CTA Postpones Lincoln Sale, Offers New Property Near Trader Joe’s

By Geoff Dankert | Friday, July 20, 2012

The former Edward Hines Co. lumberyard at 1801 W. Grace St. Credit: Geoff Dankert

The Chicago Transit Authority has hit “pause” on the sale of its star-crossed property adjacent to the Paulina “L” station, even as it offers a second piece of land along the Brown Line to prospective buyers.

A planned vote on the sale of the parcel at 3400 N. Lincoln Ave. was left off the agenda of Wednesday’s meeting of the Chicago Transit Board. A CTA spokeswoman would not comment on the reasons for the delay in approving the sale agreement first reported by Roscoe View Journal last month.

The postponement is the latest apparent setback for the agency’s attempts to sell the former Just Tires property it acquired for $2.2 million during the Brown Line renovation project in 2006. Its first request for bids following the completion of the Paulina station was unsuccessful, as it coincided with the onset of the recession. More recently, commercial real estate giant Jones Lang LaSalle was hired to handle bids for the parcel. The CTA has refused to reveal the identity of the tentative buyer and the planned use for the property pending action by the Transit Board. A CTA spokeswoman told RVJ she now expects the issue to come before the Board during its regular meeting on Aug. 8.

In the meantime, the CTA and Jones Lang LaSalle have begun accepting bids for a second parcel of land adjacent to Brown Line tracks in the Northcenter neighborhood. The CTA has posted to its real estate website an invitation for bids (see below) on the parcel at 1801 W. Grace St., located just behind the building housing Pet Supplies Plus and Trader Joe’s, 3745 N. Lincoln Ave. Bids are due Aug. 14; CTA has set a minimum bid of $475,000.

The 27,276-square-foot property is the former Edward Hines lumberyard and includes one building that still bears visible “Hines Lumber” markings. The Chicago Tribune reports that a fire at that location in May of 1995 caused substantial damage to the property. The City of Chicago has zoned the property “limited manufacturing/business park,” abutted by Metra and CTA Brown Line tracks and a CTA substation. The seller lists permitted uses as including “colleges and universities, day cares … animal shelters and kennels … taverns, retail sales, eating and drinking establishments.”
CTA Call for Bids

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  • cjlane

    “The Chicago Tribune reports that a fire at that location in May of 1995 caused substantial damage to the property.”
    What does that have to do with anything?  Hines was operating their lumber yard/hardware store there about 2000 (maybe 2001?), when the CTA started the power substation project.  They clearly repaired any damage from that fire.

  • cjlane

    Also, why wasn’t this cross-posted in CenterSquare?  The Hines site is definitely in North Center.

  • Geoff Dankert

    CJLane: Sorry for the delay; other commitments have kept me from the site until now.
    I chose to include the ’95 fire because it seemed like the sort of thing that longtime residents might well remember. In my research, I could find no definite information about when the lumberyard stopped operating, and I’ve lived in the area since ’99. I appreciate the backfill.

    As for why it wasn’t cross-posted; I don’t actually do the coding (darned liberal-arts major!) but I can assume it was because the Paulina property was the lead item. Had I taken the Grace property out of the piece and made it a separate story, then it surely would have been on CSJ. Thanks for reading.

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