EDGEWATER — The demotion of the Edgewater Medical Center has temporarily stopped while crews remove an electrical transformer.
The office of Ald. Pat O’Connor (40th) sent out a message Aug. 24 letting residents know MCZ Development and ComEd were working together to remove a transformer from the site. Once that’s completed, demolition of the former medical center at 5700 N. Ashland Ave. can continue.
“In order for demolition to continue, a large underground transformer located in the vacated alley running east and west must be removed from the property,” O’Connor’s office said.
Crews have been removing water from the tunnel where the transformer is located due to all of the rainfall that happened this week, according to John Schoen, a spokesperson for ComEd.
“The plan is for a group to go out to see everything that needs to be removed next Tuesday and then on either Wednesday and Thursday remove the transformer from the underground vault,” he said. “But crews will be out there first thing Tuesday morning to walk the job.”
This is not the first delay the project has experienced.
When the development initially started the demolition process in February 2017 asbestos was found at the property. This led to a pause on work while remediation began on the rubble heap and items, like electrical switches and thermostats, could be safely removed from the building and wreckage pile.
The medical center at closed in 2001. The structure was built in 1929 using funds from John Lewis Cochran’s real estate company, one of Edgewater’s earliest founders and early developers, according to the Edgewater Historical Society. Since 2016 the site has been in development by MCZ Development.
Once demolition is complete, the property is expected to be developed into 141 high end apartments with 78 indoor parking places and 50 indoor bike parking spaces. The property to the west of the former medical center will be developed by the Chicago Park District into a new public park, according to information from MCZ.
Demolition is expected to continue through December of this year. Before the delay caused by the transformer construction of the new building was to begin in August and continue through next February.
A timeline for the development project can be found here.
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