Armstrong Ave. site for sale after cab-repair firm closes


by BRIAN NADIG

An industrial parcel at 5353 W. Armstrong Ave. is for sale after a taxicab repair facility on the site, which until 2012 was occupied by Pyramid Mouldings, closed.

"We’re ecstatic about it," Indian Woods Community Association Economic Development Committee chairman Donald Walsh said. "We welcome development there, especially residential."

The 64-home Edgebrook Glen development, which is being built on the former site of Armstrong Tools, is east of the 163,765-square-foot site, and the Forest Glen CTA maintenance and storage yard is to the west and north.

The Chicago Taxi Medallion Corporation moved into the 112,000-square-foot building on the site in the fall of 2012, and city Department of Buildings records show that some 30 code violations were issued to the company in 2013 and 2014. The citations were for a leaky roof, rodents, permits required for a spray booth and ventilating systems, and a failure to keep premises clean and safe.

In addition, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration filed two complaints regarding safety and health concerns against the company.

The community association expressed concern about Chicago Taxi occupying the site in a 2012 letter to city officials, and it sought assurances from the company that it would obtain the permits and licenses required for auto repair and bodywork. The letter stated that in 2010 and 2011 the city had issued 107 code violations, including the illegal storage of Class 1 flammable liquids in excess of 300 gallons, for the company’s former West Side facility.

Alderman Margaret Laurino spokesman Manuel Galvan said that it is not known why the taxicab company vacated the premises and if it had moved elsewhere. "The city had nothing to do with it," he said.

A recorded message at the company’s phone number does not identify the company’s name and asks that callers leave a message.

Walsh said that the building was emptied and its parking lot was closed 6 weeks ago. He said that hundreds of cabs, most of which did not have a license plate, were parked on Armstrong but that they were removed within a few days.

The site is zoned M1-1 for manufacturing use. The Florida-based Pyramid Mouldings, which manufactures parts for vehicles and appliances, operated there for 60 years.

The asking price for the 3.75-acre property is listed as $3.2 million.

The CTA recently paid $967,000 for a.03-acre site at 5601 N. Elston Ave., which previously was occupied by Creative Lawn and Garden Center. The CTA plans use the site to expand the Forest Glen storage yard.


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