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Demolition of a long-vacant, one-story building in downtown Oak Park started this week, making way for the eventual construction of a 20-story tower, which will be the tallest building in the village.
Chicago-based Sertus Capital Partners is currently ripping down the property at the northeast corner of Lake and Forest, which was once home to businesses such as The Original Pancake House and Certifiedland Grocers.
Sertus was originally supposed to have the structure razed by July 15, under an agreement with the village, but striking construction crews put the work on hold. The developer asked for and was granted a delay on the demolition from the village board last month.
A grassy field will replace of the one-story building. The public garage behind the structure, meanwhile, will stay up until Sertus is ready to build its new development, which will include a 140-room hotel, 85 condos and a 510-space public parking garage. The developer and village are partnering financially to make the $85 million project happen.
Sertus next must apply for building permits from the village by Dec. 15, or village approval for the development can be voided. Construction must start by Sept. 15, 2011.