Update: March 3rd 2016
Update in Anticipation of Tonight’s WEAR Meeting – TIF Funding
I have received a couple of inquiries recently about what the current status is on the Edgewater Medical Center (EMC) campus. Most of what follows is not new but will, hopefully, clarify some things for the reader.
The TIF which is made up of the EMC campus was established by a City ordinance which was passed on October 1, 2003. The purpose of the TIF as stated in the ordinance was for a proposed redevelopment project area. So, at the outset, it should be clear that the TIF proceeds can be used any way which is in furtherance of the redevelopment of the site. It is not limited to demolition or, indeed, any single category. Factually, the use of TIF dollars as the redevelopment is configured is that NO TIF dollars will be expended on the vertical building project, just as no TIF dollars have been expended on the single family home sites currently being built.
TIF dollars will only be used to buy the property which will become the park, and TIF dollars will be spent to develop the park space by the Chicago Park District.
To that end, the Chicago Park District is designing a few park layouts for the neighborhood to see and comment on. In accordance with previously discussed preferences with the neighborhood, the designs will be predominantly passive park designs, without ball fields, basketball courts, skate parks, etc.
Finally, when the original plan was being discussed with the community and Waveland Partners, the design for the vertical building on Ashland included a new building, three floors of parking, retail and approximately 250 residential units. The new design is repurposing the existing structure without retail and approximately 100 less residential units. In my opinion, and the opinion of the WEAR (West Edgewater Area Residents) members who testified in favor of the project at the public hearing prior to passing the plan, the plan is good for the community, and better than the original proposal.
As to whether the existing building can be repurposed, the current owner has done extensive due diligence and design work. They have indicated they firmly believe that not only can this building be saved, but it can be made into an attractive and profitable venture and they are committing millions of dollars to that end.
As those who live in close proximity to the EMC property know, WEAR is holding a meeting with the developer this evening to discuss the project. It is my hope that this information provides helpful background.
Update February 17th 2016
I am pleased to announce that there has been significant progress with respect to the Edgewater Medical Center Redevelopment. On February 17, 2016, MCZ (the future developer) officially purchased the parcel of land which includes all of the remaining hospital buildings from the bankruptcy estate.
Today, before the Chicago Plan Commission, MCZ’s plan was approved to restore the large hospital building facing Ashland Ave. and to demolish the buildings to the west to allow for a .89 acre park (the maximum park size allowable within the space).
These are significant steps forward in the process of redeveloping the area. We are hopeful that MCZ will begin their demolition work this spring. In addition to approval of the plan development, the City (through the Community Development Commission) passed acquisition and disposition authority for the park parcel on November 10, 2015. This was a great first step in the formal process of having a community park. The Chicago Park District has committed to owning and developing the park. Their designers will work on a passive green space that can be enjoyed by everyone in the community.
The former hospital will be redeveloped into an all residential apartment building with 141 dwelling units (a mix of studios, one bedrooms and two bedrooms), 78 accessory parking spaces, and a minimum of 50 bicycle parking spaces. The building will also have a 50% green roof.
The process of approval of the TIF funds for the development of the park space is still ongoing; however, we are pleased that the amount of TIF funds needed will be well below what was originally contemplated.
I will keep the community updated as this process and the remainder of the work on this important project progresses.
Update May 15th 2015
MCZ, the contract purchaser for the balance of the Edgewater Medical Center site, recently submitted a TIF application for their project. In total, they have asked for $10.7 Million in TIF money to help them complete the project. This number, along with numerous other details of their application, is being analyzed by the City’s Department of Planning. The amount, along with the structure of the financing and other details will all likely need to be negotiated between the City and MCZ. In an effort to keep the community informed, I would like to share the renderings of the project and give a few details. However, it is important to understand that the project is still under review and that MCZ is the contract purchaser, not yet the owner of the site (the estate is currently the owner), so bear in mind this is a proposal, not a finalized project.
