Chicago Bears get OK to start demolition at Arlington Heights


The Chicago Bears took another step toward building a stadium on the grounds of Arlington International Racecourse Friday as the village of Arlington Heights issued a permit to demolish the interior of the racetrack’s grandstand, offices and jockey buildings. .

Arlington Heights spokesman Avis Meade confirmed the village had approved a phase one plan to demolition the racetrack, which would cost $5 billion to build an NFL stadium and, to an annex, the team’s construction. It marks a new move towards a proposed residential, commercial and entertainment complex. A 326-acre racetrack.

“Demolition of the interior may increase truck traffic in the area, and the property will continue to be monitored 24/7 by security guards,” Mead wrote in an email to Pioneer Press.

A representative for the Bears confirmed the team has been cleared to begin work and said work is expected to begin on Tuesday. They said the team would not use explosives or implosion to carry out the work.

Mead said the village and Cook County will review and approve applications for demolition of outdoor buildings on the property. Arlington Heights Mayor Tom Hayes said earlier this month that the village responded to many questions and comments from residents about the demolition request. He said the village committee does not have the power to approve or deny the team’s request.

The Arlington Heights Department of Building and Home Safety has also received a second application for demolition of the building itself. Overall, the team expects the demolition work to cost about $3.8 million, according to the filing.

The permit, which was issued on Friday, covers the demolition of the interior of Arlington Park’s grandstand, two-story office and jockey building. In the village announced transportation plan To remove debris on the website.

The team’s interior demolition application estimated the work to cost about $1.48 million.

A project description, obtained via a Freedom of Information request, says the team will thoroughly search the interior of the building and “cut off and shut down” utilities such as water, electricity and gas.

The demolition of the grandstand, west entrance, jockey’s quarters, paddock, offices, east entrance, concession stand, main hut, scoreboard and lookout will cost approximately $2.34 million, according to the club’s documents to the village. It’s going to take.

The Bears will use St. Charles-based contractor Alpine Demolition Services, according to the filing.

The Bears were the first to apply to begin demolition work the next day. Crane’s Chicago Business reported. Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi said the property was valued at about $197 million.

The land sale officially closed in February 2023, more than a year after the team agreed to purchase the land from former owner and operator Churchill Downs.

The team is currently engaged in a broader property tax battle with three school districts whose finances could be hit by property tax cuts intended to help the team develop the site.

A hearing before the Cook County Board of Review on the latest property tax assessment is scheduled for June 2. Churchill Downs will be forced to pay the bills, but the valuations discussed at the hearings will also determine the property tax valuation for the next two years. Amount equivalent to property taxes paid by the team to Cook County. The Bears may appeal the property tax assessment next year or the year after, which could result in lower property tax bills in the future.

Meanwhile, the school district and the team are at odds over the property taxes the team should pay. The school district has proposed that the team compromise on a $95 million land price, which team principal Kevin Warren called “not a starter.”

In Springfield, lawmakers’ thoughts shifted from four proposals aimed at providing the team with financial support to move from Chicago’s Soldier Field to Arlington Heights. The latest move, an amendment to an earlier proposal put forward by Rep. Marty Moylan of the Des Plaines Democratic Party, garnered local support from former Village Trustee and freshman Rep. Mary Beth Chianti (Arlington Heights Democrat). ing.


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Written by Natalia Chi

Chicago Popular; Chicago breaking news, weather and live video. Covering local politics, health, traffic and sports for Chicago, the suburbs and northwest Indiana.

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