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CHICAGO-A developer has letters of intent from grocery and drug store chains, as well as a clothing retailer, for a proposed redevelopment in the Roseland community. What Crown Commercial Real Estate and Development lacks, however, is control of the entire 6.1-acre site at 115th Street and Michigan Avenue.

Crown Commercial Real Estate and Development principal Musa Tadros continued negotiating with remaining holdouts after he was selected by the city in April to redevelop the former Roseland Plaza. However, after 18 months, Tadros needs help the city’s threat of eminent domain to help sway the owners of 17 key parcels. The community development commission recently gave the department of planning and development authority to acquire those remaining parcels, most of them occupied residential or mixed-use buildings, at fair market value.

“This is a crucial crossroad as far as the Roseland community and 9th Ward are concerned,” says Alderman Anthony Beale, who has hosted meetings between Tadros and property owners. City officials estimate the new shopping center will bring 260 jobs to the area, which has suffered decades of blights.

“Roseland needs a shopping center; the South Side needs a shopping center–there aren’t enough full-service supermarkets for miles,” says Department of Planning and Development project manager Karen Forte. “This development is a catalyst for more to come.”

In addition to a 65,000-sf grocery store, Tadros plans include a branch bank. The city acquired most of the site in 2003, Forte notes.

At least one of the reluctant would-be sellers says the city’s offer is not enough to help him relocate his real estate, insurance and tax business to another South Michigan Avenue location. Edmund Scott has been offered $105,000 for his 75-year-old, 2,100-sf storefront at 11513 S. Michigan Ave. After on-again, off-again attempts by the city to acquire it, he told the community development commission. “My father is not against economic development in the Roseland community,” says William Scott. “He is against the way it is being done.”

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