Demolition underway for Oak Forest redevelopment

City is seeking to increase transit-oriented development

Oak Forest's Ed Cage with Cicero Avenue and 157th Street
Oak Forest's Ed Cage with Cicero Avenue and 157th Street (LinkedIn, Oak Forest, Getty)

Demolition work is underway for multiple projects near Oak Forest’s Metra station.

Chicago’s Deshe Real Estate plans to build 15 row houses and a 75-unit apartment building at the intersection of Cicero Avenue and 157th Street, the Daily Southtown reported. Another project is set to bring senior housing to the area.

An apartment building at the northwest corner of the intersection was demolished for the project and a city-owned building that was once home to Magna Electric will soon meet the same fate, Ed Cage, Oak Forest’s director of economic and community development, told the outlet.

The four-acre site is in unincorporated Cook County and will be annexed into the city of Oak Forest.

The first phase calls for row houses along 157th Street, close to Lamon Avenue to the west. A later phase would include a four-story building with apartments and ground-floor commercial space.

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Demolition for the $26 million project, which will cover a full city block, is expected to be completed by the end of September with some site preparation done before the winter weather arrives.

“I would expect the majority of the work to start next year,” Cage told the publication. “It’s a major project [and] the city is very excited about the development.”

Like other southern Chicago suburbs, Oak Forest has been trying to increase transit-oriented developments. The addition of housing and retail near the community’s Metra station works toward that goal.

The other project, which is expected to break ground next year, calls for a senior housing development at the northeast corner of Cicero Avenue and 151st Street. Carefree Development plans to build a three-story building there with 55 residential units.

Victoria Pruitt