenneth A. Goldberg. Discussions are underway with 42nd Ward Alderman Burton Natarus, says Goldberg, who represented Toulabi and has been a partner in previous ventures.

Besides a floor area ratio of 12.0 that would allow for a 162,348-sf building, offices and a hotel are among the permitted uses under the current C3-6 zoning in addition to residential units above the first floor.

Park Ridge, IL-based multifamily rental property owner BJB Partners decided to put the property on the auction block after dropping plans to build condominiums there. The site is due north of the Marina City twin towers of condominiums, and west of the IBM Plaza office building. It also is a short walk to the Chicago Sun-Times building, where Donald Trump plans to build an 86-story mixed-use tower.

Reza’s restaurants are at 420 W. Ontario St. and 5255 N. Clark St. He had eyed other sites in the neighborhood but was attracted to the concrete and brick building’s parking, Goldberg tells GlobeSt.com. “It has four stories of parking, and it has the opportunity to develop residential,” he adds.

A 2,750-sf restaurant had operated at 9 W. Kinzie, as well as a Hertz car rental agency. However, the building currently is rented to System Parking, Inc. for its valet operation.

The winning offer was $655,000 more than the suggested opening bid, and eliminated the last bidder, who was believed to be a Chicago parking garage operator. However, the sellers offered the property with reserve, and have until next Wednesday to decide whether to accept Toulabi’s offer, which fell more than $1.6 million short of what BJB Partners paid for the property last year.

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