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Firehouse Neighbor May Lose Home


The 5700 N. Ridge property next to the old firehouse

It was fantastic news to hear about the selection of Chicago Filmmakers to occupy and renovate the Firehouse on Ridge. But that sale is now bringing to light a bit of drama going on next door at a building at 5700 N. Ridge. According to DNA, James Brabec, Jr. and his brother George Brabec have lived there for 21 years but the city has filed a lawsuit wanting to take it away from them, tear it down and build a park. The city, according to Brabec, offered to buy the property for $211,000 even though the land alone is valued at $330,460. They offer was not accepted and the city is taking them to court saying they have the right to the property for the public purposes which is stated in an ordinance created in 2009 in regards to the City’s eminent domain powers.

The Brabecs feel the city is trying to steal there home away and there is nothing they can do. But the City and Ald. Harry Osterman feel the land would be much better used as public space that would beautify a rather bland corner. The next court date in the matter will be in late January.

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