Silver Cross demolition underway

Brock A. Stein | 2/28/2018, 1:45 p.m.
Crews began the demolition of the former Silver Cross Hospital site in Joliet last week, the first step toward redeveloping ...
Demolition of the former Silver Cross Hospital campus could make the site more attractive for future redevelopment. Photo by Brock A. Stein

Crews began the demolition of the former Silver Cross Hospital site in Joliet last week, the first step toward redeveloping the 35-acre campus.

Silver Cross Hospital abandoned the Joliet campus, near Eagle Street and Route 6, in 2012 when it relocated to its current location near I-355 in New Lenox.

As part of its long-range plans, the city has commissioned a feasibility study to create a TIF district specific to the area that will help attract developers for new uses that could include a mix of retail or office space.

Steve Jones, economic development director for the City of Joliet said that there are no specific development plans for the site beyond the plans for a possible TIF district.

Jones said in an email this week that city officials hope that the site could potentially anchor a town center for the east-side that could offer a much-needed full-service grocery store or other options for residents there.

“With limited food and services available, we feel the market is underserved and has development potential,” wrote Jones.

In a press release from 2017, Silver Cross CEO Paul Pawlak said that the hospital staff “promised the community that we would leave the property in good shape while continuing to improve the quality of life for the residents of the eastside of Joliet.”

The release indicates that the Silver Cross Healthy Community Commission “was founded in 2008 to guide the Joliet campus redevelopment.” That commission was lead by retired Will County Board Member Margie Woods and included a mix of 17 east-side Joliet residents.

Demolition will not include a 60,000 square-foot veteran’s outpatient clinic or the location occupied by Aunt Martha’s , a health care center that occupies just over 2 acres. Hope Manor also operates 67 multi-family housing units for Veterans on an 8 acre slice of land there as well.

Brandenburg Industrial Service Company of Chicago is handling the project, which is expected to be completed by May. Following the demolition, the site will be landscaped with top soil and grass and will include about 20 acres of space for future use according to the release.

Calls to Silver Cross Hospital for further details were not returned before press time.