This beef stretches back at least three years, involving the good citizens of Buena Park and Thorek Hospital. A major land holder in the area, the hospital has been chastised in the past for allowing litter buildup in its parking lots and empty plots. One focal point has been the double lot at the corner of Sheridan and Irving, recently cleared of its old apartment flats. According to Uptown Update, the first structure came down more than three years ago and the second followed over the winter. What's left is a muddy expanse and little effort to dress it up. Early this year, Buena Park Neighbors (BPN) appealed to the Hospital for an opportunity to plant a temporary community garden. The hospital board has denied the request, with Thorek's compliance officer, Morgan Murphy, telling BPN that they "didn't take the proposal lightly," but that it failed to meet Thorek's long-term goals for development of the site. They acknowledge there's no immediate plan for the site, but that eventually they'll have something in store (BPN Prez Bill Petty reads that as anywhere from two to five years). Meanwhile, an April promise of upkeep and modest landscaping has gone partly unmet. While the site has been tidied up in recent weeks, no schedule has been released for landscaping.
Capturing neighborhood sentiment is this reader complaint, printed in Uptown Update last September:
Three years ago they tore down a large decent looking residential building right at Irving Park and Sheridan so it could sit as a trash filled weed chocked plot of dirt. Now I see there's a permit to tear down a really beautiful looking 3-flat (4009 N. Sheridan, see above) next to it from the early 1900s. The building has new windows and a new roof, so I'm guessing it's the hospital at it again (why else tear it down??). I'm afraid they're going to let that one sit as a huge eyesore as well. Between those two buildings and the extremely suburban style Walgreens going in across the street with all that parking, it's such a massive waste for a corner with a 24-hour train station and two bus lines. The corner is embarrassing.