City of Peoria acts to demolish 'eyesore' hospital

Posted at 7:36 PM, Oct 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-03 22:36:03-04

The city of Peoria is taking action to demolish a structure considered an "eyesore" by many.

It is a project that never really got off the ground; a doctor's dream of opening up a $37 million full-service, general acute-care hospital, that stalled during the economic downturn due to financial problems. All that stands on the land now is a steel frame, rusted by the elements over the last six years.

The property is located along Lake Pleasant Parkway, a major thoroughfare in the north Peoria area. It is surrounded by brand new communities with custom built homes that are still sprouting up, and it is also right next door to Peoria Basis K-12 school.

The city's top code enforcement officer, Jay Davies said the number one concern for their office was safety. The lack of any construction activity on the property since 2012 deemed the structure to be "unsafe".

Davies said, using the International Property Maintenance code, the city was able to take over the project and demolish it themselves, if the property owner did not take action.

The city could also put a lien against the property to get back costs associated with the demolition.

"We afforded him every bit of his due process," said Davies.

It concerned him to see a portion of the fence surrounding the property collapsed right by the Basis school. He wondered if children were getting in and using the property as a playground.

"There are unsecure stairwells in there, rusty metal, conduits and pipes sticking out of the ground that are a trip and an impalement hazard. There are elevator pits and shafts going down several feet. They collect water and are also a breeding ground for mosquitoes," Davies explained.

He added that the city had issued a demolition notice against the property which the owner had appealed, but he did not show up for his own hearing.

Dozens of Peoria residents did, demanding the city do something about the unsafe property. B.J. Katz, the owner of Lake Pleasant real estate was among them.

"This thing has got to come down. They've had their chances. It's literally been here for so long without any building, any movement at all. A lot of folks don't even know what it was, or what it is, or what it planned to be," said Katz.

He said residents were excited to see the city stepping up to take action and demolish the property. City officials said the demolition will take place over the next week.

ABC15 reached out to the property owner. He declined to answer any of our questions.