Nearly eight years after the religious order that owns the 3.5-acre Columbus-Maryville site put it on the market...
Nearly seven years after Sedgwick Properties Development Group signed a contract to purchase it and build a mixed-use high-rise there...
And more than five years after then-alderman Helen Shiller created the Montrose/Clarendon TIF to enable Sedgwick to build there with $60million in assistance...
... it looks like Maryville is finally on the way to being developed.
In a statement issued today, Ald. James Cappleman says:
"Last night, the 46th Ward Zoning & Development Committee, made up of 40 diverse neighborhood and chamber organizations throughout the ward, voted to support the Clarendon/Montrose development proposal, which is the former site of the Maryville Academy. Each organization sends its own representative to serve on the committee. Click here to find out how your representative voted.Our post with information about the latest proposal is here. Ald. Cappleman's email newsletter is here.
This development is within a Tax Incremental Finance (TIF) district that makes up property owned by the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Park District land. Currently the TIF has no money because neither entity pays taxes. The only way TIF funds are generated at this site is to have a development on this site generate tax revenue. Therefore, I am requiring that JDL Development provide $4.6 million upfront to assist with the Clarendon Park Community Center.
For the past few months, I have met with the Cubs about the potential for a partnership with the Park District to create a Cubs indoor baseball academy at Clarendon Park for neighborhood kids that would also rehab the Community Center.
JDL Development will be contributing $5.7 million to the Chicago Low Income Housing Trust Fund, money that will go to pay for rent subsidies to people earning 30% or less of the area median income. Currently, the 46th Ward receives more rental subsidy assistance from this fund than the combined total given to 29 other wards in the City of Chicago.
Click here to view the development proposal. Groundbreaking is expected sometime in the spring of 2016."
There were meetings held in laundry rooms, many new versions of potential developments, a name change to The Lighthouse at Montrose Harbor, the abandonment of Sedgwick as most favored developer by the then-alderman, accusations of renderings that didn't match the blueprints, more community meetings, a new developer, an attempt to have the building landmarked, a reduction of the TIF amount, and more.
But now, it looks like development at Maryville may finally happen. We see it as a win for Uptown in many ways:
- No residents will be displaced; the 3.5-acre site has been unoccupied for years
- Property taxes, sales taxes and other income will be generated by a a huge piece of land that hasn't contributed to the city's tax base since the Roosevelt Administration. (While the current buildings date back to the 1950s, the hospital was founded in 1942 as a maternity hospital run by the Sisters.)
- New affordable-housing apartments will be created as part of the development and nearly six million dollars will go into the Low Income Housing Trust Fund
- The historic, leaky, deteriorating Clarendon Park Field House will be restored through a combination of upfront money from the developer and a community contribution from the Chicago Cubs
- New residents and new retail moving into Uptown will create a more vibrant community
- The current owners, the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart, will get a nice chunk of change from the sale to continue their good work, which includes outreach to immigrants, caring for the elderly, and working against human trafficking
- There will be a welcoming gateway to Uptown from Lake Shore Drive, rather than fenced-off boarded-up buildings
Given the long and bumpy road to get to this point, we can't say with any certainty that this plan is locked in. But it is -- by far -- the closest the Maryville property has come to redevelopment since we've been following the story, for almost eight years now. Time will tell. And we're humming a little Etta James.