RAVENSWOOD — Thorek Memorial Hospital is looking to sell parts of the Bethany Methodist Hospital and Retirement Community, an about-face from what hospital representatives told local aldermen earlier this year.
Thorek purchased the Bethany property that includes the hospital at 5025 N. Paulina St. and the retirement community at 4950 N. Ashland Ave. in 2019 for $22.5 million.
Since that purchase, Thorek has not shared much of its future plans for the Bethany campus and no proposals have been submitted to Alds. Matt Martin (47th) or Andre Vasquez (40th).
However in a statement Friday, Martin said he and Vasquez learned Thorek now wants to sell portions of the campus which include:
- Bethany Retirement Community at 4950 N. Ashland Ave.
- The open space fronting Ashland from Bethany to Winnemac Avenue (including the Lakeshore Cancer Treatment Center building)
- The surface parking lot on the north side of Winnemac Avenue between Paulina Street and the first alley to the east.
A broker for Thorek notified the 47th Ward office of the potential sale, according to Josh Mark, Martin’s director of development and infrastructure. Thorek did not respond to requests for comment.
“This constitutes an abrupt change following the aldermen’s January 2021 meeting with Thorek, during which hospital leadership informed them that there were no active plans to sell any part of the campus,” Martin said in the statement.
Since Thorek’s purchase of Bethany, both Martin and Vasquez have been hosting community meetings as recently as last week to gather feedback from nearby neighbors as well as residents of the retirement community of what they’d like to see happen at the site.
Neighbors at these meetings have said they want to preserve the senior housing at the property, Martin said, and both he and Vasquez will not consider any development proposals that do not retain the Retirement Community’s use as senior living.
Increasing affordable housing options in any new development, increasing the amount of green space in the area, using green building methods and encouraging non-car transportation were also features neighbors said they wanted developers to consider.
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