Rush Oak Park Hospital purchased the house at 613 S. Maple Ave. on Nov. 15, 2019, making it the third hospital-owned house on the west side of that particular block.
“Rush Oak Park Hospital has recently purchased additional properties near its campus,” confirmed Bradley Spencer, who handles the hospital’s media relations.
The house sits directly next 609 S. Maple Ave., which has been under hospital ownership since at least 1992. The hospital also owns 605 S. Maple Ave., which was acquired in August 2019.
Rush appears to have paid in excess of market value for its two most recent Maple Avenue purchases. In 2015, a private buyer purchased 605 S. Maple Ave. for $280,000. In August, the hospital paid $675,000 for it.
The hospital paid considerably more than that in November, dropping $1 million for the purchase of 613 S. Maple Ave.
What the hospital intends to do with these properties is as yet undetermined.
“Specific use for these properties has not yet been finalized,” said Spencer.
“The process of determining their future use will involve discussing with many stakeholders.”
The hospital is expected back in front of the Oak Park Plan Commission on Feb. 6 to present an updated proposal to build a $27 million, 713-spot parking garage on what is currently a hospital owned surface parking lot on Wenonah Avenue. Rush agreed after a November meeting of the plan commission to begin discussions with neighbors about the parking garage plan and to provide additional reports and studies of the potential impact of the garage.
“The demand for parking has grown,” Robert Spadoni, Rush Oak Park Hospital vice president and chief operating officer, told the commission at the Nov. 12 meeting. “I have gotten a variety of complaints, from not only the residents around there, but from patients, physicians, et cetera, about the parking problem.”
Last October Rush Oak Park debuted a state-of-the-art emergency department at a cost of roughly $30 million.
Jim Ritter, a long-time neighbor of the hospital, said the hospital has not yet informed neighbors of its plans for the three houses on Maple Avenue.
“They’ve not announced, to my knowledge, any specific plans for that block,” Ritter said. “The only thing they’ve announced is the parking garage (on Wenonah).”
It remains unclear how the newly acquired property on Maple, and backing up to Harlem Avenue, will be used.
“We do not have any immediate plans that we’re in a position to share at this time,” Spencer said.