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CHICAGO-An Auburn-Gresham police station that has been out of commission for four years will be converted into a school to be used by students of Dudley Beauty College. The Kernersville, NC-based institution now holds classes locally at 1756 W. 95th St., which ironically are being forced to move because the property there is being acquired by the city for a new fire station.

The city has received no proposals for the 9,440-sf building and 24,540 sf of land at 8501 S. Green St. and 8500-08 S. Summit Ave., which served as the police department’s 6th district headquarters for nearly 50 years. Rehabbing the interior of the police station will take the lion’s share of a $1.1-million project budget, according to department of planning and development officials.

However, Dudley Beauty College is getting a boost worth nearly $200,000 from the city under a land sale recommended for approval Tuesday by the community development commission. The school will pay $50,000 for the city-owned property, most recently appraised at $239,000.

Dudley Beauty College has a letter of intent from Harris Bank for financing, according to the department of planning and development.

Traffic patterns around the site, which is near the merger of Halsted Street and Vincennes Avenue as well as overhead Metra commuter railroad tracks, make it unsuitable for most commercial developments, says 21st Ward Alderman Howard Brookins Jr. “I believe it would be hard to attract business to the area,” he says.

Although the rehab work may seem daunting, it has become part of Dudley Beauty College’s business plan, according to the department of planning and development. Co-founder and co-owner Eunice Mosley Dudley has rehabbed about 25 buildings, most of them in the company’s home state of North Carolina.

The 95th Street Dudley Beauty College employs 24, but the payroll could increase by as many as 15 by next April in the new location, according to the department of planning and development.

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