The arduous process of sandblasting every brick and timber surface on the massive building is nearly complete. Replacement windows have been ordered and the next line of credit that will fund infrastructure improvements has been issued. It has been years in the making, but village officials and project leaders were finally able to celebrate the revamping of the long vacant Roos building on Harrison Street, one of the largest restoration projects for Forest Park in recent memory.
“I think this particular project is very important in taking what has been an eyesore for a long time and getting rid of that eyesore,” Mayor Anthony Calderone said.
During an open house event held at the on-site sales office, agents from Regency Development said they were pleased to be able to showcase floor plans for the 28 townhouses and 70 condominiums slated for construction at 7329 Harrison St. The event was attended by members of the village council, various municipal department heads and representatives from the project’s design team. Construction crews have been dedicated thus far to demolition and cleanup at the site, said Tomasz Litwicki of Regency, but the Jan. 19 gathering marks the start of more substantive changes as workers begin to rough out individual condo units within the vacant factory building. In addition to the floor plans on display were renderings of the finished living spaces and examples of the brick and timber construction that will be featured in the lofts.
The town homes will be erected on the western side of the 2.45-acre lot, facing Hannah Avenue.
“It’s going to be very interesting, given the old industrial building that it was,” Mike Boyle, director of the Department of Public Health and Safety, said of the project.
According to Litwicki, sandblasting to restore the original interior and exterior facades of the existing structure is nearly complete and within the next two to three months new windows will be installed throughout the building. Plumbing and electrical work are also among the next steps to complete before additional financing from unit sales are expected to carry the project to completion.
Council members signed off on the development in June after a lengthy public hearings process that began in September 2005. Concerns with the density of the residential development, available parking and other considerations helped spur three major revisions to the proposal.
Three-bedroom town homes are priced at $430,000 while single and two-bedroom lofts begin at $169,000, according to a sales website for the project.