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City Buys Apartment Buildings Near Metra Station

Oak Forest aldermen approved the purchase of two apartment buildings for a total of more than $1.2 million. The city hopes the step is the first of many to reestablish interest in the area near the Oak Forest Metra station.

Oak Forest has two new apartment buildings to call its own after a move by aldermen Jan. 22.

Aldermen voted to purchase a 16-unit building at 15659 S. Lamon Avenue and a 24-unit building at 4820 W. 157th Street for $475,000 and $744,000, respectively.

The move is the first in a plan to reestablish interest in Oak Forest, said Community Development Director Adam Dotson.

“Today, is the day that we've made the decision, or we will make a decision, whether to go one way or another, is to tell the investment community that we are looking for reinvestment,” Dotson said. “The only way we're going to do that is that the city is going to start taking steps to show the investment community that we want change to happen, so we are successful in the future.”

The California-style apartment buildings were purchased in the hopes that businesses and families will flock to the area in the future, Dotson said.

“These two particular properties play a key role in what we're trying to get done near the train station area,” Dotson said. “That is, attract residents that need this type of transportation, as well as the quality housing that we're looking for to come here in the future.”

Alderman Rich Simon said that he was happy to see the purchases go through, adding that he has been waiting for some time for the city to make this move.

“I've been looking forward to starting programs like this for a lot of years,” Simon said. “This is a good start. … It's a good start and I think the residents in Oak Forest can look forward to us doing a lot more like this as time goes on.”

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Darnell January 24, 2013 at 03:06 PM
Ah the tenants! They will eventually be given notices of eviction, with a time limit to vacate. Then they can do, like any other tenant in an apartment building, rented home, that is being either remodeled or razed. Begin looking for another apartment. Just like many of us did, when we lived in apartments, or rented houses and received eviction notices. I'm sure if the need arose on their part, they would have no qualms about trying to get out of a lease or just picking up and moving at leases end, for whatever reason. However in this instance since the property is now municipally owned, I think it would be in good faith for Oak Forest to assist in seeking replacement housing should eviction time come. But i as a taxpayer would draw the line at that. You know there those that are going to want their belongings moved for them, monetary compensation or those just wishing to make a scene to get their 15 minutes of fame with MAYBE a 30 second interview in the media!
Tom S January 24, 2013 at 03:42 PM
Our taxes will never go down until the city finds new revenue sources I.e. additional business revenue. Even then, the likely scenario is that they stay flat.
Darnell January 24, 2013 at 05:38 PM
It is not an assumption, nor was it rude or were you targeted. It is merely stating reality based on past incidents here and else where which happen regularly, The first sentence is merely (without looking up the true legalities) what would be the legal way. Not an assumption. When a former mayor attempted a similar venture with apartments on 159th, the squawking from some residents reached the Chicago's network news level, who in turn made it a big drama infused human interest story , complete with residents tearing up on camera asking "where will I go, what will I do?" The media certainly villainized that mayor to the point that all plans were dropped.That mayor however in my opinion, invited the negative publicity by being callously boisterous in their intent!
Happy Camper January 26, 2013 at 05:22 AM
Check the video on the cities web site under Watch CIC-TV and look for "Destination Oak Fores" from October 28, 2011 (currently page 18). I think this gives you a pretty good idea of what the city hopes to achieve. If you don't want to watch the entire thing you can go to the 8 minute mark.
Darnell January 26, 2013 at 10:09 PM
2 comments missing on this topic. Are we practicing censor ship here?

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