Old Dairy Queen on Old Grand Avenue to be demolished by village

  • The two buildings closest to Welton Plaza on Old Grand Avenue in Gurnee that the village bought last year are set for demolition. They are visible in this drone photograph taken during Des Plaines River flooding in 2019.

    The two buildings closest to Welton Plaza on Old Grand Avenue in Gurnee that the village bought last year are set for demolition. They are visible in this drone photograph taken during Des Plaines River flooding in 2019. Daily Herald file photo

  • During heavy rainstorms, like those that led to Des Plaines River flooding in 2017, sandbags were used to protect a commercial building on Old Grand Avenue in Gurnee that used to house a Dairy Queen. The building is set to be demolished this summer.

    During heavy rainstorms, like those that led to Des Plaines River flooding in 2017, sandbags were used to protect a commercial building on Old Grand Avenue in Gurnee that used to house a Dairy Queen. The building is set to be demolished this summer. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer, 2017

 
 
Updated 6/10/2021 6:49 PM

Two commercial buildings in the Des Plaines River floodplain that used to house a Dairy Queen, a spa and a vacuum repair business on Old Grand Avenue in Gurnee are set to be demolished this summer, according to village officials.

The village purchased the buildings in April 2020 for $275,000 with the intention of knocking them down and removing the surrounding pavement. Doing so will allow the floodplain to do a better job of soaking up floodwaters. It also means the village has to spend fewer resources fighting rising waters and cleaning damage.

 

Assistant Village Administrator Jack Linehan said Thursday all the business tenants have moved out of the buildings. He said the Dairy Queen operator was the last to leave and is finalizing a move to a new location on Route 21.

The demolition work was put out to bid this week, Linehan said. Once the bidding closes June 28, the village staff will select the lowest qualified bid and schedule demolition for August, likely after the annual Gurnee Days celebration slated for Aug. 7-8, he said.

Linehan said the village is approaching the milestone of buying and removing 30 buildings from the floodplain.

"There are really only a few buildings left," he said. "As we continue to acquire and relocate, the flooding will only be a road impact and not something that impacts buildings."

The building containing the Dairy Queen and Kirby Co. repair shop required regular sandbagging during flooding to prevent structural damage.

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