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Work Begins at Site of Future North Clark Street Burger King

By Benjamin Woodard | December 10, 2013 7:48am
 Community members were uneasy about a Burger King magnate's hopes to build a drive-through restaurant in Rogers Park.
Burger King Rendering and Site Plan
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ROGERS PARK — Work has begun at the future site of a Burger King on North Clark Street that caused a controversy earlier this year.

An excavator and fences showed up at 7513 N. Clark St. last week. A building permit was issued on Nov. 13 for the construction of the one-story, drive-through restaurant that's expected to cost $858,000 to build, according to records.

Despite neighbors' complaints that the fast-food joint would attract loitering and violate animal rights, Ald. Joe Moore (49th) supported the zoning change required to build the drive-through.

"Burger King will be good for the neighborhood and a good corporate citizen," Moore said in a statement.

The restaurant would be Adam Velarde's 29th Burger King. His other restaurants are located throughout northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin.

Moore said in the statement Velarde had committed to hire workers who live in the neighborhood, call the cops on persistent loiterers and pick up trash around the property.

Construction would be completed within three months, Moore said.

Velarde was not immediately available for comment about whether adverse winter weather would delay construction plans.

Since news of the plans broke, some residents organized to try to persuade the alderman to oppose the plan.

Steve Hueffner collected more than 200 signatures on a petition opposing the restaurant.

Hueffner told DNAinfo Chicago in March that he and other community members who gathered at a January public meeting about the plans felt a "lack of response" after they raised concerns ranging from increased traffic and pedestrian safety to animal rights and children's health.