A family gas station-minimart empire and a developer want to build a $23 million, state-of-the-art medical building down the street from .
Bluestone Healthcare Partners LLC plans to build a three-story medical building and underground parking garage at 4220 W. 95th St. The Thornton family that owns over 170 gas stations and convenience stores throughout the Midwest out of Louisville, Ky., is an equity partner of Bluestone.
The Thorntons are rolling over some of their equity from the family oil company into a real estate portfolio, including medical buildings. The proposed Oak Lawn medical development is the third joint venture with Bluestone, including projects in Willow Brook and Highland Park.
Bluestone is doing its final due diligence before closing on the property now occupied by a shuttered State Farm Insurance Claims Office. Plans are to demolish the existing building and build a 51,750-square-foot building with customizable office space for medical tenants.
Michael MacKinnon, director of development for Bluestone, called 95th Street in Oak Lawn “the hottest medical corridor in Chicago.” Many of the street’s medical buildings are using converted retail space from the 1950s and ‘60s and are outdated. MacKinnon said that demand is high in Oak Lawn for new medical space that can accommodate the latest equipment and technology.
“The numbers of calls we’ve received from prospective tenants is off the charts,” MacKinnon said. “The trend today is to do more procedures and tests outside the hospital. Doctors and patients want new offices."
Bluestone hasn’t closed on the property yet, contingent on due diligence and an upcoming appearance before the Oak Lawn Village Board. The village planning and development commission already has given its blessing to the project, unanimously approving a parking variation request.
The village has asked Bluestone to look for an anchor tenant. The developer is also a gold sponsor of the upcoming Fall on the Green, contributing between $5,000 and $8,000.
Depending on the Oak Lawn Village Board’s vote next month and the length of the permitting process, MacKinnon said the building would break ground next spring at the earliest. The project is expected to bring 300 construction jobs.
Bradford Wilson, a principal at Bluestone, said he’s been looking for property in Oak Lawn for seven years to build a medical building.
“We’re sitting on our heels to get through the process,” Wilson said. “We will put a building there, one way or another. We have no doubt that we’re closing.”