Village officials bring the hammer down on former bank building

  From left, Dustin Winquest and Jeff Wise of Capitol
  Construction Solutions, Homewood police officers 
  Paul Neitzel and Dave Lux, Homewood Public Works 
  Director John Schaefer, Mayor Richard Hofeld, 
  Andrew Goodman, of GMX Real Estate, Homewood 
  Marketing Director Jennifer Quirke, Events Manager
  Allisa Opyd, Finance Director Dennis Bubenik and 
  Economic Development Director Angela Mesaros. 
  The group posed after giving the building a few 
  ceremonial whacks to begin the demolition process.

  (Photos by Eric Crump/H-F Chronicle)
 
The former bank building at 175th and Halsted streets in Homewood will be coming down this week to make way for a restaurant development, and village officials helped get the process started on Monday. 
 
  Homewod Mayor Richard 
  Hofeld gets the demolition 
  process going with a few
  good swings of the sledge
  hammer. 

 
Panera Bread Company and Chick-fil-A will construct restaurants at the site, but first the former Charter One Bank building at 17450 Halsted St. has to go.

Village and project officials started the demolition by taking a few chunks out of the walkway wall on the south side of the building. It was less of a ground breaking ceremony — typical for marking new developments — and more of a building breaking ceremony. 
 
  Homewood Economic 
  Development Director 
  Angela Mesaros gets a 
  few hits in. 

 
Homewood Mayor Richard Hofeld took the first few swings, then turned the sledge hammer over to Homewood Economic Development Director Angela Mesaros, Finance Director Dennis Bubenik, Public Works Director John Schaefer, Marketing Director Jennifer Quirke, Events Manager Allisa Opyd and two police officers, Dave Lux and Paul Neitzel, each of which gave the wall a few good hits.

Jeff Wise, senior project manager for Capitol Construction Solutions, said the ceremony for a demolition was a first for him.

He and Dustin Winquist, project superintendent, also took turns with the hammer, as did Andrew Goodman, a partner in GMX Real Estate Group Acquisitions LLC, the firm that acquired the land and is developing the project.

Hofeld said the idea was to do something different to mark a new business addition at a key location in the village.

"The building has to come down," he said. "We might as well get it going."

Wise said after the utility work was completed, the real demolition work would begin by Wednesday. 

The Panera building will be constructed first, he said. It will be located furthest west on the site. He said the goal is to finish it before the end of the year.

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