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Article updated: 4/9/2010 9:35 AM

Work begins on bank at former Brown's Chicken site in Palatine

By Kimberly Pohl

More than 17 years after seven people were murdered at the Brown's Chicken & Pasta in Palatine, construction has begun on a business officials hope can withstand the site's notoriety.

Last week, crews started work on a Chase Bank on the northeast corner of Northwest Highway and Smith Street.

When the project got approval from the Palatine village council last October, bank representatives said they hoped the building would be complete within 140 days of breaking ground.

Many believe a bank is the only business that can thrive there. A dry cleaner replaced the restaurant but closed in 1994. The building sat vacant until it was razed in 2001. Since then, the empty corner has been used for parking and as a Christmas tree lot during the winter.

Some business owners in the same shopping center think the bank will cause a parking shortage, so the village agreed to conduct a traffic study six months after Chase opens.

In 2007 and 2009 respectively, James Degorski and Juan Luna were convicted of the 1993 murders and are serving life sentences in prison without the possibility of parole.

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