April 2, 2003

The Chicago Transit Authority took another step closer to beginning construction to renovate the Brown Line. At its monthly meeting today, the Chicago Transit Board approved an ordinance to provide a lessor with formal notification that the premises are needed for transportation purposes.

Demon Dogs currently leases 1,875 square feet from the CTA beneath the elevated tracks at 944 West Fullerton. The CTA needs the space for its upcoming Brown Line capacity expansion project.

Demon Dogs rents the space from the CTA for approximately $630 a month and its lease expired on February 28, 2003. The restaurant's proprietors have contested the lease termination. As a result, the CTA brought suit to evict Demon Dogs and that case is pending in the Circuit Court of Cook County.

All CTA's lease agreements stipulate that if a parcel of land is needed for transit purposes, adequate notice will be provided to the lessor in cases of current leases, or that leases will not be renewed upon expiration. Today's ordinance resolves any uncertainty that otherwise would have to be resolved in court, as Demon Dogs agreed in leases to surrender the premises if the CTA needed the property for transit purposes. To ensure fair treatment to Demon Dogs, the CTA has taken this extra step and will work with Demon Dogs to have an orderly transition.

"The Brown Line capacity expansion project is another capital improvement the CTA is making to bring the system into a good state of repair," said Chicago Transit Board Chair Valerie B. Jarrett. ?As the neighborhoods along the Brown Line continue to attract businesses and residents, we need to accommodate the increased demand for fast, convenient transportation."

?Today's Board action moves the CTA closer to breaking ground on the Brown Line. The Brown Line is an efficient, affordable way for customers to travel between Chicago's Northwest Side and the Loop and by extending platforms to accommodate longer trains and renovating stations, we hope to attract even more customers to the viability of public transit," said CTA President Frank Kruesi. ?We are committed to inconveniencing as few residents and businesses as possible during this project. The CTA has been working with community leaders and residents who will be impacted by the Brown Line expansion and we have been sensitive to their recommendations."

The Fullerton Station is one of 18 CTA stations that will be reconstructed and modernized. The existing station has been designated historic by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency (IHPA), which requires the CTA preserve the structure. As part of the Brown Line project, the original stationhouse will be relocated to the north side of Fullerton, serving as an entrance and exit. As a result, the building currently housing Demon Dogs will be demolished. The new stationhouse requires more space to accommodate planned upgrades. It will be built on the south side of the street and will have concession space. The CTA will choose a vendor through a competitive bidding process.

The Brown Line is one of CTA's busiest rail lines, serving more than 61,000 passengers each weekday. Since 1979, Brown Line ridership has increased approximately 73 percent. In the past year alone, ridership has increased by 10 percent, which is the highest rate of growth anywhere in CTA's rail transportation system.

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