CTA adds building to Forest Glen bus yard


The Chicago Transit Authority plans to integrate the former Pyramid Mouldings factory, 5353 W. Armstrong Ave., into its adjoining Forest Glen maintenance and storage yard.

The CTA recently purchased the 112,000-square-foot building for $2.825 million. The bus yard, 5419 W. Armstrong Ave., is located to the west and north of the industrial parcel, and the 64-home Edgebrook Glen residential development is east of the building.

Florida-based Pyramid, which makes parts for vehicles and appliances, occupied the 163,765-square-foot parcel until 2012, when the Chicago Taxi Medallion Corporation moved in. The city issued about 30 building code violations for the property while the cab company operated in the building, and in early 2014 the company left the site, which was then put up for sale.

"Presently, the CTA is evaluating the building and property for integration into the garage operation," CTA spokeswoman Ibis Antongiorgi said in a statement. "The CTA has a significant shortage of available parking at the CTA Forest Glen garage for buses as well as non-revenue and employee vehicles, which has resulted in congestion and inefficient conditions for route operations and maintenance activities."

The facility, which includes a bus wash, is on the north and south sides of Armstrong, a short industrial drive that runs between Elston Avenue and the Edgebrook Glen subdivision.

When the former Pyramid site was for sale last year the Indian Woods Community Association voiced support for the property to be redeveloped for residential use. At one time a developer expressed interested in a senior housing complex for the property.

The CTA also is studying how it can incorporate the site of a former landscaping center at 5601-09 N. Elston Ave. into its Forest Glen maintenance operations, Antongiorgi said. The CTA purchased the 1.03-acre parcel, which formerly was occupied by Hill Behan Lumber, about 15 months ago.

The opening of the bus yard 55 years ago help lead to the creation of the community association. At the time residents were worried that the CTA might route buses traveling to and from the yard through side streets that connect to Central Avenue, which runs along the western side of the Indian Woods neighborhood.