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Lot next to Obama’s Chicago home up for sale

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012 9:26 a.m. CDT

(MCT) — CHICAGO — Another home-buying opportunity has surfaced in President Barack Obama’s neighborhood, this time right next door.

The owners of the famously vacant land next to Obama’s home in Chicago’s Kenwood neighborhood are trying to sell the 50- foot-by-150-foot lot at 5050 S. Greenwood Ave. for $899,000.

The owners of the lot purchased it in 2008 for $675,00 with plans to construct a 8,000-square-foot home there but never moved forward with it. The architectural drawings for that potential home are available, too.

Potential buyers will have to show their financial wherewithal as well as submit their name to the Secret Service 24 hours ahead of time, said @properties agent Anthony Rouches, who has the listing.

“I offered it to Obama through the Secret Service. They weren’t interested,” Rouches said. “The Secret Service mows the lawn over there, with the president’s lawn mower.”

For being an empty space, the lot is well known in Chicago political lore. Now-jailed Obama fundraiser Tony Rezko bought the land next to Obama’s home when Obama received a mortgage to buy his own home in 2005. Rezko later sold a portion of the lot to Obama. The rest of the lot was sold later and is now being listed by a private couple.

The home has not been listed in the local multiple listing service for sale, but Rouches said he has shown it a few times, including to a Boston developer who considered putting townhouses on the lot. However, given the local housing market’s economics, Rouches said he believes it will be sold to an individual who wants to build a single-family home on it.

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