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KFC site’s future draws concern

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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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