MCZ is planning on an apartment complex with 141 units of residential (with no retail component), comprised of 9 studios; 100 one-bedrooms; and 32 2-bedrooms. This is less than the 213 units originally contemplated. As you can see from the images, the developer plans to engage in adaptive re-use of some of the buildings. They believe that this will result in a project with less disruption to the neighborhood during demolition and construction, and a smaller number of units than the originally planned new building. There will be 141 parking spots that will exist inside and outside of the building. The inside spaces will be in the basement and on the first floor, while the outdoor spaces will be along the east side of the building. Twenty-nine of the 141 apartments would be affordable housing as required by ordinance. The architect on the project is Hartshorne Plunkard, a firm experienced in historic preservation. MCZ’s current timeline would be to close on the acquisition of the property by September of 2015, demolition and gut of remaining structure would occur from September of 2015 to March of 2016. Construction would occur from April 2016 to June of 2017. Occupancy would be completed by March of 2018. @properties will support the project.
The proposal also provides that the developer would build out the park and turn it over completed. As things progress with the application, I will continue to keep you informed.
Update June 6th 2014
There is currently a contract for the sale of the Edgewater Medical Center property. The Developer who is entering into the contract is MCZ Development.http://www.mczdevelopment.com/
A motion was filed in Bankruptcy Court on May 27th with a Purchase Contract by MCZ asking for court approval of the Contract (they expect approval by the judge). This is a great step toward finally getting the hospital down and a new development in place that adds to the neighborhood. The contract has a contingency related to the reduction of the tax lien that is lodged against the property and the owners’ reps and the Cook County State’s Attorney are attempting to work that out. The attorneys are in talks with the State’s Attorney’s Office now to attempt to reduce the site’s tax liability, and they are hopeful that they will be successful.
We are optimistic that this sale will go through. Developers from MCZ met with the Alderman and plan to develop the site based on the plans that were previously discussed with the community.
As more information becomes available to our office, we will make it available on our website.
Update January 29th 2015
The developer for the single family homes has informed us that they are functionally done with the pumping process and that demolition of the garage will now begin to escalate. Regarding the water leak on Ashland Avenue, the problem has been resolved and concrete will be poured when weather permits.
Posted Update January 16th 2015
The single family home developer, CA Development, has begun demolition of the garage. They anticipate that their demolition contractor will set up the equipment at the west end of the garage where the loading dock was located. The contractor will likely perform only some minor demolition in that area to test equipment suitability and reach from that position. The major demolition will not commence until the pumping has been completed, which should occur by the end of this week (note that this has been delayed from previous timelines due to weather conditions).
Demolition of the parking garage adjacent to is set to begin in early January. We have asked the contract purchaser to make every effort possible to communicate with the neighborhood about the demolition timeline, disruptions and their efforts to minimize those disruptions. The following is information provided by the developer regarding their plans. We will actively be monitoring the activity during demolition and we ask that neighbors let us know if they have any concerns. Ultimately, we know that the demolition and subsequent construction will be an improvement for the neighborhood.
Chicago based residential developer, CA Development, Inc. is under contract with Sedgewick Acquisitions LLC (the successful bidder for the entire Edgewater Hospital property and current owner of the parking garage parcel) to purchase and develop single-family homes on the Edgewater Hospital parking garage structure parcel as the first phase of the Edgewater Hospital redevelopment. CA Development, Inc. specializes in single-family home development on infill parcels in the city of Chicago. They have built over 500 homes in the city of Chicago on former commercial and industrial sites similar to the parking garage structure where demolition of the former industrial property has had to occur before new homes could be built.
CA Development, Inc. plans to build 15 single-family homes with 4-6 bedrooms on 30 foot wide lots, each of which will provide a three car garage for off street parking. The original redevelopment plan for this portion of the property called for 19 homes to be built. They have contracted with demolition contractor, “Impactor, P and P, Inc.” to whom a demolition permit has been issued, for the demolition of the existing structure . CA development, Inc. has informed us that Principals of this demolition contractor have previously performed both the demolition of large commercial/industrial buildings and also the subsequent excavation for single-family homes for CA Development, Inc. on several different planned development sites in the city in the last 10 years. They have successfully demolished much larger buildings without incident. In order to obtain a demolition permit, this demolition contractor had to be licensed and provide evidence of adequate insurance. Additionally, we are advised that the parking garage structure was inspected and found to contain no asbestos containing materials or other environmental hazards.
