ENGLEWOOD — City officials plan to sell a long-vacant five-acre lot in Englewood for $1.3 million to a high-profile developer in an effort to build shops and stores along Wentworth Avenue near 69th Street.
The new retail corridor — set to be built by developer Sterling Bay — will be across the street from the new maintenance yard the city plans to build at 245 W. 69th St., which officials hope will breathe new life into the area that was once home to Kennedy King City College.
The city's largest Department of Fleet and Facility Management maintenance garage and yard, where 200 people work, will move to Englewood from the banks of the North Branch of the Chicago River near Goose Island by 2020.
With the backing of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the City Council is expected in October to finalize the sale of the North Branch property for $104.7 million, also to Sterling Bay.
"By making smart investments like this one, we can double down on the progress we are making in a neighborhood like Englewood and generate economic benefits that reach every corner of Chicago," Emanuel said in a statement.
The Englewood maintenance facility will save the city about $500,000 a year by being smaller and more efficient, city officials said.
Emanuel has already earmarked $20 million from the sale of the maintenance yard to build a state-of-the-art $95 million training facility for Chicago police and fire recruits in Garfield Park.
In addition, the mayor has promised to use the proceeds from the sale of the 18-acre riverfront property to fund much-needed improvements to the city's 311 system.
The sale has already been endorsed by the Chicago Plan Commission.