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A blighted, empty apartment building once touted as the next step in a community policing effort has been demolished, making way instead for a small park at the corner of Beloit and Harvard streets.
The demolition of the village-owned structure at 1000 Beloit marks the first substantive step to make improvements to the site since the village council bought it in January 2007. At the time of the purchase, Mayor Anthony Calderone touted the $330,000 purchase as an opportunity to develop a community resource. He favored giving the police department a substation.
However, it wasn’t until after the village bought the dilapidated building that municipal officials determined the cost of rehabbing the property would be far too expensive. With several new council members seated at the dais, the discussion turned to installing a parking lot or green space. A small park would be an improvement to the “ugly” corner, said Calderone, one day after crews tore the building down. But he would have preferred that the council support his original vision.
“The only regret that I have is the police substation didn’t come to fruition,” Calderone said of buying the property.
State money is expected to cover the costs of creating a small park at the address.
The demolition and park construction coincides with road work along Harvard, according to Mike Stirk, a consulting engineer with Christopher B. Burke Engineering. The street project and the pocket park should both be completed by mid October or the first of November.