The Aurora City Council has approved a development agreement to get the former Copley Hospital property on the near East Side of the city cleaned up.
The development agreement with Fox Valley Developers LLC includes the city contributing as much as $3 million toward the estimated overall cost of about $12 million to clean up the site. It also puts the city and the developer on track for a possible renovation of the former hospital buildings into a residence and care facility for seniors and individuals with special needs.
Fox Valley Developers is a partnership with connections to Aurora.
“We’re finally dealing with a property that has been a problem for a decade,” said Mayor Richard Irvin. “After decades of decay and delay, we are moving forward with a partner who will immediately improve the campus by removing the environmental hazards and toxic debris, so that the property can be completely redeveloped.”
Copley Hospital operated at the site from the late 1800s until 1994, when it moved to its new campus — now the Rush-Copley Medical Center — on Ogden Avenue.
Aldermen approved the agreement unanimously as part of the council’s consent agenda. Ald. William Donnell, 4th Ward, whose ward includes the former Copley property, congratulated his fellow aldermen for supporting the agreement.
“I’m proud we took care of this,” he said. “It will be very beneficial, it will be a major development.”
There are eight buildings on the former Copley property, all built at different times, between the late 1800s and 1966. Regardless of how the site is redeveloped, the asbestos has to be remediated.
Even if the city tears down the buildings, it would have to remediate the asbestos first. Remediation and a teardown have been estimated at about $10 million.
But Fox Valley Developers does not intend to tear the buildings down. During the first phase of their plan, they will do the clean-up, leaving the buildings standing but as almost empty shells, cleaning up weeds and foliage on the property, stabilizing the buildings and putting up a fence around the property with 24-hour security.
The partnership then would go about planning for the second phase, which would be an actual plan for the renovation. Much of the financing for that project would come from historic tax credits as well as possible other incentives from the city.
The development agreement with Fox Valley Developers LLC includes the city contributing as much as $3 million toward the estimated overall cost of about $12 million to clean up the site. Aldermen and city officials still will have to figure out where the city’s $3 million share will come from.
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