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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.


will go to the mattresses over Phase II of its expansion plans at the Oak Lawn Planning and Development Commission meeting tonight, Monday, at

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 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 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.

“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

anthony August 06, 2012 at 06:26 PM
You can't just start putting up multi tier parking garages without fees without them being codified. But thats hard ball
Jim Vertucci August 06, 2012 at 06:31 PM
My taxes went up 1300$ this year for no reason. My taxes aren't going up that much more after this gets going. Sandra you're a blow hard who is positioning yourself for a run at mayor. Cook county is a joke. Not Oak Lawn. If a hospital that is walking distance is going to expand it's only gonna be good in the long run. How much a yr do u think the taxes will go up?
anthony August 06, 2012 at 06:35 PM
no offense taxes are going up in IL at a 10% min rate from here on out
Sandra Bury August 06, 2012 at 06:36 PM
God help the taxpayers if it's four more years of unchecked and unreported millions flowing to friends. God help us if there are four more years with closed door meetings and confidentiality agreements to conceal truth from taxpayers. God helps us if there are four more years of schemes to silence democratic debate and the elected representatives of the people.
Jim Vertucci August 06, 2012 at 06:38 PM
I meant just from this deal.
Sandra Bury August 06, 2012 at 06:49 PM
Well, the impact numbers are being studied, but they look huge. Why isn't our Mayor concerned about this extra burden on the voters who pay the bills? Could it be that he has been wined and dined by Advocate to the point where he again puts his friends' interests before the taxpayers? Call Mayor Heilmann and ask him why our municipal taxes go up when the Village Board has voted to not raise taxes. Please post your answer here, because no one has gotten one. When you say it's a drop in the bucket, that's the problem. They're expecting you to be defeated. You're just given them a blank check. Demand they account for every penny of your money. Demand that it be spent on what is needed and no more.
Crede 3B August 06, 2012 at 07:12 PM
Doc is blaming Dave because the County can't answer the questions on the tax bill the Count prepares? What next, the drought is Dave's fault? There's no doubt there's an impact, but the Village should have brought to table at onset, not after the deal was cut and PDC recommended tons of variances. Doc's got an answer for everything, like she's omnipotent. Hopefully she loses so she can crawl back in her cave until 4 years from now. Her poetic political speeches at board meetings are growing tiresome.
Jim Vertucci August 06, 2012 at 07:51 PM
I'm OK spending that money on the hospital I'm gonna be using. And I'm not worried if my taxes go up 50$ a yr because of it. I'm worried about then going up 1300$ for no reason. Pick a better battle.
MJ August 06, 2012 at 08:02 PM
Not too many places can turn away 7000 patients/customers per year and survive over time. Many hospitals have had to expand, even LCM down the street. Who knows, maybe in 20 years we can have another wasted and empty chunk of Oak Lawn real estate to look at and drive downtown with our sick loved ones who need that higher level of care.
OakLawnGuy August 06, 2012 at 08:55 PM
And voting our Mr. Heilmann will eliminate that? When other members of the board as well as high-ranking village employees employ cronyism as well? We're not voting for trustees for all 6 districts, so the idea of A New Sunrise In Oak Lawn by electing another mayor, regardless of who that might be, is folly.
Sandra Bury August 06, 2012 at 11:14 PM
MJ, no one is against the expansion. No one is against Christ Hospital. I just think that if they can pay one of their officers millions a year in compensation that their expansion shouldn't be subsidized by seniors and regular folk who pay taxes. Remember Advocate Christ does not pay one penny in municipal taxes.
Soxin1st August 07, 2012 at 12:41 AM
Sandra, blah, blah. What does the salary of an advocate executive have to do with this matter? Why is his tax rate higher than the guy making $10 an hour for sweeping floors? Why are executives penalized for being successful? Glad you've outed yourself as liberal democrat protective of the regular folk. Will bolden my resolve to get Dave reekected.
Soxin1st August 07, 2012 at 12:42 AM
Sandra, blah, blah. What does the salary of an advocate executive have to do with this matter? Why is his tax rate higher than the guy making $10 an hour for sweeping floors? Why are executives penalized for being successful? Glad you've outed yourself as liberal democrat protective of the regular folk. Will bolden my resolve to get Dave reelected.
