City orders closing of unlicensed massage parlor at storefront near Central and Montrose in Jefferson Park
by BRIAN NADIG
The city Department of Buildings ordered the closing of an unlicensed massage parlor near Central and Montrose avenues in Jefferson Park on Thursday evening, Oct. 20.
The emergency closure order posted on the front door of the business at 5618 W. Montrose Ave. states that there has been construction without a permit and that there is an “unlicensed use” at the site, according to the city.
The business reportedly advertised on a Web site used for prostitution, and according to sources, when a person called the listed phone number they would receive a text message containing a picture of a topless woman and an alleged solicitation for sex, with phrases such as “new arrived young pretty girls” and “overflowing eroticism” in the message.
There is no current business license for the address, according to the city Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection. In the past, the storefront has been used for a variety of uses including a former legislative office. The property was reportedly sold 2 years ago.
Under the site’s B3-1 zoning, a special use from the city zoning board of appeals is required for a massage parlor, and none has been issued.
Until recently the storefront looked vacant to passers-by, but some massage service photos this week were put in the windows, which are covered with brown paper. The doors are blackened so passers-by cannot see inside.
According to area residents, a similar type of massage business, which advertises on the same site, operates near Diversey and Austin avenues, where the storefront also appears to be vacant.