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CHICAGO-Jazz, soul food and gumbo are key ingredients in two plans a half-mile apart along E. 47th Street. Redevelopment of two city-owned properties at the northwest corner of 47th Street and Vincennes Avenue will create a 5,500-sf Sip restaurant and blues café, while a three-story, 11,000-sf building at 4644 S. Evans Ave. will likely be anchored by a New Orleans-style jazz and gumbo venue.

LETHE Enterprises, LLC, whose principals have experience running restaurants in Cleveland, will get $255,814 in tax increment financing to rehab one of two buildings it is acquiring from the city for $185,613. The developers are paying fair market value for the two properties, but will demolish 4652 S. Vincennes Ave. while rehabbing a two-story building along 47th Street in a $1.4-million project.

TIF assistance is required because the developers plan a high-grade, $260-per-sf rehab including a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning system as well as new hardwood floors, according to Jeffrey Streder of the department of planning and development.

“We would be the only venue like this in the area,” says Henry Gray, one of LETHE Enterprises’ partners.

However, co-developer Artrice Clark promises his group’s $1.5-million, 11,000-sf project will be “a crown jewel for the area.” In addition to a first-floor restaurant, dentists and doctors are expected to be among the tenants on the upper two floors at 4644 S. Evans Ave., a 2,100-sf site vacant for several years, according to James Wilson of the department of planning and development.

ANGR Inc., which includes Clark and fellow broker and developer Rita Glass, is buying the property at Evans Avenue and 47th Street for $45,000, its fair market value according to a recent city appraisal. South Shore Bank will finance the project.

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