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CHICAGO-A five-story, 71-year-old office building at the Six Corners intersection in Portage Park is for sale at a minimum bid of $200,000, which would represent a $1.3-million write-down by the city. Besides the 48,000-sf Klee Building at 4001-13 N. Milwaukee Ave., the deal also includes a former 7,050-sf Woolworth’s property at 4022-32 N. Cicero Ave.

The city hopes to bring national retailers to first-floor retail spaces in the buildings, with the upper floors being redeveloped for multifamily use. Because tax increment financing is involved, the residential component must include a 20% set-aside of units deemed affordable by the city’s department of housing.

The development is a few blocks west of the 120,000-sf, Jewel Food store-anchored Market Place development on Irving Park Road.

Before endorsing the department of planning and development’s efforts to issue a request for proposals, the community development commission recently questioned the low-ball $200,000 minimum bid for the property. “We looked at several potential development options for this site and determined this would be the amount that would make this development feasible,” explains Denise Roman of the department. “We don’t want to receive proposals that aren’t viable.”

City officials note they acquired the property last year after a developer’s three-year effort failed to get off the ground. Property records indicate there was an $800,000 mortgage on the Klee Building.

The Klee Building is a neighborhood landmark, says 45th Ward Alderman Patrick Levar. “This building is part of our neighborhood identity,” Levar says. “When you see the Klee Building, you know you’re entering the Portage Park neighborhood.”

Proposals are due Oct. 28.

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