Vacant building at 6641-43 North Avenue slated for demolition

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6641-6643 North Avenue, Oak Park Photo Credit: OakPark.com, August 2011

On July 6 the Oak Park Village Board of Trustees approved a $133,000 contract to demolish the two-story office building at 6641-43 North Avenue. The building has long been empty and officials feel it is dangerous and has curbed economic development on North Avenue, according to a report from Wednesday Journal.

The building is surrounded by abandoned scaffolding, making it “not only an eyesore but it’s a hazard,” according to Trustee Adam Salzman in a phone interview with Wednesday Journal. “It’s a determination by the village that the parcel is worth more as a vacant lot than it is with that building on it,” he said.

Approval of the demolition contract was great news for the North Avenue Neighbors Association of Oak Park, according to the group’s Facebook page where they also thanked Trustee Salzman for his help. Judith Alexander, co-founder of the group said that this has been an area of concern for a couple of years. “We were just advocating for a change on the status quo; tear it down or do something with it,” according to Alexander.

“We’d like to see a wonderful viable business go in there,” she said In a telephone interview with Wednesday Journal. “Our attitude is any viable business is great. We just don’t want any more blight — and no more pawnshops, currency exchanges or payday loan operations.”

According to Salzman, there are no plans in place for the space once it is torn down. “There should be a hard plan; I would like for there to be a hard plan; there is no hard plan,” he said.

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