WEST RIDGE — The site where the old Nortown Theater was built in 1931 along Western Avenue will soon become a Wendy's fast food restaurant, according to records.
In December, city officials approved a building exception for the drive-through restaurant, sponsored by Ald. Debra Silverstein (50th), and the Wendy's website lists a new location coming to 6324 N. Western Ave.
Officials with the burger chain did not respond to requests for comment.
The property at 6324-46 N. Western Ave. was the home to the Nortown Theater from 1931-90 and was known for its nautical architectural themes — complete with mermaids on its facade — before trying to transition into the multiplex movie theater scene in 1984. The theater even housed a Wurlitzer organ before it was demolished in September 2007.
The lot almost became a six-story condo building with retail and parking, property records show.
In January 2007, property owner and Dunkin' Donuts mogul Amrit Patel hired VOA Associates for work on the lot. By December 2008 VOA said in court documents it had "satisfactorily performed services" — but was still owed $90,746 by Patel.
Patel also built the Monsoon Plaza across the street, which he planned to develop before the market crashed in 2008. The plaza was recently bought by BMW dealership owner Joe Perillo, though it's not expected to become a car lot.
In May 2012, the property was foreclosed upon (in 2009 alone Patel faced 14 foreclosures and more than $28.4 million in owed fees — including $8.8 million for Monsoon Plaza's construction) and by October it was bought by developer Adrian Tudor.
Tudor was sued by the city in February 2013 for various code violations at the site, and in April he signed the building over to the city.
In October 2013, the city settled with Tudor, who agreed to pay $748 in fines and litigation fees, and legal documents show Tudor admitted to storing and parking vehicles at the property since December 2012.
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