Frankfort annexes 772 acres

A new medical office building is in Frankfort's immediate future, while a major housing expansion could be possible down the road.

Trustees made sure of both Monday, approving plans by Riverside Medical Center of Kankakee and signing off on the annexation of 772 acres of unincorporated Will County farmland.

"These are all owned by Robert Watson," Trustee Doug Walker said of the annexed parcels. "This is to the southeast of the village toward Interstate 57 and Stuenkel Road."

Major Jim Holland, who joined the five trustees present in voting for the annexation, said Watson is a real estate investor and Frankfort resident.

"It is annexed for the purpose of the long-term future," Holland said. "It is something that is beneficial to the people of Frankfort because it allows us to plan this area for the future."

Holland said the annexation is "completely unrelated" to the village's decision in the past year to spend more than $6 million digging two wells and building a water tower and treatment facility along its southeastern edge. Frankfort also recently approved spending $183,662 to cover the village' s portion of an engineering study for Steger Road improvements in the area.

The vote covered the pre-annexation of a trio of parcels at the northwest, southwest and southeast corners of the intersection of Center and Dralle Roads. Pre-annexation agreements lay the groundwork for future annexation of land not yet touching a municipality's borders.

Also on the southeast side, Riverside Medical Center hopes to break ground this fall on a 21,000-square-foot medical building at the southwest corner of LaGrange and Steger Roads.

"Riverside acquired that property probably over 10 year ago, and we're very excited about finally starting to build on that property," said Phil Kambic, the Kankakee hospital's president and CEO. "We're a full-service hospital. We're looking at a medical office building with primary care physicians, specialty physicians and advanced diagnostic equipment as well."

Kambic said the hospital operates similar offices in Bourbannais and Coal City, and the Frankfort building could be just a start.

"We own 26 acres on that corner, and this is only going to take up a few," he said. "We absolutely want to continue to grow that campus."

With Trustee Todd Morgan absent, the other five board members also voted unanimously to spend $500,000 on an annual street resurfacing program and approved a liquor license for a new restaurant.

Don and Victoria Melton, whose hot dogs and veggie dogs have been a fixture of the village's farmers' markets, are opening Build-A-Bun in the former Always Open building at 6 Elwood St. Bottled beer and wine will be on the menu.

Holland also encouraged the public to attend the Bluegrass on the Green music festival Saturday and Sunday at Breidert Green as well as Super Sunday on July 20. It encompasses Frankfort's weekly farmers' market, an afternoon classic cars show and evening music through the Concerts on the Green series.

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