LOGAN SQUARE — A deal that would have allowed dog rescue One Tail at a Time to move into a city-owned building on Cortland Street in Logan Square has fallen through, according to executive director Heather Owen.
It’s the second time a building sale has fallen through for the nonprofit. Ald. Roberto Maldonado (26th) blocked the original deal, which would’ve allowed One Tail at a Time to move into a long-vacant former liquor store at 3579 W. Dickens Ave.
Owen said she received the bad news this week in a phone call from city officials. They told her the city has decided to use the building at 2460 W. Cortland St. for city purposes instead. That, and the building inspection didn’t go well.
“They did an inspection and found the amount of work needed is beyond what we originally anticipated,” Owen wrote in a Facebook post.
Owen is disappointed, but remains optimistic her nonprofit will eventually find a building that can be used as an isolation center for sick or injured dogs.
“This fight has never been easy, but we keep moving anyway,” Owen said.
The good news, Owen said, is Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office has committed to helping find another city-owned building. She said she’s supposed to meet with the mayor’s office this week to go over new options.
Asked if the news came as a shock, Owen told Block Club in an email, “Yes and no.”
“I think because there were so many moving pieces I had a feeling something would go wrong,” Owen said.
Because the deal has fallen through, a town hall meeting, originally set for 6:30 p.m. May 22 at the Joinery, 2533 W. Homer St., has been canceled.
One Tail At A Time has been operating since 2008 and opened an adoption center in Bucktown in 2015.
The Bucktown adoption center, located at 2144 N. Wood St., houses 10 kennels for dogs that are ready to be adopted. Approximately 150 dogs in total are in the organization’s system. Most of them live with foster owners around the city for between two and six weeks until they are adopted.
The new building is for “animals that are coming from city shelters that are sick and injured and need a place to go where they aren’t going to be exposed to other animals and where they can get on medication and get the care and decompression that they need before they go into our foster program,” Owen said.
Before the city-owned building, Owen was under contract to buy the vacant former liquor store on West Dickens Avenue. That deal fell through after Maldonado rejected a zoning change.
Owen said she collected hundreds of signatures in support of the project and talked to neighbors at Maldonado’s request, but nothing was good enough for him. She said Maldonado seemed concerned that the facility would be situated in the middle of a residential neighborhood.
“He kept passing us off, saying that he wasn’t ready to make a decision, that he needed more time. Then in October, he told us that he wouldn’t consider it until after the election,” Owen previously said.
One of several reasons Owen pursued the city-owned building on Cortland Street was that it was located outside of Maldonado’s 26th Ward — but still in Logan Square.
“We’re still really frustrated and upset by the process with Ald. Maldonado. He showed us the worst of the worst of Chicago politics,” Owen previously said.
Maldonado has not responded to multiple phone and email requests for comment.
In her Facebook post, Owen thanked neighbors who pledged to come to the town hall meeting and support the project.
“It means the world to us,” Owen said. “We’ll keep you updated on what’s to come.”