Demolition of the vacant Tinley Ice is slated to begin next Wednesday after the building is stripped of salvageable materials and items requested by the Tinley Park Historical Society.
Village manager Scott Niehaus said demolition contractors will spend several days looking “meticulously” for steel and sheet metal with resale value. That process could begin as early today.
The downtown structure where ice was made and packaged opened in 1972 and closed in 2006. Since the company moved production to University Park, the building has gotten its fair share of complaints, often accompanied with the word “eyesore,” from public officials. It’s the largest building in the footprint of a long-stalled and very contentious downtown revitalization plan the village approved the year Tinley Ice moved.
Aesthetics aside, the property is “an attractive nuisance for kids or other nayer-do-wells in terms of vandalism” and has been at times a safety hazard, Niehaus said.
“While I don’t think it’s a threat anymore, we have had, in the past, ammonia leaks on that property,” he said.
The Tinley Park Historical Society took photographs of the interior and exterior of the building in April and compiled a list of items, mostly signs, that they’d like to keep, director Brad Bettenhausen said.
Also on the chopping block is a nearby boarded-up home. The Teehan family, of Tinley Park, owns the ice house land as well as several pieces of residential property in the 6700 block of North Street, east of Oak Park Avenue, village director of planning Amy Connolly said.
In February, village trustees approved a demolition deal with the family. Under that agreement, Tinley Park will pay $107,000 to demolish both the ice house and the vacant home in exchange for a lien on the properties that ensures taxpayers are repaid.
If the Teehans decide to demolish any other homes on that block, which are currently occupied, the village is willing to strike a similar deal, Niehaus said.
Meanwhile, the ice house land will be seeded with grass and maintained by the village to be used for any downtown events.
Earlier this year the Teehans were named in an anti-trust lawsuit with three other ice packaging companies. Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan alleged in a news release that all four companies conspired to circumvent “market forces to maximize profits at the cost and detriment of their customers.”