For Immediate Release
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August 29, 2023
TINLEY PARK-PARK DISTRICT DETAILS NEXT STEPS TO REMEDIATE & REVITALIZATE FORMER TINLEY PARK MENTAL HEALTH CENTER
With Pritzker’s Signing of HB 3743, Park District Will Soon Buy Land for $1 & Redevelop Site That Has Sat Vacant for Over a Decade
TINLEY PARK, Ill. – The Tinley Park-Park District today was joined by elected officials, supporters, and environmental experts to celebrate the signing of House Bill 3743 into law to transfer the site of the former Tinley Park Mental Health Center to the Park District for $1. The Park District is working to officially take ownership of the property to begin cleanup and redevelopment of the long-vacant land, while saving taxpayers over $20 million in estimated costs to obtain and clean up the site.
“We are incredibly excited to get to work and finally clean up this eyesore in our community,” said Lisa O’Donovan, Park District Board Commissioner. “With savings for taxpayers and experts to guide us, we can turn this blighted property into another reason to love Tinley parks.” Joining the Park District at a press conference today were Sen. Michael Hastings, Reps. Robert Rita and Debbie Meyers-Martin, and supporters of the Park District’s plans for the property, including the South Suburban Special Recreation Association, Lincolnway Special Recreation Association, and Tinley Park youth sports organizations.
“After more than a decade, we’re moving forward with the property thanks to the support of Gov. Pritzker and our local leaders,” said Marie Ryan, Park District Board President. “Now the work begins!”
The new law allows the Park District to purchase the blighted property for $1, which will save Tinley Park taxpayers over $4.5 million to purchase the site in addition to an estimated $15 million in savings for cleanup costs provided by the state.
The Park District is currently working with the state to begin the land transfer to officially own the property. The Park District has also tapped environmental experts Renee Cipriano, former director of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, and Elizabeth S. Harvey, an environmental attorney with Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP. Their expertise will guide the Park District as it engages in an updated environmental study of the property and begins cleanup work to pave the way for redevelopment of the property. The work as well as security at the site will be funded through a $15 million state grant that was awarded to the Park District in this fiscal year’s state budget to clean up the site. The Park District is working to enter into a grant agreement with the state to unlock that funding.
The Park District has also engaged Tetra Tech, which will conduct an updated environmental assessment of the land to determine the extent of remediation needed. Tetra Tech previously conducted a similar study in 2014.
“I am very proud of the steps the Park District is taking towards demolishing and remediating the Tinley Park Mental Health Center property,” said Sen. Hastings. “The outstanding demolition and environmental experts are reflective of their commitment to excellence.” “I am extremely excited about this new Tinley Park-Park District project. As a former Mayor, I absolutely understand the importance and the value in supporting our Park Districts because they are essential to the landscape of our communities,” said Rep. Meyers-Martin. “As a result of knowing that value, I am so enthusiastic about the team that is being assembled to work on the remediation of the site scheduled for development by the Tinley Park-Park District. We are looking forward to the fabulous opportunities that this project has in store for our entire southland region.”
“Today is a wonderful day for Tinley Park,” said Rep. Rita. “I’m proud to have helped pass this legislation to sell the site to the Park District for $1 and provide $15 million in clean up funding so it can be redeveloped for the entire southland region.”
Last November, the Park District formally bid on the property, 7400-7600 W. 183rd St., and laid out its Phase 1 vision for redevelopment to meet the needs of Tinley Park residents and the entire south suburban area. Phase 1 includes a playground and sports facilities fully accessible through universal design for people living with special needs, multipurpose athletic fields, a domed sports complex with a full-size soccer field, a stadium with a track, a splash pad, concession stands, spectator stands, lighting, ample parking, as well as a pond, picnic areas and open green space. Since the plan was released to the public, it has gained widespread community support and private developer interest. Importantly, under this new law, all forms of gaming are prohibited at the site, which supports the feedback of residents.
More information and updates about the Park District’s Phase 1 plans can be found on its website.