CTA demolishing former Hill Behan Lumber and Pyramid Mouldings sites in the Forest Glen, Indian Woods area near bus storage and maintenance yard
by BRIAN NADIG
The CTA is demolishing the former lumberyard and gardening center at 5601 N. Elston Ave. and the former Pyramid Mouldings factory at 5353 W. Armstrong Ave. as part of its planned expansion of the adjoining CTA Forest Glen Maintenance and Storage Yard.
Immediate plans call for the transit agency plans to use the additional land for employee parking, although other uses by the CTA in the long-term are possible, according to 39th Ward Alderman Samantha Nugent’s office. Many workers currently park on Elston Avenue or other streets.
A new fence will be installed along Armstrong, and some new lighting also is planned, the alderman’s office said. The CTA could not be reached for comment.
Currently environmental abatement is being conducted on the properties, and after that is completed, construction permits for the demolition are expected to be issued, according to the city Department of Buildings.
In 2013 the CTA acquired the former Hill Behan site, which measures about 1.03 acres. The lumber company operated there until the 1990s and then was occupied by Bill’s Landscaping Service.
In 2015 the CTA paid $2.825 million for the Pyramid site, which measures close to four acres. Pyramid closed its operations there in 2012 and then until 2014 Chicago Taxi Medallion Corp. used the facility.
The CTA issued the following about its plans for the acquired parcels in 2015: “The CTA has a significant shortage of available parking at the CTA Forest Glen garage for buses as well non-revenue and employee vehicles, which has resulted in congestion and inefficient conditions for route operations and maintenance activities."
The storage yard opened at 5419 W. Armstrong Ave. about 65 years ago, and at the time concerns about busses cutting through the nearby residential neighborhood led to the formation of the Indian Woods Community Association.