QC?? August 07, 2012 at 03:10 AM
Man Dave why don't you stop with the fake names, we all know your in advocates pocket. No real person that actually lived in Oak Lawn would be against a corporation paying the village money for the impact it's expansion has on the village. The Hospital has over 30 pin numbers that are now off the property tax rolls. Do you know how much lost revenue to the schools and the village that is?? Millions The hospital makes over 70 million a year in profit they can afford impact fees unless your a resident who gets legal work from Advocate!!
CD August 07, 2012 at 03:50 AM
An RN at Christ here - according to the latest business updates within Advocate, Christ only generated $2 million profit while the other Advocate hospitals are losing money (and Christ has to pay into the corporation to keep them open). They generate $70m in revenue but costs nearly eat that up. Perhaps they're outright lying to us within the company, but they presented that to us as good--no, great--news.
CD August 07, 2012 at 04:26 AM
Sandra, it's easy to see through a web search that Advocate's regional CEO Skogsbergh made < $5 million in 2010. That's the regional CEO for all of the Advocate Healthcare Network, not anybody in Oak Lawn. If that's the case, then I'm wagering Christ's CEO Lukhard makes +/- 1 million?
CD August 07, 2012 at 04:31 AM
Interestingly, Skosbergh made half the salary of Northwestern's CEO, despite the Advocate system having triple the income. "[Northwestern CEO] Mr. Harrison's pay was nearly twice that of James Skogsbergh, CEO of Oak Brook-based Advocate Health Care Network, which had $4.5 billion in total revenue in 2010, three times Northwestern Memorial's" http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20111119/ISSUE01/311199974/northwestern-memorial-highest-paid-chicago-hospital-ceo-in-2010
Sandra Bury August 07, 2012 at 04:51 AM
Chris D: The most recent published data (I believe 2010) shows that Advocate Christ billed $2,324,778,017.00 in total revenue and had a net income (they don't call it profit) of $88,078,070.00. In 2011 they billed $97,432,012.00 in inpatient visits from Oak Lawn alone. Municipal taxes paid? $0.00 The $2,000,000 figure is very close to the yearly compensation of one of the officers of this non-profit entity. That number is from a tax document that non-profits must disclose. Just left the P&D meeting. I'm happy to say that they are recommending the expansion plans for Village Board approval and it looks like things will be on the 9/11/12 agenda. The plans are lovely but they still didn't address many concerns. Lastly, thanks for all you do for your patients and their families, Chris.
Sandra Bury August 07, 2012 at 04:56 AM
I will respect the privacy of the officer by not mentioning names, but will say this is an individual at Advocate Christ and not a regional officer. I believe in 2010 compensation for this individual was $1,800,000 with deferred compensation bringing the benefit well over the $2,000,000 mark.
Sandra Bury August 07, 2012 at 05:16 AM
Ok... looked up the numbers. I wanted to be 100% accurate. The 2010 compensation for this individual was $1,801,990.00. $29,550.00 was a nontaxable benefit. In addition there was $393,570.00 which was reported on a prior document. That totals $2,225,110.00 for 2010. (Source IRS 990 2010 - Open to public inspection)
Michael Walsh August 07, 2012 at 02:08 PM
When housing was booming during the 90's most communities (with any brains) extracted fees from developers to cover the impact od their project on the Municipalities. (Schools, police, fire and public works). This project has way more impact on the cost of government than any condo building or small subdivision and (unlike housing) it generates no property tax revenue. Clearly, Advocate should contribute something to the cost they will be imposing on the taxpayers. Their should be an impact study done by a land planner before approval. Forget about traffic calming, anyone with a brain knows this will bring more traffic and there is really nothing you can do about it. How about having them fund additional police officers for permanent assignment to their facility and pay for a fire truck that will service a nine story building that Oak Lawn wouln't need if not for the hospital and the Hilton.
Michael Walsh August 07, 2012 at 02:14 PM
I find this whole issue amazing. Look up the P&DC and Village Board minutes from the 90's when they expanded their parking lot, built the Pavillion and the Children's Hospital. Back then, hospital officials claimed that health care was changing to more outpatient services and shorter hospital stays as dictated by insurance companies. They claimed that their expansion would result in fewer beds. Were they lying or just short sighted?
