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Deal in works to buy Lawrence’s Restaurant Row building

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Deal in works to buy Lawrence’s Restaurant Row building

A former air traffic controller has plans to buy a property in downtown’s Restaurant Row that is owned by former 4th Ward Alderman Rick Lawrence.

The property, at 41 W. New York St., has been for sale for 2-1/2 years. The potential buyer, West Side resident Gary Riggle, said he plans to redevelop the space into a tavern.

“I have a deposit and I’m pretty confident that it will go through,” Lawrence said.

Riggle said Friday a deal to purchase the property has not been finalized, but he plans to develop a “typical American tavern” at the Row spot. Under his plan, the two-floor tavern would have seating for about 100.

“I’ve never done this before so it’s been a learning process for me,” he said.

Riggle first approached Lawrence about buying the building in June. Lawrence would not confirm a potential sale price but he said he was asking $200,000 for the 41 W. New York property.

Riggle, who has lived in Aurora since 1985, said he is pursuing tax-increment financing funds from the city for the project. He previously attempted to buy the former Tavern On the Fox property at 24 N. Broadway, which closed in 2009.


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