CTA plans to expand Forest Glen bus yard
by BRIAN NADIG
The Chicago Transit Authority is planning to expand its Forest Glen Maintenance and Storage Yard at Elston and Bryn Mawr avenues after it acquired a neighboring 1.03-acre site that previously was occupied by a garden center and a lumber yard.
The site at 5601-09 N. Elston Ave. was occupied by Creative Lawn and Garden Center and Bill’s Landscaping Service, which closed last year, and in October the CTA purchased the property. Hill Behan Lumber occupied the site until the 1990s.
Alderman John Arena’s chief of staff Own Brugh said that the transit agency has not submitted a plan for the property but that it believes an existing garage on the site can be used to store buses, while a building that housed the garden center’s retail operations may be demolished. The property abuts the south end of the CTA’s storage facility, 5419 W. Armstrong Ave.
The CTA facility was built about 55 years ago following a community protest to a plan to have buses enter the facility from a side street in the Indian Woods neighborhood. The controversy led to the creation of the Indian Woods Community Association, and buses are allowed to enter the facility only from Armstrong or Elston.
Brugh said that the CTA was interested in purchasing the neighboring Armstrong Tools property, 5200 W. Armstrong Ave., several years ago, but that site was eventually sold for a single-family home development. Construction of the development has been slowed due to the decline in the real estate market.