THREATENED: Damen Silos To Be Sold to MAT Asphalt

“Neighbors in a McKinley Park environmental group are asking the state to slow down its sale of the Damen Silos to a controversial industrialist.

“Neighbors for Environmental Justice — which has long clashed with the industrialist, Michael Tadin Jr., and his MAT Asphalt company — used a Twitter thread Monday to call on the state to suspend its plan to sell the silos to Tadin. They want the state to gather neighbors’ feedback before they continue.

“The state announced Wednesday it plans to sell the silos at 2900 S. Damen Ave. to MAT Limited Partnership, a group of businesses owned by Tadin.

“The site was made famous as a backdrop in the 2014 film “Transformers: Age of Extinction.” The 23.4-acre property includes two land parcels along the south branch of the Chicago River and sits near the Stevenson Expressway.

“‘If the state wants to sell this property, the community must be at the table,’ members of the group tweeted.

“MAT offered the highest purchase price for the property at $6.52 million — more than double the state’s minimum bid, according to the state. But the McKinley Park group tweeted it is ‘unacceptable’ the state is making plans for McKinley Park ‘that do not include its residents.’

“MAT Asphalt opened a plant in McKinley Park in 2018, surprising neighbors and city officials who said they had no idea it was coming.

“Over the years, the environmental group’s members have said the plant contributes to pollution and environmental racism in the area. They have held tours of the neighborhood to help people learn about the environmental burden faced by neighbors, and they’ve protested MAT Asphalt’s presence.

“‘Now they want to do it again,’ the group’s members tweeted Monday. ‘The state plans to sell the historic Damen Silos to Michael Tadin so he can showcase the profits he has made polluting our community. Again, there has been no process for community input, no interest in finding out what the people who live here want or need and no consideration of the risks.’

“Neighbors for Environmental Justice said the state selling MAT more property and claiming it as a win for the environment is ‘astonishing.’

“‘Since MAT Asphalt began operating, there have been hundreds of complaints — residents have reported foul choking odors in the park and in their homes,’ the group members tweeted. ‘City inspectors have documented the smell of sulfur making it ‘very uncomfortable to inhale,’ emissions escaping from trucks, and blowing from the plant into adjoining streets and properties.’

“Neighbors for Environmental Justice tweeted they believe “money was the sole consideration” for the state selling the silos.” (Finlon, Block Club Chicago, 11/8/22)

Read the full story at Block Club Chicago

Sale Of Damen Silos To MAT Asphalt Owner Protested By McKinley Park Environmental Group
“If the state wants to sell this property, the community must be at the table,” members of the group tweeted, Katie Finlon, Block Club Chicago, 11/8/22

Sale of Damen Silos to MAT Asphalt Owner Draws Fire From McKinley Park Activists, Who Want To Halt the Deal, Patty Wetli, WTTW Chicago, 11/9/22

Damen Silos, featured in ‘Transformers’ movie, set to be sold by state; The owner of a controversial McKinley Park asphalt plant is the winning bidder for the 23-acre Southwest Side property, offering $6.5 million, Brett Chase, Chicago Sun-Times, 11/3/22

Petition to Save the Historic Damen Silos in Chicago!

Pritzker finds a buyer for Damen Silos, industrial site once featured in ‘Transformers’ movie, Brian J. Rogal, Chicago Tribune, 11/3/22

Tadin to Purchase, Demolish, Develop Damen Silos, Justin Kerr, McKinley Park News, 11/2/22

The Power of Uselessness: The History – and Potential – of Chicago’s massive Santa Fe Grain Elevator, ArchitectureChicago Plus Blog, 7/22/13

Damen Silos, Spot Beloved By Urban Explorers, Put Up For Sale By State — Opening Bid Is $3.25 Million; The silos have been beloved by urban explorers for years, with so many people stopping by to take pictures or film videos that it felt like “a Chicago tourist destination,” one said, Katie Finlon, Block Club Chicago, 8/22/22

Old dormant grain silos on South Side are an enduring industrial canvas for graffiti artists; Located along the Chicago River near Damen Avenue, the hulking structures dare and draw graffiti writers to their towers and snaking caverns below. The long-time owner of the site — state government — has been trying for decades to sell it for redevelopment, Sun-Times Staff, 11/26/21

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