Former Soft Sheen Factory Site Could Become Mixed-Use Church Complex With School

 CHICAGO (CBS) – It’s a win-win for the Chatham community.

The old Soft Sheen factory has been vacant for a decade. Now, there’s a plan to re-open the building as part of a mega-complex.

CBS 2’s Pamela Jones reports the plans are part commercial – but mostly spiritual.

Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church plans to turn the 14.5-acre block of empty property into a school, a massive church auditorium and as many as seven retail stores plus a restaurant.

An estimated 400 jobs would be created if the $26 million project comes to fruition.

The project is made possible by the family that runs the Hobby Lobby arts and crafts chain, which gifted to the church the old factory site at 85th and LaFayette.

“It’s been an eyesore for a long time, and we look to take it to a whole ‘nother level,” Pastor Charles Jenkins says.

The building that’s already standing on the property is the size of two and a half Home Depot stores.

Shirley Williams-Bains looks forward to the transformation. She’s watched the sheen fade into slow decay from her home across the Dan Ryan.

“I’m wondering, when are they going to do something for this property,” she says.

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