Cleanup continues at site of demolished Warrenville gas station
In a Facebook post about this month's demolition of a long-vacant gas station at the northeast corner of Warrenville and Batavia roads, Warrenville Mayor David Brummel used one word: "FINALLY!"
The city was compelled to purchase the nearly 1-acre site at 28W244 Warrenville Road in July 2020. The gas station had been closed since 2016, and no private buyers were coming forth because of the site's environmental complications.
"From my perspective, it's been a long time for the city," said Ronald Mentzer, Warrenville's director of community and economic development.
"We've been very persistent to gain control of this property and then to work through all the processes that we need to get it cleaned up."
This past summer, condemned underground storage tanks were removed from the site. Warrenville is continuing to work with multiple branches of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and other consultants to remediate the site's petroleum-based contamination caused more than two decades ago by a leaking tank.
"There are some other contaminants in the soil that are unrelated to the underground storage tanks," Mentzer said. "There's some heavy metal concentrations that are above what's deemed appropriate and safe background levels, and then there's some other chemical compounds in the soil."
In October, Warrenville hosted an online hearing about the city's plans for what is being called the "Old Town Redevelopment Site."
Two site plans showed potential two- to three-story mixed-use buildings with connecting parking lots behind them. These designs were made with the floodplain on the northeast portion of the property in mind.
But Mentzer cautioned that it will be several months before the city council votes on a specific conceptual plan. In addition to the site cleanup, Warrenville is working with the neighboring Voegtles Auto Service on design layouts.
"Hopefully we can come to some understanding of the redevelopment plan and driveway access situation that makes sense," Mentzer said. "Probably in the first quarter of 2022, we'll have the city council endorse a specific redevelopment plan."