|Left to Right: Chicago Lakeshore Hospital CEO Alan Eaks, |
Ald. James Cappleman, State Sen. Heather Steans, and
State Rep. Greg Harris. Photographer: Tim Smith of Starbelly Studios
12 years after it was built (as an Alzheimer's care facility) and then abandoned (because its owner, Heritage Care of Chicago, ran out of money), Chicago Lakeshore Hospital (www.chicagolakeshorehospital.com) has bought the building at 4720 N Clarendon and will update it to the tune of $20 million. It is set to open in the fall as an extension of CLH's existing facility in Uptown.
Wednesday there was a groundbreaking -- a non-traditional one, due to the fact that the building is already built! We are told, "the idea was to have a piece of drywall which was decorated with childlike drawings. Everyone was then invited to sign the drywall, which will either be put up facing inward like a time capsule, or possibly displayed. It is still being decided."
The use of the building will be to move 60 patient beds over from Chicago Lakeshore's current location, at Marine and Gunnison. The Clarendon location will be for children and teens, and will be a locked facility.
- First and foremost, Chicago Lakeshore Hospital has a proven track record of good community relationships in Uptown. We have spoken to people who live mere feet away from CLH's existing facility, on Castlewood, and they speak highly of the way the hospital is run, keeping a very low profile. Good neighbors shouldn't be stopped from expansion because of the bad practices of other providers.
- CLH worked closely with Uptown Chicago Commission, block clubs, and neighbors of the Clarendon/Lakeside site to come up with a good site configuration that would keep noise and disturbances to a minimum and away from nearby residences.
- Patient beds will be moved from an existing Uptown site; this is not a new hospital.
- CLH is a for-profit entity, not a non-taxpaying non-profit. Uptown will see increased tax revenues by this building being occupied.
- We understand that the building at 4720 - because it was built for the specific use as a patient care facility - is unsuitable for a conversion to residences. 12 years of it sitting vacant is ridiculous. We've wanted to see that building occupied for quite a while.