Former downtown Wheaton Jewel store demolished, makes way for medical building

The closing of the Jewel in downtown Wheaton in 2008 upset a number of residents but the building is being demolished and making way for a new medical building:

Bulldozers have arrived at the former Jewel Osco site in downtown Wheaton, demolishing the building that has been vacant for several years.

It’ll make way for a new DuPage Medical Group building, which is expected to bring in new jobs and more activity into the city’s downtown…

Just south of the site, construction of a new Mariano’s grocery store is ongoing, along with an apartment complex called Wheaton 121 being built a few blocks north. Both are slated to open in the fall.

The DuPage Medical Group building, which will be three stories and span 40,035 square feet at Main Street and Willow Avenue, is expected to be done by April, said Dennis Fine, Chief Operating Officer. The project will relocate 45 employees and 12 physicians from their current location at N. Main Street and W. Cole Avenue.

Fine expects to add at least 15 jobs and three to five more physicians to accommodate the services being added at the new location.

The city has been looking for years for a way to utilize this site and help the part of downtown south of the railroad tracks. It doesn’t sound like this new building will be a huge source of jobs but it does reinforce the image that downtown Wheaton is a place to be. Medical offices fit the image downtown Wheaton is looking for: more upscale residences, offices, and business establishments. Plus, the new grocery store will provide a more upscale business so the downtown will have gained a better grocery store plus this new medical office. I would guess that a lot of downtowns in the Chicago area would be happy if a medical facility redeveloped a vacant retail site.

However, this does lead to a newly vacant building on the north side of Wheaton in a more commercialized corridor. What might go at this site at Main and Cole?

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