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Illinois Community Center on Listings of Foreclosures

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By : John Cutts    99 or more times read
A nonprofit community center has recently been added to the growing listings of foreclosures in Illinois. A foreclosure lawsuit has been filed by ShoreBank on the Washington Cultural Center located in Bronzeville. The nonprofit community center is a controversial project of Dorothy Tillman, a former Alderman.

The foreclosure case has cast a doubt on the future of the community center. Compounding the problem is the allegation that Tobacco Road Inc., a company that manages the community center, violated the terms of public grants amounting to $7.7 million. The grants were used to fund construction of the community center. Jimalita Tillman, the alderman's daughter is the center's executive director.

According to the Department of Budget and Management, the city wants the community center to succeed given the amount of investments that it has made over the years. The department oversees the grants for the community center and evaluates the potential uses of the facility in the event that Tobacco Road failed to arrive in an agreement with its lender.

On its part, Tobacco Road said that the nonprofit community center, which is facing listings of foreclosures, has not violated any terms of the city grant. The company said that it has enough funds to pay their overdue mortgage and make its account current. The company is hoping that ShoreBank would dismiss the case against the community center.

Tillman created a controversy when she first proposed the community center as part of the goal to create an entertainment hot spot in Chicago similar to the one developed for African Americans in the early years the 20th century.

The center opened in 2004 and since then, little or no attempts were made for the redevelopment of the area. Additionally, Tillman was defeated in the 2007 election and lost most of her clout.

About 1,000 auditorium seats in the center are rented out to music artists while it is given for free to community groups. However, the center has been financially struggling, with revenues declining by 32 percent to $386,000 as of June 30 last year, compared with 2007.

Aside from the loan default, the city government has also questioned whether the community center is fulfilling the requirement to host events 239 days a year. The city is defendant in the case that placed the community center on listings of foreclosures.
John Cutts has been educated in the finer points of the foreclosure market over 5 years.

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