Chicago Bears agree to begin teardowns inside Arlington Racecourse structures in preparation for stadium – The Denver Post

The Chicago Bears took another step toward a stadium on the site of Arlington International Racetrack when the Village of Arlington Heights issued a permit Friday for the interior demolition of the stadium’s grandstand, office and jockey building. ‘hippodrome.

Arlington Heights spokesperson Avis Meade confirmed the village has approved plans for the first phase of the racetrack’s demolition, marking another step towards a $5 billion NFL stadium and accompanying residential neighborhood , mixed-use commercial and entertainment facility that the team proposed to build on the 326-acre Hippodrome.

“Increased truck traffic due to interior demolition is possible in the area and the property will continue to be monitored by security 24/7,” Meade wrote in an email to Pioneer Press.

A Bears representative confirmed the team had been cleared to begin work and said they expected to begin the process on Tuesday. The team will not use explosives or implosion to perform the job, they said.

Meade said the Village and Cook County will review and approve requests to demolish exterior buildings on the site. Arlington Heights Mayor Tom Hayes said earlier this month that the village has responded to a number of questions and comments from residents regarding the crew’s request to perform demolition work. He said the village council had no authority to approve or deny the team’s request.

The Arlington Heights Department of Building and Life Safety also received a second request to demolish the structure itself. In total, the team expects the demolition work to cost around $3.8 million, depending on their applications.

This permit issued on Friday covers the interior demolition of the grandstand, two-story offices and jockey building in Arlington Park. The village has posted a traffic plan for debris removal on its website.

The team’s interior demolition request estimates the cost of the work to be approximately $1.48 million.

A summary of the project obtained in a freedom of information request says the team will gut the interiors of buildings and “cut and cover” utilities such as water, electricity and gas.

The demolition of the Grandstand, West Entrance, Jockey Building, Paddock, Office, East Entrance, Concession Stand, Main Hangar, Scoreboard and Guardhouse is expected to cost around $2.34 million, according to documents the club submitted to the village.

The Bears will use a St. Charles-based contractor, Alpine Demolition Services, according to the bid documents.

The Bears first requested to begin demolition work the day after Crain’s Chicago Business reported that Cook County assessor Fritz Kaegi had increased the property’s value to about $197 million.

The sale of the land officially closed in February 2023, more than a year after the team agreed to purchase it from former owner and operator Churchill Downs, Inc.

The team is currently in an extensive property tax battle with three school districts whose finances could be affected by property tax breaks intended to help the team develop the site.

A hearing at the Cook County Board of Review on the latest property tax assessment is scheduled for June 2. Although Churchill Downs is responsible for this payment, the valuation to be discussed at the hearing will also determine the next two years. the equivalent of the property tax bills the team pays to Cook County. The Bears could still appeal the property tax assessment for next year or the year after, which could lower their property tax bill in the future.

Meanwhile, the school districts and the team have been locked in an impasse over how much the team should pay in property taxes. School districts suggested the team settle on a $95 million land value, which team president Kevin Warren called a “no go”.

In Springfield, lawmakers’ thoughts shifted from a quartet of proposals to provide the team with economic assistance to relocate from Chicago’s Soldier Field to Arlington Heights. The most recent measure, an amendment to an earlier proposal tabled by Rep. Marty Moylan, a Democrat from Des Plaines, has local support from former village administrator and freshman Rep. Mary Beth Canty, a Democrat from Arlington. Heights.


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