ROGERS PARK — Residents plan to gather Friday at the former Adelphi Theater site, which has been vacant for years, to reimagine what could be built there.
"This vacant place could be a garden, could be a coffee shop, could be a community center," said Ana Bermudez, of the Rogers Park Business Alliance, which is organizing the event.
The lot has been untouched since 2008 when a condo development failed, leaving a giant hole in the ground.
In November, Jason Vondrachek, owner of Quest Reality Group, bought the land and intended to build a three-story apartment building with storefront retail. But a spat with Ald. Joe Moore (49th), who questioned Vondrachek's history of responsible building management, derailed the plan.
Now Vondrachek is seeking a commercial client and develop the site as "built-to-suit."
Bermudez said everyone is welcome at the event from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, which is part of the Metropolitan Planning Council's 2014 Placemaking Challenge.
The gathering is intended to "give a voice to the community," Bermudez said, while also giving people hope that something better than "a big hole in the ground" could come to Clark and Estes.
The business alliance will provide a chalkboard for residents to write down their ideas for the site, she said. Participants will also be invited to play Loteria, a Mexican game of chance similar to bingo. Tamales will also be served.
Bermudez said the business alliance attempted to invite Vondrachek to the event but failed to reach him.
Vondrachek didn't respond to requests for comment Tuesday.
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