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Lefty Publisher Haymarket Gets Neighbors' OK On Buena Park Mansion Plan

 The land surrounding 800 W. Buena Ave. was once owned by a family that holds historical significance in the 'hood.
The land surrounding 800 W. Buena Ave. was once owned by a family that holds historical significance in the 'hood.
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Dana Galowich/Jameson Sotheby's International Realty

UPTOWN — Ald. James Cappleman (46th) will be supporting Haymarket Books' planned move into a historic Buena Park mansion.

Cappleman voiced his support for the left-leaning book publisher's project at 800 W. Buena Ave. after asking neighbors within 250 feet of the property to vote on whether or not he should approve a zoning change for Haymarket. Of the votes that were counted, 50 were in favor and 30 were not, he said in a newsletter to constituents Tuesday.

Cappleman wrote that neighbors' concerns about parking and congestion were adequately addressed, as parking is available at Brennemann and Disney schools nearby. The book publisher also plans to limit the number of evening events they host. 

"This special use also helps to protect the historic nature of this home," Cappleman wrote. 

Since Haymarket Books, a self-described "radical progressive" publisher, expressed interest in buying property, neighbors have been hit with a parade of flyers for and against the sale. Prior to the vote, the alderman held a community meeting to allow neighbors to voice their concerns and officials to answer questions.

Jerry Blair, one of the neighbors who signed a flyer, said last week that he took issue with the publisher's politics. 

"They are anti-Semitic and totally left wing," he said. "We're just a nice residential community that happens to be historical and we'd like to keep our peace and quiet."

But other neighbors said the group would be a "fantastic resource" that could be a community gathering space for neighborhood meetings and would benefit local businesses.

"Haymarket has committed to not only maintaining the historic mansion, but also to working with us all to ensure Buena Park keeps its serene, unique atmosphere," read one flyer, that was circulated by 10 residents in favor of the project.