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CHICAGO-A tailor displaced by redevelopment in the Maxwell Street district has found a site for a new home, as well as at least three neighbors. Florentino Rocha is acquiring a 6,000-sf site at 1419-21 S. Ashland Ave. for $150,000, where he will build a three-story mixed-use building.

The $1.2-million plan includes two 1,400-sf storefronts, one of which to be used by Rocha to operate his tailor shop, with four residential units above. Rocha has agreed to pay fair market value for the vacant city-owned lot, and the sale was endorsed recently by the community development commission.

“I’m very happy,” says Rocha, who is receiving no city financial assistance for his redevelopment project. “I’m looking forward to it.”

After losing his building to the University of Illinois at Chicago’s expansion, Rocha thought he had landed another location on Roosevelt Road, says department of planning and development assistant commissioner Amy Lozano. However, that site was later bought by the city. Instead, Rocha’s “Tony the Tailor” shop will end up on a property, near the Roosevelt Square redevelopment of the former ABLA Homes public-housing project, acquired by the city through a demolition lien foreclosure, she adds.

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