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Pilsen, Little Village, Back of the Yards

Developer Behind Controversial Little Village Warehouse Buys Fisk Generating Station In Pilsen, Alderman Says

The move comes after Hilco received approval to build a massive — and controversial — distribution center at the Crawford Coal Plant site in Little Village.

Hilco Development Partners have purchased the Fisk Generating Station site in Pilsen, Ald. Danny Solis confirmed.
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PILSEN — A Northbrook-based developer that plans to build a massive — and controversial — distribution facility at a former Little Village coal plant site has also bought the old Fisk Generating Station site in Pilsen, Ald. Danny Solis (25th) confirmed. 

Hilco Development Partners has purchased the facility at 1111 W. Cermak Road, Ald. Danny Solis (25th) told Block Club Tuesday. Despite protests from neighbors, the firm received city approval to build a 1-million-square-foot warehouse and distribution center at the old Crawford Coal Plant site in Little Village late last year. 

Solis doesn’t yet know what Hilco plans to do with the Pilsen site, he said. 

“We are waiting to set up a meeting to hear the specific details to see whether it’s something I can support or not,” the veteran alderman said.

RELATED: Massive Little Village Warehouse On Old Crawford Coal Plant Site Approved By City Council

Hilco Development Partners did not immediately respond to calls and emails. Midwest Generation LLC, the firm that previously owned the site, did not return calls. 

The Fisk Generating Station opened in 1903, and shut down its coal-burning operations in 2012, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Credit: Mauricio Peña/ Block Club Chicago
The Fisk Generating Station is located at 1111 W. Cermak Road in Pilsen.

Fisk’s closing was a result of a community-led effort that called for the closing for the Pilsen coal plant and the Crawford Generating Station in Little Village.

In December, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency hosted a community meeting to consider approving a draft permit which, if approved, would allow for the diesel peaking turbines at Fisk to be used during periods of high demands.

Crawford Station redevelopment 

Hilco first unveiled plans to create a 1-million-square-foot distribution center at the former Crawford Generating Station site last summer. 

The $100 million project, called Exchange 55, will include a distribution site for e-commerce and logistics companies, Hilco CEO Roberto Perez told Little Village residents at the time. 

RELATED: Little Village Neighbors Demand City Stop Crawford Redevelopment Plan

Credit: Hilco Redevelopment Partners
Hilco Development Partners plan to build a one-million square foot warehouse at the former Crawford site in Little Village.

The plan was approved by City Council despite community opposition. Opponents of the plan said the new warehouse would increase diesel congestion and impact the health of Little Village residents.

RELATED: Semi-Trucks Are Taking Over Little Village, Neighbors Say — And Giant Warehouse Plan Will Make It Worse

But retiring Ald. Ricardo Munoz (22nd) said the project’s “benefits outweigh the critiques.”

The Crawford Power Plant was shut down in 2012 after community-led efforts raised concerns about the impact coal pollution was having on the health of Little Village residents. The Northbrook-based company purchased the 70-acre site in the Little Village Industrial Corridor in 2017.

Hilco plans to begin demolition at the Little Village site later this year and remediate the land in 2019. If all goes well, the project is expected to be completed in 2020.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates. 

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