Though the property at 1000 Beloit Ave. will be purchased by the village, no decisions have been made yet regarding its use or when renovations will begin.
Considered by many as an eyesore in the community, the property consists of five apartments and a storefront. The property, listed at $375,000, was bought from the estate of Mohinder Sharma for $330,000.
Mayor Anthony Calderone pushed for the acquisition, suggesting the property be used as a police substation or community resource center, but the purchase was met with disapproval by commissioners Theresa Steinbach and Patrick Doolin, both of whom said the money could be put to better use. Steinbach is running against Calderone for mayor in the general election.
“I see both options as beneficial to the community,” Calderone said. “The uses don’t compete with one another, they complement each other.”
According to Village Administrator Mike Sturino, the village will not close on the property until it is completely unoccupied. He’s hopeful that will take place by the end of the month. In the meantime, cleanup is being undertaken by current residents, who are removing debris from inside the building. According to municipal officials, the village is looking into an extensive rehab of the property.
“[The property] has been a longtime nuisance,” Sturino said. “We’re going to be sharing ideas with residents as to its potential use. We want to ensure that the use is compatible with the surrounding neighborhoods.”
At this time, no estimated costs have been made regarding the cleanup and renovation of the property. According to Sturino, the money to cover those costs is not included in the current budget and the project will have to wait until the next fiscal year.
Budgeting for the project, Calderone said, will help narrow the scope of the property’s use.
“There is a financial component to the decision-making process. The project is hinged on the budget,” Calderone said.
With elections looming, Calderone said the most responsible thing to do is wait until the new village council is in place before making any decisions about the property, noting that the new council may have new ideas. Calderone himself has accessibility and convenience in mind, hoping to create a meeting place for residents in addition to the council chambers at 517 Desplaines Ave.
Karen Hinz, who for 16 years has worked at Ed’s Way Food Mart at 946 Beloit Ave., across the street from the blighted property, said the community could benefit from the change.
“It would be nice to have a greater police presence in the area,” Hinz said. “We need more eyes around here.”