Boocoo space foreclosed on after youth organization fails to pay

Hal Jin, Reporter

The space once home to Boocoo Cultural Center and Cafe, where a youth organization intended to move, has been foreclosed on, the city’s economic development coordinator Paul Zalmezak told The Daily on Thursday.

We Want To Live signed a purchase agreement in March for the property at 1823 Church St. In an interview with The Daily in March, spokesman Bobby Burns said the organization wanted to partner with other groups to develop youth initiatives. He said he was considering contacting the city to get financial aid.

The organization failed to pay the funds to which they had agreed, and the property went into foreclosure, Zalmezak said. The 3,000 square-foot space is located across the street from Evanston Township High School.

At a sheriff’s auction Oct. 7, Zalmezak said the property was sold to the only bidder, Capital Crossing, a Boston-based real estate investor. A judge will review and validate the sale in early November, he said.

Boocoo, which served as a youth community center, had to start suspending some of its programming in December 2013.

When We Want To Live signed the purchase agreement, there were about 12 volunteers working for the organization. Its plans for the space included a “Battle of the Chef” competition and internships for ETHS.

Nothing has been posted to We Want To Live’s website since April.

“As movement & planning continues to be in the works for the future collaborate of 1823 Church St., many conscious conversations are being had with business owners in the neighborhood,” the site says.

Its Facebook page, which has been inactive since May, still says in its description that the organization has a purchase agreement to acquire the property.

We Want To Live had not responded to a request for comment by 8:30 p.m. on Thursday.

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