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CHICAGO-A potential operator of a bowling alley and restaurant is considering the former Ramova Theater at 3518 S. Halsted St. as well as a vacant lot next door, according to the city’s Department of Planning and Development. Meanwhile, a soon-to-be vacant furniture store one block north could become the site of a larger branch library in the Bridgeport community.

The city council’s committee on housing and real estate recently endorsed the department’s plans to acquire both properties for redevelopment. The city has owned the Jazz Age theater since 2002, but were beaten to the punch for the 3,400-sf vacant lot at 3520 S. Halsted St. by local developer Charles Pick, who had hoped to build a three-unit condominium building there.

The city could use eminent domain to acquire both properties for redevelopment. Department of planning and development officials say the lot at 3520 S. Halsted St. is needed for any plan for the Ramova Theater. Meanwhile, the 11,600-sf building at 3410 S. Halsted St. could go to the Chicago Public Library system, which operates a branch next doors, says John Molloy of the department of planning and development, or a request for proposals could be issued.

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