OakLawnGuy August 07, 2012 at 02:22 PM
Considering the relationship between the hospital and the people who comprised the Board back then, I'd say both. The idea of outpatient services germinated in the '80s and blew up in the '90s, and the early successes fooled many into thinking that this was the wave of the future..for some reason. Common sense dictates that serious illnesses weren't going to disappear and would require long hospital stays, but anyway....Back then the Kolb/Stancik board rubber-stamped just about anything the hospital asked for. That continued into the new regime as well, during the Children's Hospital expansion.
Michael Walsh August 07, 2012 at 02:36 PM
Interesting comment. I was on the board back then and I had absolutely no relationship with the hospital. I argued for more control back then but I was overruled because they argued that they were not "expanding." Then they expanded anyway. By then I was gone and unable to do anything about it. The reason I bring up the old minutes is because some of the variations they were granted then were conditioned upon their representation that there would be no expansion. Not only does the board have the right to attach conditions to this current request bet they may be able to revoke prior variations if misrepresentations were made. Its all about follow up.
Michael Walsh August 07, 2012 at 02:39 PM
Look into the development of an office complex in Naperville by the Kalamos Investment Company. They bought a special fire truck to service their facility and gave it to the fire department. AND THEY PAY PROPERTY TAX.
taxman cometh August 07, 2012 at 04:10 PM
Sandra, Do you have any understanding of the tax system in Cook County? The county has reclassified commercial property rates thereby lowering those rates. The village requested a levy, that did not change from the year before. However, the reclassification meant that commercial properties would not have to pay the same rate as they used to pay. The result is that someone has to pay and that someone is everyone who pays property taxes. It is spread around to every taxpaying property based on the value of the individual property. For God's sake please study up on the issues if you want to lead us. You sound like that doofus in six
taxman cometh August 07, 2012 at 04:20 PM
What impact? When developers were building subdivisions or ill conceived condo projects in Oak Lawn, they towns were requiring impact fees for the schools as a trade off. Those developments brought in students who IMPACTED the school. A hospital expansion does not bring in more people using the park or the school. Now if Oak Lawn plays their cards right and pushes for other useful development, other businesses in the area could benefit from an expansion. Those people using he hospital could buy stuff and use our businesses thereby paying taxes. Property taxes are a small matter compared to what could be coming in through proper development
QC?? August 07, 2012 at 05:43 PM
Taxman, what part of the information here do you not understand?? Advocate OWNS over 30 Property PIN numbers that are off the tax rolls!!! That is money that EVERY TAXING BODY LOSES. The hosipital is set up as non for profit,yet they have profits over 70 million a year They can't give the village 1% of that money for all the strain on village resources that residents have to pay for?? Or is it that you work for Advocate?? Get legal work from Advocate?? Tell the truth.......
Michael Walsh August 08, 2012 at 05:32 PM
Ad is right. different developments have different types of impact. just ask the police what it is like when there is a gang shooting. not to mention the fire equipment we would not need but for their body and the Hilton.
Taxman Cometh August 10, 2012 at 02:53 PM
QC??, What I asked for is for quantifiable numbers for the impact. No, I do not work for Advocte or get legal work from Advocate as you state above. You may want to concentrate on answering the question (or better yet being quiet) rather than accusing everyone who disagees wtih you of being an employee or the mayor. You and others keep saying that it strains the resources. I ask, How? For instance, do we have 30 extra police officers or 30 extra firemen? Do we have to absorb the costs of water that they use (for free maybe?)? Do we have extra administrators? Do we have streets that we wouldn't have if not for the big bad hospital? Does the sewer system have to be expanded by the addition? Now take a chomp out of that Fatso burger and think before you scream. I don't want to see you overtaxing the fire department with the big heart attack.


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