'We deserve better': McKinley Park community groups seek to halt $6.5M Damen Silos sale

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Tuesday, December 6, 2022
SW Side community groups seek to halt $6.5M property sale
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McKinley Park community groups are asking Gov. JB Pritzker to halt the sale of Damen Silos Chicago to the owner of MAT Asphalt.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The silos stand out as just about the tallest structures in the community. But, they have been vacant for decades.

Some would call the 23-acre property an eyesore. It's owned by the state, but a sale is pending to the owner of MAT Asphalt for $6.5 million. A number of community members, however, want to stop the sale.

"We demand they move forward with a different vision that includes public participation so we can vet these proposals," said 25th Ward Alderman Byron Sigcho-Lopez.

Numerous groups have signed a letter to Gov. JB Pritzker. ABC7 spoke with community and environmental groups, who are asking the state to halt the sale of the Damen Silos to MAT Limited Partnership. Many in the group cite environmental concerns.

"We deserve better that that. Our community should have a say in what our public amenities and land become," said Kate Eakin with the McKinley Park Development Council.

A spokesperson for Pritzker said the state is required to sell property to the highest bidder to get the best deal for taxpayers. In the case of Damon Silos, MAT Limited Partnership came in with the highest bid, and was therefore awarded the property.

Michael Tadin Jr., the prospective buyer for the property, issued a statement, saying "any real estate development that occurs on the Damen Silos property will go through a public planned development process. Our investment will pour millions of dollars into the local economy."

But, some community leaders said they are skeptical.

"When there is public land, there must be public participation. My office was not included in this process," Sigcho-Lopez said.

One idea the community has floated is for the state to sell the property to the city so they can have a say in who ultimately owns this property.