HYDE PARK — The city is searching for developers to remake a block of 43rd Street around the Green Line.
The city put out a call this week for developers to remake seven properties between Indiana Avenue and Martin Luther King Drive, and is willing to offer up tax subsidies to get the job done.
“Now that the economy is improving, I think it’s time to test the water to see what kind of interest there is,” Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd) said.
Dowell is hoping a developer will want to build a retail and residential project on six vacant lots and a shuttered liquor store.
The sites have been available for two years, but Dowell said she was hesitant to move until the market started looking better in Bronzeville. She said with new housing starting to be built in the neighborhood, she now feels it's time for the city to act.
“I wanted to do this earlier, but obviously the recession made it difficult to attract attention,” Dowell said.
Dowell and the city have been prepping the strip, which as includes a project to revive the historic Forum building as a music venue, since 2010.
After two years of pressure from Dowell and city inspectors, Calumet Food and Liquors, 315 E. 43rd St., shut down in 2012 due to liquors license violations. The store had been the subject of complaints about drugs, prostitution and loitering.
Sweis has cut a deal to sell the former liquor store to the city but the sale won’t close until after the city has already started the process of moving it back into the private market.
“The city doesn’t want to be stuck holding a piece of property no one is going to use,” Dowell said.
The city in its bid to lure in developers is also putting up the resources of the 47th and King TIF District. The massive property-taxing district pulls in more than $5.5 million in revenue every year and has more than $11 million in its coffers to be used for redevelopment projects in Bronzeville, according to city reports.
The city is scheduled to start meeting with interested developers on Wednesday and make a selection in February.
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