Vacant Monsoon Plaza Across from Nortown Site Could be Sold, Alderman Says
By Benjamin Woodard, DNAinfo.com on Thursday, February 27, 2014 9:22 a.m.
Wikified and edited by RPWRHS on Thursday, February 27, 2014
Originally a city-owned parking lot across Western Avenue from the Nortown Theater, after the demise of the Nortown, the parking lot was torn down and the building that was built on that site became known as "Monsoon Plaza." It was never completely finished and has sat that way until Thursday, February 27, 2014, when DNAinfo.com ran the following piece by Benjamin Woodard.
The long-vacant, brick-clad building on Western Avenue — known as Monsoon Plaza — could have a buyer, officials said.
The bank-owned retail and parking structure at 6301 N. Western Ave. was built by Kosher Dunkin' Donuts mogul Amrit Patel shortly before the real estate market crash, according to reports at the time, and has sat empty for years.
"We're still finalizing all the details" about the possible sale, Alderman Debra Silverstein (50th) said Wednesday, February 26, 2014.
If a sale of the building, widely listed at $3.5 million, were to go through, Silverstein said, "it would be very beneficial to the neighborhood."
"We want more businesses in the neighborhood," she said, declining to share further details about the potential buyer for the property located a block south of Devon Avenue. "No one likes a vacant building."
Patel, who also owns the Kosher Dunkin' Donuts, 3132 W. Devon Avenue, faced 14 foreclosure cases in 2009 in which creditors sought more than $28.4 million, according to a Crain's Chicago Business report at the time.
In one of those cases, United Central Bank sought to collect on an $8.8 million construction loan for Monsoon Plaza, Crain's reported.
Since then, the building was put on the market.
"I was looking to buy it," said Adrian Tudor, who owns the vacant lot across the street from the building — the site of the old Nortown Theater — and other properties in the area, including a taxi garage at 6500 N. Western Avenue.
Tudor said he entered a contract to buy the property and began to settle outstanding construction liens. But then ended up "pulling out" of the deal.
Tudor said he envisioned constructing a multi-unit building in his empty lot and using Monsoon Plaza's parking spots for his tenants.
Now he has plans to transform his empty lot into a surface parking lot, he said.
"I heard the same rumors that someone is trying to build something there," he said of chatter that a deal might be eminent for Monsoon Plaza.
The building's broker didn't respond to requests for comment.