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North Side Business Gearing Up For Fight With CTA Over Land Grab

Brad Edwards Brad Edwards
Brad Edwards is a general assignment reporter for CBS 2 Chicago. He...
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(CBS) – They have a date with the wrecking ball.

The CTA has identified the roughly 20 buildings that will have to go to make room for a proposed bypass for the Red and Purple lines.

Most are not far from the Belmont CTA station in Lake View.

CBS 2’s Brad Edwards reports on the doomed buildings.

Mike Witt’s Sombrero Restaurant on Clark Street is on the CTA’s hit list.

“It’s a prime location,” he says. “We just can’t sit back cross our hands and let them take it.”

The CTA’s goal is to create a mammoth flyover bypass to alleviate the lengthy bottle-necking of trains that costs riders up to three minutes at what’s known as the “Clark Junction.”

“We’re still very early on. This isn’t a done deal, but yes part of the plan would be eminent domain: at minimum property owners will get fair market value — and up to original purchase price, whichever is greater,” an agency spokesperson said in a statement.

The CTA now has a series of public hearings scheduled. The earliest start date for the project is 2017.