By LINDSAY WELBERS
Demolition started last week on the former Village Shopping Center.
The dilapidated buildings are being torn down to make way for a Jeanne Gang-designed retail and residential tower, with upscale grocer Whole Foods as the anchor tenant.
Demolition is expected to conclude in mid-February of 2014. The new tower, named City Hyde Park, is expected to be finished in 2015.
Once demolition is completed Silliman Development will begin excavation at the site to repair sewers and add an underground parking garage. Beginning in February portions of Harper Avenue will be closed off to allow for excavation to take place.
The car wash at the BP, 5130 S. Lake Park Ave., will remain open during demolition and construction.
City Hyde Park will be funded with $11.3 million in tax increment financing and additional new market tax credits and enterprise zone benefits. The resulting public funds and tax breaks will allow the project, which was almost foiled by the Great Recession, to see completion.