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CHICAGO-A South Shore neighborhood that has gone without a new sit-down restaurant for 15 years will be getting one next year. A 6,700-sf pancake house will be built at 2204-24 E. 71st St. after the city sells a 25,293-sf parcel to Shoreland Development LLC for $75,000, nearly 70% less than its appraised value.

Although an entity that involves the developers of the $1.1-million project are signing a 15-year lease to operate a restaurant with an option for another 15 years, members of the community development commission questioned whether that was sufficient to warrant a land write-down from its $230,000 appraised value.

While the redevelopment agreement with Shoreland Development LLC will specify plans to build the 150-seat restaurant at the corner of 71st Street and Paxton Avenue, there is no guarantee the business will continue to be operated there in the future, community development commission members noted. A city law department attorney also told them Tuesday a restriction written into the land deal would be “problematic.”

However, the commission later approved other land sales where the developer was acquiring city-owned property to use as parking for their adjacent buildings. Those sales stipulated parking would be the use in perpetuity.

However, the developers, which includes an operator of a north suburban Morton Grove, IL pancake house who will operate the South Shore eatery, appear to have a captive customer base.

“This is a project that since it’s inception has been community based, and now, community built,” says 5th Ward Alderman Leslie Hairston. “We looked at several different businesses but the community was very loud in its preference.”

Shoreland Development LLC was the only team to respond to a city request for proposals for the site of a former drug store and restaurant.

Meanwhile, John Gruszka is paying $22,000 for a 5,000-sf lot at 4347-49 S. Forrestville Ave., next to a 21-unit multifamily rental building he is rehabbing, to create 13 parking spaces.

Also, the 18,000-member Apostolic Church of God is acquiring two parcels in the 6400 block of S. Kenwood Avenue totaling 16,539 sf for their appraised value of $124,000 to add 74 parking spaces next to their growing church.

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