Near the Obama library, County seeking proposals for historic Woodlawn bank building

The Washington Park National Bank building has been vacant for decades

Washington Park National Bank at 6300 South Cottage Grove Avenue (Credit: Google Maps)
Washington Park National Bank at 6300 South Cottage Grove Avenue (Credit: Google Maps)

The historic Washington Park National Bank in Woodlawn could soon be receiving a major revamp.

Administrators of the Cook County Land Bank Authority have issued a Request for Proposals for the 94-year-old building, which has sat vacant at the southeast end of the CTA Green Line for more than a quarter-century.

Authority director Rob Rose said the county is looking for a developer with an idea for a “mixed-use community space,” according to Block Club Chicago.

The limestone building at 6300 South Cottage Grove Avenue, previously managed by prolific Woodlawn property owner Rev. Leon Finney Jr., had accumulated $3.7 million in unpaid taxes when county officials bought it last December. Pieces of the facade have fallen away, and a tree can be seen growing out of the roof.

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Development applications will be accepted through the end of October so that the authority can pick a winner by mid-December, according to Block Club Chicago.

Property values in Woodlawn are jumping in advance of the Obama Presidential Center, whose construction is set to get underway in Jackson Park next year.

A few blocks northeast of the bank, the University of Chicago is about to start construction on its 1,300-bed Woodlawn Residential Commons dorm complex.

Earlier this year, the land bank authority put thousands of properties up for sale on the city’s South Side and nearby suburbs, offering prices below market rate to developers with ideas.  [Block Club Chicago] — Alex Nitkin