The City Council’s Housing Committee approved all 13 items on their Tuesday agenda, including a 21-acre parcel in North Lawndale to Clarius Partners, in a meeting that stretched on for nearly two hours.

Attendance: Chair Joe Moore (49), Vice Chair Gregory Mitchell (7), Sue Sadlowski-Garza (9), Raymond Lopez (15), David Moore (17), Michael Scott, Jr. (24), Deb Mell (33), James Cappleman (46), Ameya Pawar (47).

Highlights of items approved:

  • A $1 million land sale to Clarius Partners, a development firm known for its large-scale suburban office complexes, received unanimous approval. The company is purchasing 21 acres of city-owned land in North Lawndale at a discounted price–the land was appraised at $2.6 million–because Clarius is putting $1.5 million in escrow to cover the cost of site remediation. The area, bounded by Roosevelt Road, Kostner, Kildare and Fifth Avenue, was once an illegal dumping site, part of the infamous Silver Shovel investigation that led to the indictment of six aldermen.
  • Greenline Development, Inc. received approval to purchase four parcels of city-owned land in Woodlawn for a total of $4 ($1 per parcel). Similar to the Clarius sale, Greenline is purchasing the land located directly North of Oakwoods Cemetery for a discounted price–it was appraised at $62,000–because they’re covering the cost of site remediation, which is estimated to cost upwards of $200,000. Greenline plans to build eight eco-friendly single family homes (renderings from their website). According to Brian O’Donnell with the Department of Planning and Development, the developer has agreed not to sell any homes until they’ve received an official NFR letter, “No Further Remediation”, from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.
  • A $450,000 land sale in Pilsen that would support the construction of a new 75,000-square-foot wholesale food warehouse at 2639-59 South Damen Avenue was also approved. Banner Wholesale Grocers is purchasing the vacant parcel from the city, as well as a neighboring vacant parcel owned by the Chicago Produce Marketplace Corporation, to construct the new $10.5 million facility. Once complete, the food company, which has been in operation since 1926, will move from its existing Near West Side location at 3000 South Ashland Avenue. In addition to paying for the land at its appraised value, Banner will also place $350,000 in escrow to cover potential environmental remediation costs.
  • A substitute ordinance approving the sale of a vacant lot in Pullman for $12,500 to North Carolina-based telecommunications infrastructure company, Eco Site. The parcel located at 400 East 107th Street is next to Countee Cullen Elementary School and was once a gas station. The substitute ordinance addressed the need for site remediation, according Assistant DPD Commissioner Robert Wolf.
  • A $1 lease agreement with the Salvation Army, which is renting space at the Garfield Center, a Department of Family and Support Services-run community center. The lease agreement expires in December 2019. The Salvation Army will be using the space to provide services for the homeless while they construct a new facility.