JOLIET, IL – It took a lawsuit and a declaration of public nuisance from the Joliet City Council for Basinger Pharmacy owner Harish Bhatt to finally demolish the vacant Senor Tequila bar in the 2100 block of West Jefferson Street last year. last.
Then last September, prefabricated walls were delivered on flatbed trucks. Construction of the new 5,000 square foot building for the Basinger Pharmacy was underway for everyone in Joliet to see.
But last winter and this spring, the work stopped. No one was building the new Basinger’s Pharmacy anymore and people around Joliet started noticing it.
“Just wanted to let you know that it appears there is no work going on on the new Basingers Pharmacy,” a reader wrote to Joliet Patch over the weekend. “Any time you do a story, it helps.”
On Monday afternoon, Joliet Patch showed up unannounced at the Basinger construction project. Turns out there’s positive news to share for a change.
SCI Group Superintendent Stephen Fernandez, on Algonquin Road in Arlington Heights, was busy working on the site.
SCI Group is the general contractor and project manager.
“It’s going to be a busy summer,” remarked Fernandez. “It’s going to be a very busy summer.”
Fernandez said public works took place in May.
“We have water in the building and the storm drains are all hooked up,” he said.
He understood that work on the building was idle between November and April, but the DuPage County-based general contractor didn’t know why.
In any event, Fernandez said the new Basinger pharmacy should be open towards the end of this year.
“We’re shooting for October or November to be fully operational,” Fernandez told Joliet Patch during Monday’s interview. “My boss wants me out of here by October.”
He said the windows have been installed and “we should have the roof done by mid-June”.
The concrete slab for the interior of the new pharmacy could be poured by the end of this week, he said. The original basement of the old Senor Tequila bar has been retained. This basement will be converted into a doctor’s office, Fernandez said.
Roof installation was slowed by a supply issue involving insulation, Fernandez said. “The insulation, it will take us a month to get it,” he said.
But, there was something else that happened last week that put the project on hold – criminal activity.
Fernandez said copper wire thieves stole about $3,000 worth of copper from the back of the property on the night of May 16.
The Joliet Police Department is currently investigating the crime, Fernandez said.