City moves to shut down parking lot near United Center

SHARE City moves to shut down parking lot near United Center
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The city is moving to revoke the business license of a company parking cars on city-owned property near the United Center. | Sun-Times file photo

City Hall is preparing to revoke the business license for Peoples Stadium Parking, the latest salvo to stop the company from parking cars on city-owned property across the street from United Center.

Ronald Shudnow, an attorney whose family owns Peoples Stadium, vows to fight, saying the city’s plan to revoke his business license for the lot is an attempt to get around a Cook County judge’s order that has temporarily stopped the city from erecting barricades on two city-owned parcels right in the middle of Shudnow’s parking lot at 1700-16 W. Madison.

While the lawsuit is pending, Shudnow’s family has continued parking cars on those lots during concerts and playoff games hosted by the Chicago Bulls and the Chicago Blackhawks. Now the city just hopes to shut down the whole lot.

“It’s all ridiculous,” Shudnow said. “They’re causing me a lot of grief. I would just like to buy the property. . . . We’re asking the court to find that we have an irrevocable right to go over the city’s lots.”

This parking lot feud erupted shortly before Christmas when the Chicago Sun-Times disclosed that Peoples Stadium Parking and two other companies had been charging fans to park their vehicles on city-owned property for nearly 20 years without paying rent or property taxes on the land. Shudnow, however, says the city has been collecting taxes from the fees vehicle owners paid to park on the city land.

The Shudnow family has been operating parking lots around the United Center and the old Chicago Stadium for decades, and they began using the city-owned lots under a five-year agreement struck in 1996 to resolve a lawsuit to acquire land for the United Center. His family has kept using the property, insisting it has a legal right under the business licenses the company has gotten from the city.

City officials plan to hold a hearing on Shudnow’s license Tuesday morning. The action has no bearing on the other parking lots the Shudow family operates.

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