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Cappleman Says Potential Buyers Looking at Lawrence House SRO

By Adeshina Emmanuel | February 13, 2013 2:03pm

UPTOWN — Ald. James Cappleman (46th) said he is talking with several potential buyers who might be interested in rehabbing the troubled Lawrence House SRO.

The announcement came this week as Cappleman updated residents in Uptown and Lakeview about Lawrence House and another "problem building" in the midst of changes, the Chateau Hotel.

City inspectors at a housing court hearing last week testified about dangerous conditions at Lawrence House, 1020 W. Lawrence Ave., according to a letter the 46th Ward office sent to constituents on Monday.

A judge presiding over the Feb. 5 hearing ordered the foreclosure receiver, FirstMerit Bank, to fix the hazardous conditions before the next hearing on July 2. Inspectors found "tenant hoarding, open electrical boxes and illegally converted units," in the 12-story single-room-occupancy building, the letter said.

The building has been in foreclosure and for sale since last year, documents show. Cappleman "is speaking with several interested buyers who are willing to put in millions of dollars to bring this building back up to code in order to make it safer for residents," the letter said.

The property is one of four on Cappleman's "problem building list," which includes the Chateau Hotel, another troubled single room occupancy rife with building code violations in the 46th Ward.

Residents of the Chateau Hotel left a meeting with Cappleman disappointed last week. They didn't get his promise of support in their fight to stave off evictions and keep the building affordable after a group of investors, 3838 North Broadway, LLC, has it gutted and rehabbed.

Cappleman has been mum on the identity of the new owners.

But the 46th Ward said Monday it is working with the Department of Family and Support Services and social service organizations to help residents find new housing. The department is making home visits to Chateau residents to help them with arrangements, according to Cappelman's office.