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