- rip the roof off the underground parkade, fill it in, and top it off with a freshly paved suface lot. AFAIK, the city wasn't too keen on approving the necessary permits. Why? I don't know but it is to remain a surface parking lot not to mention a cheap ass solution to a parkade with issues
This site is part of a larger site that has been owned for more than a decade by a Hong Kong investor. The previous owners had at one time received approval for a two tower condo complex back in the 1980s, I think. The site includes the L-shaped parking lot fronting on Richmond, Victoria and Lombard, as well as the former Milwaukee's pool hall/Zasu restaurant building on the north side of Lombard that is now falling into disrepair.
The north part of the site, on which the work is now proceeding, is actually a buried underground parking garage (the entrance ramp is/was, I recall, just north of the building at the northeast corner of Victoria and Lombard - not part of the site, by the way). It's not used, and I guess the owner is now demolishing the garage by filling it in, leaving only a surface lot. The underground part hasn't been used for many years, although I don't know if that is because of the zoning laws or it was condemned.
While I agree that it's good to have that restaurant re-opened, the name of the new establishment that is going in there is "Da Factory." I can't imagine it's a place I would want to visit given the name.