Puerto Rican community center may get a second chance

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CHICAGO — Bankruptcy almost permanently closed the doors of Casa Puertorriqueña in Humboldt Park, but a judge's ruling Sunday could give the beloved community center a second chance.

Local leaders gathered to celebrate the future of Casa Puertorriqueña Thursday after they say a judge gave the ok for its sale to the Hispanic Housing Development Corporation for just over $1 million.

The Puerto Rican Parade Committee, which owns the building, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last year. The group has also been under investigation for allegations of financial misconduct.

Casa Puertorriqueña sits on a prime piece of real estate on California Avenue across the street from Humboldt Park, and activists feared it would be sold for a high-priced condo development.

"What we don’t want is for this property to become part of gentrification," said Ald. Roberto Maldonado (26th Ward).

The existing building may have to be torn down, but the company that is buying the property plans to maintain space for a community center, while also developing affordable housing for working families in partnership with CHA.

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