Silver Cross and City of Joliet Partner to Redevelop Former Hospital Campus
Since Silver Cross Hospital relocated to I-355 and Route 6 in New Lenox five years ago, the hospital and the Silver Cross Healthy Community Commission have worked to redevelop the former hospital campus on Joliet’s east side.
“When we announced that we would be building a replacement hospital, we 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,” said Paul Pawlak, Silver Cross Hospital President and CEO.
As a result, the Silver Cross Healthy Community Commission was founded in 2008 to guide the Joliet campus redevelopment. Chaired by retired Will County Board Member Margie Woods and comprised of 17 eastside Joliet community leaders and hospital administrators, the Commission has been instrumental in the revitalization of the 35 acre campus.
In addition, Silver Cross is now working closely with the City of Joliet to study the creation of a TIF district to accelerate the redevelopment. “We think there is potential on the former Silver Cross Hospital site and are excited about the possibilities,” said Joliet City Mayor Bob O’Dekirk. “The site offers a campus-like environment and is likely suitable for a mixed-use development.”
Current Redevelopment Initiatives
In 2013, the Veteran’s Administration expanded their outpatient clinic into the 60,000 sq. ft. emergency pavilion on the former hospital campus. That same year, Aunt Martha’s opened a federally qualified healthcare center (FQHC) on 2.2 acres of land donated by Silver Cross. The Hospital provided $550,000 in operational support for the FQHC to help establish more access to primary care. Just recently, Joliet Hope Manor opened with 67 multi-family housing units for Veterans on 8.8 acres of land donated by Silver Cross Hospital to Volunteers of America. The complex has one, two and three bedroom units along with a park and playground for the children.
“Silver Cross has not only kept their promise,” said Margie Woods, Silver Cross Healthy Community Commission Chairperson. “But they have invested over $2 million in the community with new educational scholarships, workforce development grants and support for local community agencies. And we are far from done. With Silver Cross, Joliet and Will County working together, you can be sure that the next phase of the redevelopment project will be top-notch.”
“Now that the recession is over, we have seen development pick up in Will County,” said John Greuling, CEO of Will County’s Center for Economic Development. “Last year, 15.2 million square feet of new business space was occupied and over 8,000 new jobs were created. The timing is right to attract developers.”
Attracting New Developers
To make the property more attractive to developers, Silver Cross will demolish all the remaining medical buildings and parking lots with the exception of the 60,000 sq. ft. Specialty Care Pavilion built in 1998.
Silver Cross has hired Brandenburg Industrial Service Company, a large demolition contractor who has taken down buildings at numerous area hospitals including Palos, Elmhurst, Prentice Women’s, Northwestern, Sherman, and Great Lakes Naval Hospital. Environmental clean-up and salvage work inside the buildings will begin in early August, 2017. Actual demolition will not begin until October with completion in May, 2018. Landscapers will then lay down top soil and grass.
To ensure a safe environment, the entire demolition site has been fenced and will be monitored by security personnel 24/7. The demolition work will be done during the day and the equipment will not be any louder than hearing a garbage truck driving past; there will not be any implosions. Special misting equipment will keep dust to a minimum. Over 90% of the materials will be re-used as aggregate or scrap metal.
Once the site has been cleared, the 20+ acres of land will be available for redevelopment.
“As long as I can remember Silver Cross has always been a good neighbor and corporate citizen,” said Larry Walsh, Will County Executive. “They excel in everything they set out to accomplish, whether that is providing quality healthcare services or partnering with local government and community agencies to meet the needs of area residents. This is a good thing not only for the eastside of Joliet but all of Will County.”
For updates on Silver Cross Hospital’s Joliet Campus redevelopment, visit silvercross.org or follow the hospital on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.