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Pilsen, Little Village, Back of the Yards

City Officials Will Offer Updates On Controversial Hilco Site During Community Meeting Thursday

The Department of Buildings, Department of Water Management and Chicago Department of Public Health will discuss activities at the former Crawford Coal Plant starting 6 p.m.

Little Village residents hang signs on City Hall as they protest Mayor Lightfoot's decision to restart Hilco demolition during pandemic on Wednesday, May 20, 2020.
Colin Boyle/ Block Club Chicago
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LITTLE VILLAGE — City officials will give updates to Little Village residents on the ongoing work at the controversial Crawford Coal Plant site during a virtual meeting Thursday.

The Department of Buildings, Department of Water Management and Chicago Department of Public Health will provide updates starting 6 p.m., according to an email from the Mayor’s office. Participants can register online.

City officials did not provide additional details on what they plan to discuss.

The former Crawford Coal Plant has been marred by controversy. Demolition work was halted after a worker there plummeted 40 feet to his death in December 2019.

City officials approved permits for developer Hilco Redevelopment Partners to implode the smokestack there last spring.

Activists urged the Mayor’s Office to stop the demolition amid the coronavirus pandemic, but the city let it continue. Neighbors received little to no notice before Hilco and its contractors imploded the smokestack, which blanketed homes and streets in dust and debris. Mayor Lori Lightfoot then issued a stop-work order.

In the fallout, neighbors and activists have called for city officials to kick the developer out of the site and revoke a nearly $20 million tax break for Hilco. The city has since passed an ordinance that would allow local leaders to yank tax incentives for “bad actor” companies. But the measure is not retroactive and cannot be used to sanction Hilco for the botched implosion.

During the summer, city officials granted Hilco permission to resume demolition and begin construction of a 1-million-square-foot warehouse for Target at the 70-acre site, 3501 S. Pulaski Road.

The Crawford Coal Plant closed in 2012. 

Read all of Block Club’s coverage of the former Crawford Coal plant and its impact on the community here.

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