The Village of Oak Park is soliciting proposals from developers for a parcel of land that was previously home to a derelict building the village paid to have demolished in 2015.
Oak Park took control of the property from 6641-43 North Ave. in July 2014, after the previous owner was foreclosed on and the building fell into disrepair.
A year later, the village spent $133,000 to have the two-story building, which had been covered in abandoned scaffolding for years, demolished.
Adam Salzman, a former trustee serving on the board at the time, told Wednesday Journal that the village took control of the property because it was dangerous and an eyesore.
"It's a determination by the village that the parcel is worth more as a vacant lot than it is with a building on it," Salzman said in July 2014.
That demolition was costlier because of the discovery and removal of asbestos and underground storage tanks on the site.
The village issued a request for proposals from developers on Oct. 13 to redevelop the property.
Tammie Grossman, Oak Park's director of Development Customer Services, said environmental remediation to the parcel has been completed. She noted that the property has been on the market for about a year.
"Anybody that wants to do anything – we'll entertain the conversation," she said.
The request for proposals (RFP) on the village's website notes that the parcel is approximately 6,250 square feet and zoned for a commercial or mixed-use development.
"The site is adjacent to a recently completed PNC Bank and a large commercial redevelopment site on the Chicago side of North Avenue. Adjacent to the west is a privately owned commercial property that could be assembled to create a larger redevelopment site," the RFP states.
The proposals will be reviewed by village staff and the Oak Park Economic Development Corporation (OPEDC), a quasi-governmental entity tasked with attracting and retaining business in Oak Park. The OPEDC executive board will make a recommendation to the Oak Park Board of Trustees on a preferred developer, following review of the proposals.
Proposals are due by 3 p.m. on Nov. 3.
The building is across the street from the former U.S. Bank and parking lot, which runs from 6600 to 6700 W. North Ave. Those parcels of land, located on the Chicago side of North Avenue, are being considered for redevelopment by Noah Properties, which wants to build an 80-unit, three-building apartment complex.
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