After a two-month delay, erection of the long-delayed Whiteco building at Harlem Avenue and Ontario Street will emerge from its hole this week.

Matt Chambers, chief financial officer at Whiteco Residential LLC, said extra work reinforcing the foundation delayed for 60 days assembly of the building’s above-ground structure.

Bob Clements, acting director of development services in Oak Park, said deliveries of pre-formed columns, beams and floor pieces were starting to arrive Tuesday.

“It’s a pre-cast building, so it should go up pretty fast,” said Clements. “It’s like an erector set; you put the pieces together and up the building goes.”

Construction crews will erect the structure between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. each day. Pre-casting of the building was scheduled to begin Tuesday morning.

Chambers said Whiteco expects occupancy of the building’s 200 apartment units by the summer of 2008.

The Harlem sidewalk next to the construction site will stay open during non-construction hours after 3 p.m. and on weekends. The Ontario entrance to the Holley Court garage will close from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays, “mainly because they’re lifting stuff overhead, and they don’t want any possibility of an accident occurring,” Clements said.

Alison Mochizuki, director of national publicity for Trader Joe’s, said the grocery story expects to open a standard-sized (10-15,000 square feet) location at 483 N. Harlem Ave. sometime during 2008. She would not elaborate further.

Clements estimates Trader Joe’s will move in during the late spring or early summer of 2008. Whiteco’s contract with the grocery chain stipulates that move in can’t start until construction crews complete the building’s outside structure and begin work on the interior. Erection of the outside shell should finish around March or April of 2008, Clements said.

-Marty Stempniak

Join the discussion on social media!