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The owner of the former KFC restaurant at Dempster Street and Dodge Avenue reportedly plans to place restrictions of the building’s sale that would prevent many other restaurants from opening there.

The owner of the former KFC restaurant at Dempster Street and Dodge Avenue reportedly plans to place restrictions of the building’s sale that would prevent many other restaurants from opening there.

Alderman Peter Braithwaite, 2nd Ward, told residents at a ward meeting Thursday night that the broker with the listing for the property has told officials of the city’s Economic Development Department that KFC’s owner, the Yum Corporation, wants to include deed restrictions in the property’s sale that would bar its use for any restaurant that would compete with its brands.

In addition to KFC, those include Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, A&W and Long John Silvers.

That would appear to eliminate most dining options — other than a vegetarian or Asian restaurant — and it led residents at the lightly-attended meeting at the District 65 administration building to voice fears that a payday loan store, or some other use they consider undesirable, would end up in the building

Dickelle Fonda, of 1220 Darrow Ave., noted that neighbors had unsuccessfully fought to block the opening of a payday loan store on the southeast corner of the intersection. She said they wanted to make sure that another one didn’t open on the northwest corner that used to house the KFC.

After a resident noted that the city recently moved to bar new pawn shops by eliminating them as a permitted use in all but one commercial district, Braithwaite indicated he would look into whether similar restrictions might be adopted for payday loan operations.

On another development issue, Braithwaite said that Bank of America, which now owns the Evanston Plaza shopping center at the Dempster-Dodge intersection, is now working with CB Richard Ellis to market and sell the property, with offers for it due by Thursday, Oct. 20.

He said city officials anticipate that the sale of the property will likely close by the end of the year.

Top: The KFC shortly after it closed in late August.

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Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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8 Comments

  1. Is KFC being fined for property standards violations?

    This is ridiculous.  Yum is a huge multinational corporation that just posted 7.3% growth over the last quarter and had yearly revenues of $3.3 billion.

    I'm guessing the city can't really do anything to stop them from putting those terms of sale on the property.  However, it is important to recognize that Yum is losing actually money in the US and pursuing a growth policy focused on Asian markets.

    So in a sense closing the Evanston store is part of their strategy to shift investment overseas.  

    What does this mean for Evanston?  Well, they will probably try to sell the property with deed restrictions, but at some point they will need to unload it regardless of the new use because they are losing money sitting on the property.  Therefore, the city should resist any concessions they want.

    An alternative strategy should be to make sure that they are following all of the relevant city statutes and ordinances.

    If you drive by there you see that the place is fill of litter.  Send property standards out there and ticket them every day until they comply with the law like every other property owner must do.

     

  2. Don’t enable

    …the Yum Corporation, wants to include deed restrictions in the property's sale that would bar its use for any restaurant that would compete with its brands.

     

    Please do not enable this anti-competitive (anti-capitalist, really) behavior, Evanston. I really wish this kind of thing was illegal. Competition is good. Crony capitalism is bad for everyone and especially bad for capitalism. That's my 2 cents.

    1. It’s already enabled

      Sorry, but the city doesn't have the power to enable/dis-enable.

      It is perfectly legal for a property owner to initiate a deed restriction such as those proposed–in fact it is quite common.

  3. I think that the YUM brand of

    I think that the YUM brand of food dispenseries can hardly be called "restaurants". The food they serve is pretty much unhealthy in an ambiance that resembles a car quick oil change facility. Almost anything would be preferable to KFC,  Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, A&W or Long John Silvers.
     

    It would be great if that intersection could become a desired destination, sort of like Old Orchard. Possibly the city's economic development department knows how to create and market retail operations to the area.

    1. Starbucks!

      There's enough fast food on that corner Starbucks could help tun that intersection around and we could use one on this side of town. Might cut into Perla's business a little but it's worth that risk.

      1. B-K and McDonalds

        Last I knew B-K and McDonalds were next door.  Given the price difference and the economic state people claim for that area, I would think they would be the ones buyers would to to.

        1. The income for the area is

          The income for the area is robust. I recall about 60,000 from an earlier meeting. Please lets all keep an open mind to the possibilities for the area.

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