One of the few things Chicagoans generally agree upon is the goodness of the Blommer Chocolate Company and the sweet smell of cocoa that wafts over River West. But, if the candy concern happens to be expanding onto your property, as is the case for Fred Eychaner, owner of the local media conglomerate Newsweb, the company's reputation seems a little sugarcoated.
Eychaner has been battling the city's attempt to seize his property via eminent domain for a decade. The situation began in 2000, when the city created a Planned Manufacturing District near the chocolate plant, in part to help it expand. According to Crain's, Blommer offered to buy Eychaner's property north of the plant in 2002. He refused, the city initiated eminent domain in 2005, then he returned fire and sued later that year, with a jury ruling his property was worth $2.5 million.
Last week, the Illinois Appellate Court said the city's move, predicated on the public benefit of economic development, wasn't unconstitutional, but offered Eychaner a new trial to determine a fair price for his property. If an expansion does happen, who known how far the Blommer's chocolate cloud may reach?
·Media mogul Eychaner wins new trial over River West land [Crain's]
·Previous Blommer's coverage [Curbed]