Veterans’ home on Northwest Side unfinished amid budget stalemate

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(Natalie Hayes / Pioneer Press)

By Natalie Hayes

Just over a year ago, Illinois lawmakers gathered at what was to be the future site of a veterans’ home on the southwest corner of Forest Preserve Drive and Oak ParkAvenue.

It was September 2014, and a groundbreaking ceremony was held to mark the start of construction on a $70.5 million facility that was to be Chicago’s first-ever long-term care center for vets.

Fast-forward 17 months later, and plans to build the five-story, 200-room long-term health care facility have failed to materialize as planned. Another product of the state’s budget impasse, the project is only a shell of what it was planned to be.

The facility was supposed to provide specialized housing and medical care (including memory loss care) for aging veterans in the Chicago-area, but it’s unclear whether the project — which in its current state consists only of several brick walls spotted with a few glassless window frames — will ever be completed.

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