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CHICAGO-Lakeside Bank will buy the former Library for the Blind at 1055 W. Roosevelt Rd. for $1.12 million and spend another $900,000 to make the 32,000 sf ready for a retail branch and back-office operations. The sale of the building designed by noted architect Stanley Tigerman was recommended for approval this week by the community development commission over objections from neighborhood groups, most of them suggesting the land be used as a park.

Lakeside Bank emerged as the best of six proposals, according to department of planning and development officials, with most of the also-rans rejected for being unrealistic. Meanwhile, the Lakeside Bank proposal returns the property to the tax rolls, requires no city financial assistance and brings banking services to a neighborhood expected to see 5,000 residential units added in the coming years.

However, groups ranging from the University Village Association and St. Ignatius College Prep opposed Lakeside Bank’s plan, noting the area already has at least five banks within walking distance and historic lack of commercial development on that stretch of Roosevelt Road.

“A lot of people think we can have a lot of open space, but we can’t,” says 2nd Ward Alderman Madeline Haithcock. “We have to increase our tax base.”

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