BEVERLY — A recent garage fire has launched renewed interest in a long-vacant home at 9900 S. Winchester Ave., according to neighbors.
Ald. Matt O'Shea (19th) hosted a meeting Thursday evening with residents living near the home that saw its garage engulfed in flames late last month. The meeting was held at the Morgan Park police station.
Neighbors said Friday the house on the corner lot has been vacant for nearly six years, and it's brought unwanted attention to the otherwise quiet block.
"The neighbors are mostly concerned about safety and the general look of the place dragging down property values," said Mary Pat Sheppard, who lives a few houses south of the large brick home.
A concrete pad is all that is left of the garage for the house at 9900 S. Winchester Ave. after a fire late last month. [DNAinfo/Howard A. Ludwig]
The house was purchased with the intent of being rehabbed. It was gutted only to be left both empty and uninhabitable, according to an aldermanic staffer.
At O'Shea's request, city attorneys have filed a lawsuit against the owners of the property with the intent to bring the building up to code. The first court date is Aug. 21.
Meanwhile, O'Shea invited the bankruptcy trustee involved with the property to the meeting. He said he is committed to finding a way to sell the property. Attorneys with the city's Building and Law departments were on hand to answer questions.
Chicago Police Sgt. Mike Egan of the Morgan Park district was available to address any safety concerns.
"It was a very positive meeting," Sheppard said.
A large brick home at 9900 S. Winchester Ave. has been vacant for nearly six years, according to neighbors. The property is owned by Mack Industries, a sign on the window states. The company filed for bankruptcy March 24. [DNAinfo/Howard A. Ludwig]
A building permit displayed in the window and dated Jan. 23 lists Mack Industries as the owner of the property. The Tinley Park-based company filed for bankruptcy March 24, according to a Daily Southtown report.
The company was in the business of buying foreclosed homes, rehabbing them and renting them out. Bankruptcy plans moved toward liquidation May 25, and the court-appointed trustee described the company as having a "complex history of opaque financial and business dealings," a subsequent report said.
Mack Industries was founded by James "Mack" McClelland and had a large portfolio of homes in the south and southwest suburbs, according to the report. At O'Shea's meeting, another property that fell under the Mack umbrella in Mount Greenwood also was mentioned, a neighbor said.
Kyle Altenburg said Friday he was asked to assess the value of the Winchester home by the lender on the property. The real estate agent also said the trustee is "doing everything possible" to free the property from its legal limbo.
Altenburg said he's convinced that when the Beverly home is able to go on the market it will sell quickly.
"It's a good community," he said.