CHICAGO (CBS) — Police late Monday were investigating a mass shooting that left two people dead and 13 others injured at a party in the Park Manor neighborhood.
The building houses a makeshift tow company and auto repair business, but police said there was a bar set up.READ MORE: Mayor Lightfoot Delays General Iron Permit To Move To South Side Over EPA Concerns
We’ve reported on the building that housed the party and the tenants that held the keys. On Monday, CBS 2’s Chris Tye had a more thorough look at the man who is part owner of that address – and another troubled address.
Andy Schcolnik has been a Chicago landlord for decades – active on boards and generous to politicians. He also told Tye he is a proud investor in properties in some of the city’s toughest neighborhoods.
One of those properties, at 6798 S. South Chicago Ave., was home to that deadly and illegal pop up party. Another property with which Schcolnik is deeply connected was shut down for another party that broke the rules last fall.
Three years before the deadly pop-up party, the 2018 tenants at the South Side Think Tank at the South Chicago Avenue address were slapped with four cease-and-desist orders for unlicensed parties at the auto body shop. The tenants were hit with four more cease-and-desist orders the following year for breaking them again.
The operator was arrested, and the facility shut down.
All the while, Schcolnik was part owner of the building. He’s also part owner and president of The Grand Ballroom, less than a mile away at 6351 S. Cottage Grove Ave. in the Woodlawn neighborhood.
Investigators with the city’s Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection – BACP for short – said on Nov. 14 of last year, The Ballroom housed a “party with over 200 attendees and no face coverings or social distancing.”
It was cited, slapped with a closure order, and “required to remain closed until BACP approves a plan for reopening.”
On Jan. 8, 2021, it reopened.
“The city needs to make heads roll,” said Ald. Jeanette Taylor (20th). “There’s no need to be no, ‘Oh, it’s his first time,’ or, ‘Oh, it’s OK.’ No – oh, it’s closed.”READ MORE: Chicago Night Clubs Gear Up For Looser COVID-19 Restrictions As State Prepares To Enter Bridge Phase
Taylor said business owners and landlords are getting simple slaps on the wrist for allowing deadly behavior.
“If you don’t follow the rules, I don’t care who you are connected to. I don’t care who you’re friends with,” Taylor sad. “You don’t deserve a slap on the wrist. You deserve to lose your business.”
Mayor Lori Lightfoot added Monday: “I’m just learning about that history. Obviously, that was an unauthorized use for that facility – and given the history, I would expect there would be some significant activity taken.”
In the meantime, Schcolnik – who declined an on-camera interview – said the incident over the weekend was the first fatality at one his properties.
He said the November infractions at The Grand Ballroom are unrelated to the deadly party this weekend, calling it sheer bad luck that it happened.
“You need to pay for what happened. You need to take ownership,” Ald. Taylor said. “As a matter of fact, since two lives were lost, you don’t get to operate a business in this city at all – how about that?
Schcolnik said he has not spoken to his tenants, who are the ones believed to have thrown the weekend party.
He said he appreciates the Alderwoman’s comments, but would rather discuss with her in person, not through the media.
Taylor said the business owners, landlords, and City Hall are all to blame for this situation. She said a dysfunctional City Hall is at the top of the pyramid – operating in silos – and the only time aldermen talk to each other in depth is around budgets.
That needs to change, she said.MORE NEWS: Saint Joseph Catholic School Principal On Administrative Duty After Former Teacher Charged With Child Sex Crimes
Taylor also said blame falls on City Council, and said this kind of shooting would never happen on the North Side.