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The building that housed the former Wing Hoe restaurant at 5356 N. Sheridan Road was demolished this week, making room for a new development that will bring 50 apartments. Credit: Madison Savedra/Ecoglobalsociety

EDGEWATER — The Wing Hoe restaurant building was torn down this week because the to-be-developed site had turned into a “hazard” following a fire last year, according to Ald. Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth (48th).

City crews demolished the building at 5356 N. Sheridan Road at the request of Manaa-Hoppenworth, who said on social media the fire-damaged building was a “hazard to the community.”

The former Wing Hoe building was badly damaged in a fire on Thanksgiving Day 2023, as the building sat vacant while waiting redevelopment. The two-alarm fire did not cause any injuries, but debris from the building was scattered around the site and near public sidewalks.

The ward office asked the property owner to board up the building's windows and clear debris, but its demolition was ultimately needed to solve the public nuisance, the alderwoman said.

City building inspectors cited the Wing Hoe building owners over the property's condition during an inspection in January, city records show. The six citations include failing to maintain the building in safe conditions and failure to register a vacant building, according to building inspection records.

“Ultimately, to fully remove the hazard, the building needed to come down,” Manaa-Hoppenworth said on social media.

Property owner Tempus Real Estate Group could not be reached for comment on why it didn't secure or demolish the property.

The Wing Hoe building will be turned into 50 apartments. Credit: 2rz Architecture

Construction to turn the site into 50 apartments will begin later this year, Manaa-Hoppenworth said.

Wing Hoe Restaurant closed in 2020 after the building had been slated for redevelopment. The owners, who were in business for 49 years, decided to retire rather than find a new location, they previously told Block Club.

Plans to redevelop the building first came up in 2018, but a developer's efforts were stalled after their plans to reduce a rear property setback did not get approval from the city.

Tempus then stepped in, with plans for a five-story apartment complex with 34 one-bedroom and 16 two-bedroom apartments, 25 parking spots and a rooftop deck.

The building was constructed in 1913 as a lakefront adjacent mansion. Wing Hoe restaurant opened there in 1971.

The Wing Hoe building was damaged by a fire on Thanksgiving day 2023. Credit: Joe Ward/Ecoglobalsociety

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