Last year, commuters on Highway 41/45 watched with daily curiosity as the former Stolper Steel site was torn down piece by piece. Once the building was leveled, the concrete plat that remained stood quiet for months to come.
However, it is quiet no longer.
Work is picking up once again on the Stolper site and it could look much different come fall. Ryan Companies, a commercial real estate firm, is proposing a 90,000-square-foot redevelopment project on the site, which would include medical, wellness and retail uses.
The developer has yet to submit a formal proposal to the village for the project as the two parties are still hashing out a development agreement. The businesses that will occupy the redeveloped area are also unknown as Ryan is in negotiations with potential tenants, according to an update from Village Manager Mark Fitzgerald.
It’s a step forward in a blighted area of the village that was targeted for redevelopment since it was turned into a taxing district in 2008.
Work yet to be done
However, before Ryan begins developing the site, the village has some investment and work to do on the infrastructure of the site.
Last week, the village closed a deal to purchase the 17-acre parcel for $600,000, and is investing $4.7 million for razing the factory — which is already complete — and environmental remediation of the site. The area is contaminated with trichloroethylene, which was used as a metal degreaser and solvent decades ago in industrial processes.
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Near-surface environmental remediation began on Tuesday, and deep surface remediation is expected to begin July. The village in July will also begin construction of an extension of Richfield Way that will connect Water Street and Pilgrim Road.
Construction of the two-story development is expected to begin sometime in fall 2012 with tenants moving in sometime in 2013, according to Fitzgerald’s update.
The Stolper site is just one section of a 70-acre taxing district that is bordered by Roosevelt Drive, Highway 41/45 and Water Street. The village hopes to realize a return on its initial infrastructure investments though additional tax revenues generated from new development.
Currently, the Stolper site is valued at $43,400 per acre, but the projected value of the site after redevelopment is expected to skyrocket to $900,000 per acre. The Stolper redevelopment could generate some $30 million in new value for the village, Fitzgerald said in a previous interview with Patch. The entire taxing district could add some $80 to $120 million in tax value once all development moves forward in the district.
The village will invest roughly $30 million throughout the taxing district and will be repaid in 27 years, according to a JSOnline report.
In January 2011, to build a 294-unit high-end apartment complex on a 15-acre site occupied by the former Dostal-Lowery factory facility, which is adjacent to the Stolper site. Once demolition is complete at the Stolper site, Cobalt would move forward with clearing and decontaminating the Dostal-Lowery site for the apartment development.