Novak Construction Co. has begun demolishing the old art deco building on Ashland Avenue, directly adjacent to the old LaSalle Bank Building, which will eventually make way for a new retail and residential development. The large stretch of property has sat vacant for years, and a previous plan for a mixed-use loft-style residential development stalled out during the peak of the real estate market crash. Later on Target acquired the property, in hopes of building a new store at the location. However, after a year of no movement on the plan, Target ended up selling the site to Novak Construction earlier this summer. Last week, signs were posted around the site indicating that demolition could begin soon, and now, we have photos from an anonymous tipster showing the demolition of at least one building on the property.
In August, Crain's reported on Novak's plan for the site, which includes roughly 60,000 square feet of ground level retail space with 80 to 160 residences stacked on top. The demolition crew has started with the old art deco Medic Building at the corner of Melrose and Ashland, across the street from the Bank of America. The building was listed as one of Chicago's seven most threatened historic buildings by Preservation Chicago last year. Behind the building lies a parking lot, which is full of heavy equipment. However, it's not the first, and likely not the last historic building Novak will demolish. Once the Medic Building has been razed, it is very likely that the old LaSalle Bank building next door will be demolished immediately afterwards.
·New Retail, Residences Coming to Belmont, Ashland & Lincoln [Curbed Chicago]
·Is demolition near at Lincoln, Belmont and Ashland? [YoChicago]
·Novak confirms plans for Lakeview Target site [Curbed Chicago]