Having annoyed scores of West Lakeview transit riders with the decision to halt #11 Lincoln Avenue bus service, the Chicago Transit Authority appears to be in no hurry to dispense with another lingering issue in the neighborhood: the sale of the former Just Tires property at 3400 N. Lincoln Ave.
The plot of land adjacent to the CTA’s Brown Line has been sitting vacant ever since the completion of the new Paulina station in 2009. A representative of CTA real estate partner Jones Lang LaSalle confirmed that a prospective buyer had been selected through the bidding process back in June but members of the Chicago Transit Board still have not been asked to vote on a purchase agreement. However, the Lincoln Ave. property has been removed from a CTA website identifying property for sale.
A CTA spokeswoman told Roscoe View Journal last week that the agency was still finalizing paperwork related to the property and could not offer a timetable for a vote. The spokeswoman would not identify a specific reason for the delay. The next Chicago Transit Board meeting is set for next Thursday, October 11th, and the agenda for that meeting has not been posted as of last weekend.
The agency also has refused to identify the prospective buyer or planned use for the property, which has been the subject of some controversy in the neighborhood over its potential uses. Last year the Lakeview Special Service Area #27 proposed to buy it and turn it into park space, but was limited from submitted a bid due to City Council opposition. At least one other property developer considered a bid to turn it into a mixed retail/residential project, but opted not to bid because of financial concerns.
The CTA is reportedly making progress on the sale of its other property in the area: the former Hines Lumber property at 1801 W. Grace Street behind Trader Joe’s and Pet Supplies Plus. An agency spokeswoman says the CTA is reviewing bids that were due in August, but would not offer a timetable on when or whether a winning bid would be selected.