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Logan Square's Billboard Building Could Get Hotel, Alderman Says

By Mina Bloom | August 29, 2017 5:47am
 Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa said a developer is serious about building a hotel at 2618 N. Milwaukee.
Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa said a developer is serious about building a hotel at 2618 N. Milwaukee.
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DNAinfo/Paul Biasco

LOGAN SQUARE — Plans to convert one of the most prominent structures overlooking the Logan Square neighborhood's namesake square into a hotel are gaining momentum.

According to 35th Ward Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, the long-rumored hotel proposal slated for the Grace's Furniture building at 2618 N. Milwaukee Ave. is moving forward.

The alderman said a developer is serious about building a hotel there, but he hasn't submitted a "fully rounded" proposal. Once that happens, Ramirez-Rosa said he will bring the proposal, including renderings, to the public for review under his community-driven zoning process.

"Once that proposal is finalized and it's in a place where it'll be appropriate to bring it to the community, we will do just that," Ramirez-Rosa said. "I'm hopeful we will get that sooner rather than later. Ultimately, it's on the developer.

Efforts to reach the developer and Grace Martinez, whose family has owned the building since 1967, were unsuccessful.

Redevelopment of the building, one of the most prominent structures overlooking Logan Square and the Illinois Centennial Monument, has been held up for years by a legal battle over the billboards on the side of the building facing the square.

The city banned billboards on the building's sides in 2013, and the billboards' owner, Visualcast, has been fighting the city in court ever since. The front of the building faces Milwaukee Avenue. The billboards have remained blank.

Martinez has said the legal wrangling has hindered the redevelopment of the building, as potential tenants don't want to be bothered with a court fight or a deal with Visualcast.

In November, the city and Ramirez-Rosa called for an emergency demolition of the billboard wall for safety reasons due to cracks, bulging and falling debris. But that demolition never happened.

This week Ramirez-Rosa said the billboard wall will stay up "for the time being," but couldn't immediately say why.

RELATED LINKS:

Notorious Billboard Wall In Logan Square Coming Down — For Now

'Aloha' Billboard Building To Be Redeveloped In Logan Square

Is the End Near for the Logan Square Billboards That Preservationists Hate?