DeKALB – After about six years, the DeKalb City Council approved a contract for a long-awaited demolition of a condemned apartment building in the city's Annie Glidden North neighborhood.
DeKalb City Manager Bill Nicklas said during the City Council's meeting on Monday the proposed resolution for the demolition of the old Edgebrook Manor Apartment Complex would go to lowest bidder Anthem Excavation & Demolition, Inc. out of Itasca, Illinois, costing the City of DeKalb $295,680.
"I don’t think I need to describe to you the condition of 912 Edgebrook," Nicklas said.
The update comes after the former Edgebrook Manor Apartment complex has sat vacant since 2014 after it was condemned for major structural issues. The city had purchased the building in December 2017 with the intent to demolish it and started soliciting public input within the last year on what the site should become in its next life.
Nicklas told council members the highest bid for the project was somewhere north of $550,000. He said city staff believes the Itasca contractor is qualified for the job.
“This was sort of a council commitment," Nicklas said. "We’ve got one half of the worst buildings in [Annie Glidden North] down – that was Campus Cinemas and this is No. 2 – and I heartily recommend your support of this.”
The City Council voted, 8-0, to approve the resolution during the regular meeting. Second Ward Alderman Bill Finucane and Sixth Ward Alderman Mike Verbic attended the meeting virtually via Zoom.
Nicklas previously said the funding is in place for the demolition of the condemned apartment complex and the goal was to have the complex, along with Campus Cinemas and Travel Inn, demolished by the end of the year. He said Monday the project would be funded mostly with the city's community development block grant, or CDBG, funds.
Nicklas said the first thing that the contractor will have to work on is asbestos removal in the building and, given the way it was built, it's not easy to immediately tell how much there is to remove and how long it can take to remove it.
“So you won’t see it come crashing down right away,” Nicklas said.
First Ward Alderwoman Carolyn Morris said during the Monday meeting that, along with the Campus Cinemas demolition and now the demolition of the Edgebrook Manor building, the city's first ward is also seeing more street lighting going up and infrastructure updates to precede sidewalk and roadway updates on Twombly Road.
"So that's a long list of significant improvements," Morris said. "And I just wanted to say kudos to everyone for making those happen."
DeKalb Mayor Jerry Smith said he's happy with the progress the city is making in that area, albeit slowly.
"We've been saying that it's a marathon, not a sprint, up there," Smith said.