The Chicago Bears took another step toward a stadium at the Arlington International Racecourse site when the village of Arlington Heights on Friday issued a permit for interior demolition of the grandstand, office and jockey building at the racetrack.
Arlington Heights spokesperson Avis Meade confirmed that the village had approved plans for the first phase of demolition at the racetrack, marking another move toward a $5 billion NFL stadium and accompanying mixed-use residential, commercial and entertainment district the team has proposed to build on the 326-acre racetrack.
“Increased truck traffic due to the interior demolition is possible in the area and the property will continue to be monitored by security 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,” Meade wrote in an email to Pioneer Press.
A Bears representative confirmed the team had been permitted to begin work and said they expected to start the process Tuesday. The team will not use explosives or implosion to execute the job, they said.
Meade said the village and Cook County would review and approve applications for demolition of the exterior buildings on the site. Arlington Heights Mayor Tom Hayes said earlier this month that the village had fielded a number of questions and comments from residents about the team’s request to do demolition work. He said the Village Board did not have the authority to approve or deny the team’s request.
The Arlington Heights Building and Life Safety Department also received a second application for demolition of the structure itself. All told, the team expects the wrecking work to cost about $3.8 million, their applications show.
This permit issued Friday covers the interior demolition of the grandstand, two-story office and jockey building at Arlington Park. The village has published a traffic plan for removing debris on its website.
The team’s application for interior demolition estimates that the cost of the work is about $1.48 million.
A summary of the project obtained in a Freedom of Information request states that the team will gut the inside of the buildings and “cut and cap” utilities such as water, electric and gas.
Work to demolish the grandstand, west entrance, jockey building, paddock, office, east entrance, concession stand, main shed, scoreboard and guard house is set to cost about $2.34 million, according to paperwork the club submitted to the village.
The Bears will use a St.-Charles based contractor, Alpine Demolition Services, according to application materials.
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Source:: The Mercury News