Aurora delays demolition of two hotels
The Motel 6 and the Fox Valley Inn on Farnsworth Avenue in Aurora will stay standing through the summer after city officials postponed plans to remove asbestos before demolishing them.
Aldermen on Tuesday agreed with a recommendation to rebid the work after contractors said they are already booked this summer with asbestos-removal jobs at schools.
City officials hope it will cost less to get the work done during the contractors' slower time in the fall.
Officials also decided to offer bidders the option of doing the work at one or both hotels.
The city bought the hotels in 2018, paying $3.6 million for the 50-year-old Fox Valley Inn and $3.4 million for the 45-year-old Motel 6.
At the Fox Valley Inn, asbestos has been found in ceilings, window caulk, tile, tile mastic and roof flashing. It was found in ceilings at the Motel 6.
After razing the buildings, the city intends to use the sites to realign Corporate Boulevard so it meets at the intersection for the entrance to the Chicago Premium Outlets Mall.
Some aldermen have talked about using the land, plus another lot the city owns on Farnsworth, to construct a new hotel and convention center.
The city also had planned to have the contractor remove asbestos and lead paint at the vacant Masonic Temple building at 104 S. Lincoln Ave., which is privately owned. But after walking through the building, several contractors said they were leery of the job due to debris in the building that includes piles of dirt and clothing they suspect includes human waste, according to an audio recording of the May 14 finance committee meeting.
Without knowing what is in those piles, the contractors would treat them as hazardous materials, according to the recording.
They also questioned whether an initial asbestos survey of the building is accurate.
The temple was built in 1922 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The lodge sold it in the 1980s; it was then used as a banquet hall. It has been vacant for more than a decade.