THREATENED: Demolition Threat for Wheatland Building at 4435 S. Western Blvd

“For real estate developers and investors around Chicago, the best-laid plans often involve warehouses.

“It is a humble use and not without controversy, but the push for shipping and storage across the metropolitan area has been the hottest thing in property development in years. It’s led to a proliferation of mega-sized buildings, often 1 million square feet, in the suburbs and developers scouring the city for well-placed parcels.

“Size matters.

“In the Back of the Yards community is a large parcel ticketed for a warehouse and distribution complex. The address on the zoning application is 4435 S. Western Blvd., but the property runs mostly behind commercial sections along Western, including a Home Depot at 47th Street and Western. At more than 30 acres, the development site is larger than some Chicago parks. For an industrial user, it backs up conveniently against the Norfolk Southern Railway right-of-way.

“The property, however, is fully occupied by a company that’s been there for years. It’s Wheatland Tube, a manufacturer of pipes, electrical conduit and other products.

“Wheatland is part of Chicago-based Zekelman Industries. Executives did not reply to messages about plans at the site. Craig Chico, president and CEO of the Back of the Yards Neighborhood Council, said Wheatland will be leaving the area, although when isn’t certain.

“Last December, Brookfield submitted to city authorities its zoning proposal for the Wheatland site. It is due for a Chicago Plan Commission hearing Thursday. The company wants to replace what’s there with three buildings totaling 589,000 square feet. The plan for 721 vehicle parking spaces and 82 loading docks suggests the large scope of the project. (Roeder, Chicago Sun-Times, 4/17/23)


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