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updated: 5/30/2013 10:07 AM

Speculative project would result in upgrades to aging industrial area in Libertyville

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  • Libertyville officials are considering the redevelopment of the Aldridge Business Center, 809 E. Park Ave., in what is described as one of the few speculative industrial projects proposed in the metropolitan area.

       Libertyville officials are considering the redevelopment of the Aldridge Business Center, 809 E. Park Ave., in what is described as one of the few speculative industrial projects proposed in the metropolitan area.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

 
 

Plans to revive an industrial site along Route 176 in Libertyville are being tweaked to address safety, noise and even vibration and other issues, and are on track for a village board decision next month.

A proposal by Bridge Development Partners LLC, a Chicago-based commercial real estate development firm, initially would involve the demolition of one building and construction of a 185,750-square-foot warehouse/distribution facility on the west half of the 21-acre site at 804-812 E. Park Ave., known as the Aldridge Business Center.

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Eventually, a second 220,500-square-foot building would be built to the east as part of a substantial redevelopment to modernize the area.

Zoning is in place for the World War II-era industrial area, but Bridge is seeking a special use for an overall plan for the property to include warehousing and storage. Together, the two new buildings would have 84 exterior truck docks, according to the initial plan, in what would be a rare speculative project.

The proposal was heard on three occasions by the village's plan commission, which ultimately approved the various requests by a 5-1 vote, subject to 16 conditions. A presentation was made to the village board this past Tuesday, and action was deferred until June 25.

"They talked about architecture, landscaping, traffic, lighting, noise, demolition, all those issues," said John Spoden, community development director.

The site is to the east of a residential area on Seventh Avenue. Concerns have included safety of users of the North Shore bike path that runs through the property, screening the operation from the residential area, limits on noise from mechanical systems and close monitoring of the demolition.

"Obviously, there are things that have to be worked through but they (village board) appreciate the fact there is an attempt to upgrade an obsolete facility," said Heather Rowe, the village's economic development director.

Among the conditions will be continuous monitoring of vibration levels during the demolition of the former Frank G. Hough Co. building. Hough made mammoth earth movers and was among the village's largest employers for many years. The question is how tough will it be to remove a structure built to make heavy equipment.

"I can't remember a developer ever having (to use) a seismic meter," said Mayor Terry Weppler. He added the company, for the most part, is addressing neighbors' concerns.

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