Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Updates on Two 46th Ward Derelict Properties

From Ald. Cappleman's latest newsletter:

"Update on Chateau Hotel. The 46th Ward Office is working closely with the Dept. of Family & Support Services (DFSS) and a number of other social service organizations to locate safe housing for residents of the Chateau Hotel who have been given a 30-day notice.

Given the dire situation found within this building, there can be no delay with efforts to find more suitable housing for these residents. DFSS is currently meeting with residents in their home to help them find safer housing arrangements.

Update on Lawrence House.  In court last week, city inspectors testified about a number of dangerous and hazardous conditions at the Lawrence House, including tenant hoarding, open electrical boxes, and illegally converted units. At the hearing, Judge Wolfson expressed concerns about the lack of progress at the property and the length of time this matter has been in court.

An order was entered requiring the foreclosure receiver to address the dangerous and hazardous conditions on the property prior to the next court date on July 2 at 11am. In the meantime, Ald. Cappleman is speaking with several interested buyers who are willing to put in millions of dollars to bring this building back up to code in order to make it safer for residents."


  1. Although the Lawrence House has some architectural significance, and I’d LOVE to see it given new life as MARKET-RATE rental units, it sounds as if it’s ready to collapse upon itself and perhaps should just be demolished. The community is fed up, the people inside are fed up, hell even the judge in this case is fed up. What’s the hold up? Politics? The system? The poverty pimps and their wicked ways?

    I’ve heard the rumors about developers and being tied up in the slow process of everything but this wait is beyond excessive!!!

    Hotel Chateau closing is awesome, that crack head building is disgusting.

  2. Does anyone know what will happen to the pharmacy there? It is a great local family run pharmacy. Much better than Walgreens.

  3. americanlt which Pharmacy are you reffering to? The one run by the Gangster Disciples at the corner of Kenmore and Lawrence, or the brick and mortar one at Kenmore and Lawrence?

  4. The Lawrence House is the typical excessively well-built c.1930 skyscraper and I'm sure it's in no danger of collapse. I've seen skyscrapers of this vintage subjected to far worse neglect and mistreatment, that were later restored to their full glory, at less cost than what a new structure of inferior quality would cost.

    Google the Continental Building in St. Louis to see what can be done with a trashed skyscraper of high quality. This building sat empty for nearly 30 years and had full-sized trees growing in the fifth floor just under the setback because the roof over the room collapsed. For a long time, it was thought that so much water had leaked into the building that the steel frame was rusted and compromised beyond repair, but it turned out to be quite sound. This lovely building has since been beautifully rehabbed and its grand lobby restored.

    I'll be happy to see this beautiful old landmark restored as market rate apartments. The closure of the reeking Le Chateau is a great start.

  5. I am glad Ald. Cappleman appears to care for the residents' welfare, but I have a few questions.

    Do we really think housing will be found for the current residents, or are we willing to admit they will probably just be forced into homelessness, crime, and more preventable public service costs?

    Some of the residents need serious help, whether through the criminal justice system or otherwise. But many of the residents are simply law-abiding and recently out of work; or in need of mental-health services. (See:

    If Ald. Cappleman's primary concern is finding safe housing for the current residents, why not get the Chateau into the hands of a responsible, accountable affordable housing provider, and renovate it. Isn't this the definition of what affordable-housing pay-ins and TIF are for?

    I am genuinely curious if these are ways to find housing for these low-income citizens.

    I ask because I was at the courthouse when the developer's attorney announced the plan to vacate the building (with Ald. Cappleman standing by his side at the judge's table). I overheard a conversation between Ald. Cappleman and some current residents (who are constituents), and he said "For the sake of humanity, we can't let people live like this." One resident replied to his elected representative, "Because of your humanity, I'm going to be homeless." Cappleman didn’t seem to care about that.

  6. Many of Lawrence House's senior residents have already been relocated by the city as the building was unsafe for them. Facilities were found for them, and can be for the others.
    I don't think that resident can assume they will be homeless. Alderman Cappleman is one of the few out there who actually do help and know how to find services.

  7. DFSS is currently meeting with residents in their home to help them find safer housing arrangements. - Ald. Cappleman

    Benj, would you let me know how you're interpreting what Ald. Cappleman said? I think we might be interpreting it differently because I get the impression he's not having them kicked out into the streets.

    You also wonder if a TIF could pay for this. Do you have knowledge that this area is a TIF? I'm under the impression that it isn't.

    Do you think aldermen can require developers to build subsidized housing? Who told you that aldermen can do that? I thought the city could only require it under certain circumstances. Are there circumstances out there that you know about and no one else does? I'm curious about what those circumstances are.

  8. Time to clean up shop...everyone wants to get involved now and voice their opinion, but NO ONE (especially not the agencies fighting-LAC/ONE) did a thng to create safe affordable housing the past 30 years. You snooze you loose. ONE/LAC had better spend their time finding housing FAST instead is holding meaningless marches.

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  11. Joey, if you have to build a moat around your bed at Lawrence House, your words alone are reason to move forward and get this under new management at market rate housing...

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