JOLIET – The annexation of land for future redevelopment of the old Silver Cross Hospital campus was held up at the request of a resident and a councilwoman.
It’s not clear that the City Council agrees with neighbor Ken Jaeger, who contends that future development of the now wooded site would ruin his neighborhood.
But the council agreed after Councilwoman Jan Quillman asked to delay the vote at its Tuesday meeting until a Dec. 5 meeting.
Quillman said the city should seek reimbursement from Silver Cross for $1.2 million spent on area streetlights before the hospital moved to New Lenox.
“This is nothing against Silver Cross Hospital. They’ve done an excellent job,” said Quillman, a retired nurse who used to work at Silver Cross.
However, Quillman said the city spent money on streetlights for the benefit of Silver Cross.
“This was done because the city did not know that Silver Cross Hospital was going to abruptly move,” Quillman said.
Silver Cross moved to New Lenox in 2012. The city wants to develop a tax increment financing district to spur redevelopment of the old hospital property.
Silver Cross property includes eight undeveloped parcels that lie outside the city limits. Economic Development Director Steve Jones said city staff wants the land annexed to Joliet to facilitate future redevelopment of the entire Silver Cross site.
“Much of this was driven by my recommendation and staff recommendations to get the neighborhood bolstered – not just Silver Cross,” Jones told the council.
Meanwhile, Jaeger hopes it never happens – at least not the annexation.
Most of the Silver Cross campus is developed property, and it has began new construction since the hospital moved.
But the eight vacant parcels to be annexed have become a woodland that adds to the peacefulness of the adjacent neighborhood, Jaeger told the council.
“It’s a place that is extremely quiet where we are buffered on two sides by woodlands,” Jaeger said. “People bought homes in this area because of the character of the neighborhood. ... Everything that we love about this place that we call home will be ruined if any sort of development takes place.”