Pickus Withdraws from Future Development at Champaign Burnham Site
Any future development at the old Burnham Hospital site in Champaign will be done without its original developer. Highland Park-based Pickus Companies is withdrawing from future phases of development at the site where it's already built a high-rise apartment building and supermarket.
The Champaign City Council deadlocked last week on a proposal to open the later phases of development at the Burnham site to other bidders. Several council members were unhappy with the Pickus Companies over delays in finishing the the Burnham 310 building, and delays in paying local subcontractors. A second vote to settle the question was expected last night. But city attorney Fred Stavens told the council that Pickus had decided to withdraw from the development of the rest of the Burnham property entirely.
That's fine with Councilman Tom Bruno, who says he likes the 18-story Burnham 310 building, but not the way Pickus does business. "Their delay in paying local subcontractors for the work that they did is inexcusable," said Bruno. "And I was very reluctant to enter any additional agreements with them."
Deputy City Manager for Development Craig Rost says the city will now likely seek bidders from other firms for residential development on the remaining city-owned lots on the Burnham site. But he doesn't expect any actual construction to start until 2011 at the earliest, due to the economy.