The demolition is intended to begin when pumping of the groundwater from the site is completed by the current owners. That pumping is projected to be completed by the end of December, and demolition is projected to begin immediately thereafter or in early January 2015. It is estimated that the demolition will only take 3 to 5 weeks thereafter to complete. The demolition will be taking place during the winter period when nearby property owners will likely have all of their windows closed which should reduce issues of noise or dust . Additionally, there will be little actual “soil” disturbed in this demolition, so mud should not be a significant issue. For safety reasons, the building department will require sections of the sidewalk surrounding the building to be closed in 40 foot sections at a time, as the demolition progresses from west to east. so pedestrian traffic will be temporarily diverted across the street on Edgewater and Hermitage avenues. They may also authorize temporary restriction of access to limited parts of the alley behind the structure where demolition is occurring during the daytime, but any such restriction would be temporary during work hours only, and removed before evening.
CA Development is making a major effort to minimize truck traffic and congestion resulting from the demolition and to recycle as much material as possible. The estimated volume of what would otherwise be demolition debris from the parking structure, is over 450 semi-truckloads of material. However, by utilizing a pulverizing attachment on the demolition equipment they will be able to reduce the concrete to small enough pieces that will allow it to be suitable backfill for the future single-family homes to be built on the site. This will eliminate approximately 400 semi-loads of concrete debris from being hauled off the site and nearly 400 loads of fill that would otherwise need to be brought back in. Thus, eliminating nearly 800 semi -tractor loads/trips to and from the site.
CA development Inc. has stated that the parking garage structure is not a particularly tall (no taller than a typical two-story house) nor complicated building to demolish. They advise however that because it is reinforced concrete, it will require the use of larger demolition equipment to demolish and pulverize the concrete from the walls, support columns, and floors. They wish to be clear that that there will undoubtedly be some noise, dust, and vibration, despite all reasonable efforts to minimize same. [Alderman O’Connor suggests that those property owners living in close proximity to the site might want to consider making a video-graphic record of their property, including basement walls and windows so as to provide themselves with adequate documentation of potential damage should the need arise]. They ask for your understanding that it would be impossible to perform such a demolition without some amount of such unavoidable byproducts of demolition. However, the time period for demolition should be relatively short and will be completed well before spring 2015, when construction of the new single-family homes is projected to begin. CA Development’s schedule for construction would have all of the single-family homes completed by spring of 2016. They have pledged to utilize their extensive previous experience from infill development in Chicago to minimize inconvenience to the neighborhood.
Update December 12th 2014
The contract purchaser of Edgewater Medical Center has tested the standing water in both the garage and the hospital basements. Based on the results, they are able to pump the water out of the garage (and they have obtained the necessary permits). They will start pumping as early as this Thursday, December 11, 2014. However, it is possible the pumping will not begin until next week (the work is dependent on weather conditions). The pumping will only only occur between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. and officials from the Water Reclamation District will be there when they begin pumping. Once the water is pumped out, the garage portion of the property will be demolished for the construction of single family homes, as was part of the plan adopted by the community. The contract purchaser is currently making determinations on how quickly they can move forward on the balance of the project.
July 17th 2013
Dear 40th Ward resident:
If you live in close proximity of the Edgewater Medical Center property, you may in the next day or two receive a letter regarding the future development of that property from the property managers working for the trustee of the estate.
What they are applying for is the right or entitlement to develop the property along the lines of the community discussions we have had over the past several years. They are seeking the right to build a 12 story, 214 unit building with 14,000 sq. ft. of retail and parking floors. They are also designating approximately a little better than one-third of the property for park space immediately west of the Ashland Avenue buildings. Conspicuously missing is any mention of the residences west of where the park will go because that area is currently zoned for single family homes and would not be included in any rezoning or planned development because the property is already single family.
While it is clear to me that representatives of the WEAR organization and many of our residents, myself included, are open to the idea of having an LGBTQ senior residential development on this site, it is equally clear that unless the economics of such a development improve or become manifest, it is unlikely that any developer would have the capacity or ability to move forward with that project.
The issues of building material, colors and aesthetics will not be addressed until such time as the property is under contract to the ultimate buyer/developer. These items will be discussed with the City’s Department of Housing and Economic Development in conjunction with my office and representatives of the community.
I am encouraged that the long awaited development of this property seems to be moving forward, albeit at a snail’s pace. I am told that there are several entities interested in the project but a contract does not exist at present.
Patrick J. O’Connor
Alderman – 40th Ward