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CHICAGO-A group of local entrepreneurs is planning to rejuvenate the shuttered Gerri’s Palm Tavern at 446-48 E. 47th St. into a new blues hot spot, making it an integral part of a “Blues District” along a four-block stretch in the Bronzeville neighborhood. Nostalgia LLC has agreed to buy a city-owned property for $58,500 as part of a plan to combine two adjoining buildings in a $576,665 project, the community development commission learned this week.

The Palm Tavern was a popular hang-out for legendary blues and jazz performers. The developers hope to bring back some of its heyday in Nostalgia Jazz and Wine Club, with a stage and 50-seat nightclub as well as a new façade. Developers say Delta Funding Corp. has agreed to finance nearly $400,000 of the project’s costs.

No financial assistance is being sought from the city, and Nostalgia LLC is paying the full appraised value of the property. Nonetheless, the project has generated some skepticism, with local resident Pat Dowell noting the developers’ “public link” to 3rd Ward Alderman Dorothy Tillman, an enthusiastic supporter of the Nostalgia LLC plan as well as the 47th Street “Blues District.”

“There’s no evidence the Blues District will ever happen,” says Dowell, whose request for time to solicit alternative proposals for the city-owned property was rejected by the community development commission.

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