Demolition of former DiLeo’s restaurant/bank at Central & Elston avenues to resume this month following long delay, Ald. Gardiner reports
by BRIAN NADIG
The demolition of the former DiLeo’s restaurant/bank at Central and Elston avenues, where a developer has sought to build apartments, is scheduled to resume Wednesday, Feb. 9, after a yearlong delay due to environmental concerns.
The building has sat partially demolished since late 2020.
“This building has presented inherent risks to residents and has been an eyesore to our community for far too long,”Alderman James Gardiner (45th) said in a letter that he distributed to area homes.
“Demolition originally began in November of 2020, but due to environmental concerns, several steps of mitigation had to be completed in order to ensure public safety guidelines set by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. Now that those requirements have been met, crews are expected to complete the demolition by the end of the month,” Gardiner said.
Project attorney John Pikarski Jr. said that concerns about asbestos on the site led to the delays and that obtaining an EPA permit can be a lengthy process.
In August, citing concerns about the poor condition of the property, the Gladstone Park Neighborhood Association withdrew its letter of no objection to a proposal for the site calling for a 40-unit apartment building. The proposal included three floors of residential units, a 40-space underground parking garage and 21 outdoor spaces.
The association previously stated that final support would be contingent on a community meeting being held and the developer addressing other concerns raised by the community, according to association president Joe DiCiaula. However, the meeting was never held due to the demolition delays.
An earlier proposal for the site had called for a taller building, with 52 apartments and commercial space. Many residents had raised concerns about the 2019 proposal at an association meeting, and the developer addressed some of those concerns in the 2021 proposal, including the elimination of studio units and storefronts from the plan, DiCiaula said.
Gardiner said that he is waiting for updated plans and that no decision has been made regarding the site’s redevelopment.
“Once those plans are submitted, my office will undoubtedly share them with neighbors, community groups and the general public to gain feedback,” he said. He added that a community meeting would be held.