Advocate Christ Brings Expansion Plans Back to the Table
Advocate Christ Medical Center officials are ready to pick up where they left off in May with the Oak Lawn Planning and Development Commission to discuss village-ordered impact study of hospital expansion plans.
The medical center wants to add a 9-story inpatient tower to its 95th Street campus on the east side of Kostner Avenue on the site of an existing parking lot.
Advocate Christ President Ken Lukhard said the new inpatient tower would increase capacity, including adding 14 new operating rooms. Last year, the hospital turned away between 5,000 and 8,000 patients because there were no available beds.
The Oak Lawn Village Board approved plans for a similarly sized outpatient tower in 2011 that is currently under construction with a projected opening date of Fall 2013.
Advocate Christ has submitted nine petitions for zoning variances to village planning commissioners. The medical center is seeking zoning relief to build the tower in the Crawford Gardens neighborhood that is presently zone for residential use.
The expansion project with a price tag of $640 million is the largest construction project ever to come before the Oak Lawn Village Board. An architectural rendering of the proposed new building has not yet been presented.
During a contentious public hearing on May 7, the PDC tabled the medical center’s plans to address residents’ concerns about traffic and flood control.
Oak Lawn Trustee Tom, whose fourth district includes the medical center, told fellow village board members of holes in the traffic study and other problems with the impact study. He warned fellow village board members to be “wary.”
“There are a lot of hidden costs that we’re dealing with and trying to get our hands on,” Duhig said following the May 7 PDC meeting. “I’m not convinced we have a good plan in place.”
Per an agreement between the hospital and village, Advocate Christ paid for an architectural consultant chosen by the village to review portions of the medical center’s impact study.
While the impact study was under review by the Chicago-based architectural firm Houseal Lavigne Associates, medical center officials requested that its zoning petitions continue to be tabled.
Medical center officials will return Monday seeking the PDC’s recommendation for approval before it goes before the village board for a full vote. Advocate Christ must get the village’s approval before hospital officials can appear before the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board for state approvals before it can break ground this fall.
Houseal Lavigne Associates portrayed its role as “anticipating and mitigating community issues” on the village’s behalf.
A sneak peek at a draft PowerPoint presentation that will be shown to PDC summarized community impact issues and site plan considerations, including:
- Traffic calming and access restrictions to the medical center staff parking lot on 93rd Street;
- A proposed oxygen tank farm that is being painted to match parking structures;
- Landscaped buffer along 93rd Street and east parking lot island, per the request of 93rd Street property owners;
- Primary, secondary and perimeter neighborhood crosswalks around the inpatient tower; and
- Mitigating the visual impact of 9-10 existing utility poles below grade, and exploring options with ComEd to bury two remaining poles beneath 95th Street;
Village staff has also made infrastructure recommendations, including:
- Lining the sanitary sewer along Kostner Avenue from lift station to 95th Street;
- Sanitary sewer lift station renovations per conditions required by the village (80 percent ACMC cost share)
- Stormwater management compliance with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District;
- Advocate will televise Stony Creek culvert;
- Water main upgrades to 12-inches along 93rd Street and Kostner Avenue, per Water Division’s request; and
- Advocate Christ to restructure campus roadways after construction.
Should the PDC give its recommendation, the zoning petitions will go before the Oak Lawn Village Board for a vote most likely next month.
The Oak Lawn Planning and Development Commission meeting is open to the public and starts at 7:30 p.m. in the board room at Oak Lawn Village Hall, 9466 S. Raymond Ave.