Saturday, February 6, 2016

Wilson Men's Club Hotel Is For Sale, And Oak Park Columnist Is On The Case


It's always entertaining when people who don't live in Uptown tell those of us who do what is acceptable for our community. So many outliers care so greatly about Uptown from their nests in Rogers Park, Ravenswood, Chatham, and Northbrook. They feel we should turn to them for answers because we're just too unaware to know what's best for the community we grew up in, live in, and vote in.

Just this morning, Mark Brown of the Sun-Times fired up his Mac from Oak Park and took on the future of the Wilson Men's Club hotel at 1124 Wilson.

Owner Jay Bomberg has been selling his company's properties in Uptown. The Wilson-Windsor Apartments at 915 Wilson and the Bachelor Hotel at 1136 Wilson have already changed hands. Now Mark Brown is concerned about what will happen if and when Bomberg sells the Wilson Men's Club (which has been on the market since at least 2013):
Instead of aggressively pushing out residents in preparation for a sale to market-rate developers, owner Jay Bomberg has been accepting new tenants and promising to try to find a buyer who will preserve the Wilson Men’s Hotel for low-income housing. Bomberg says he’s conducting “business as usual.”
Meanwhile, Ald. James Cappleman (46th), one of the prime movers behind a 2013 effort to shutter the cubicle hotels, has told residents he supports efforts to keep the facility affordable.
Bomberg told Brown that "it’s still possible the building will be sold to a buyer who would continue to operate it as a cubicle hotel." The building had a sales contract, according to LoopNet, in 2013, but if that was true, it didn't happen.

Here's an idea -- why don't all those people who are very concerned about Uptown pool their money and buy the place? Surely they want some skin in the game. Oak Parkers, Ravenswoodians, Chathamites, Northbrookers, Rogers Parkers -- start talking to your banks about loans and mortgages. We're sure Jay Bomberg would be happy to complete another sale, and you can do whatever you'd like with Wilson Men's Club hotel.

Or is it more fun to view Uptown as your own personal SimCity without actually having to be part of it?

19 comments:

  1. This is the dumbest thing uptown update has ever put out you are not allowed to comment about what's going on in a neighborhood just because you dont live there Mark brown at least cares about the less fortunate and low income people.i dont see this site talking about the job that carol boyd and humble hearts does for the homeless under the viaducts

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    1. Mr. Brown doesn't care about the less fortunate. If he did, he would have been shrieking about the third world conditions that buildings like the Wilson Men's Club and others like it offered to residents for much of Uptown's tenure as Chicago's homeless dumping ground. Even today, the area in front of the Wilson Men’s Club and Leland Hotel are filthy and the area overwhelmed by intoxicated, serial loiterers with nothing to do but peddle and gossip about the criminal behavior in the neighborhood. I would invite Mr. Brown to hang out around Wilson and Clinton between 11am and 5am. If he finds that acceptable, Mr. Brown should organize a Wilson Men’s Club in his neighborhood.

      The individuals who have squatted under the viaduct are not homeless. They have set up residence on prime lakefront real estate where they get intoxicated, defecate, urinate, deal and consume illicit drugs, and generate garbage that the City has to clean. The folks under the viaduct don’t want to live in the shelters or SRO’s, because the shelters don’t let them use drugs or drink on the premises. The individuals living under the viaduct are addicts and/or psychiatric patients. The last place they should be is living under a viaduct where their various pathologies can only get worse. Enabling this behavior under our noses is like telling an anorexic that she could stand to lose a few pounds. Ms. Boyd and the Humble Hearts are enabling this behavior, they ought to be ashamed of themselves.

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    2. You know how much Oak Park cares about the less fortunate? They put bars up on the public benches to keep people from sleeping on them. They removed benches from the shopping area to keep the homeless off them. They don't have a homeless shelter, they have a network of churches that provide 40 beds only in winter and that's great unless you are homeless on a Saturday night then you're screwed. They prevented a homeless man from running for elected office. that's how much Oak Park cares about the homeless. Mark Brown may want to look in his own back yard when he's talking about people who aren't compassionate about the less fortunate. But Mark Brown has an agenda. He forgot to mention that Cappleman convinced CHA to buy the Presbyterian Homes that they were going to sell and kick the old people out of. Now the old people can stay there. Good Old Mark Brown didn't mention that there's a case manager who comes to the hotel from Inspiration Corp to help the men get benefits and jobs and that's because of Cappleman. He has a definite agenda. As for Humble Hearts, they do a magnificent job of keeping people out of shelters and under the viaducts. They make them dependent on handouts and keep them from the benefits of case management. Anyone will tell you the first thing the chronic homeless need is housing and Humble Hearts does a good job of keeping them from getting it. Yay for them. If Humble Hearts really wanted to help they should buy the men's club from Bomberg and run it. Why is no one making Jay the villain? He must hate poor people because he's putting his properties up for sale right?. Why doesn't Humble Hearts buy from him? Why don't they organize a march to Jay Bomberg's home? Why don't they tell him he hates the poor? Lots and lots and lots and lots of agendas going on and the poor under the viaducts are being used as pawns.

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  2. This place is a dump! I've seen its residents drunk and pissing on the sidewalk in front of it. I hope it gets bought and cleaned up.

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  3. It would be nice if it could be cleaned up and put up actual walls without becoming so expensive that the residents can't afford it.

    Maybe a human services agency could visit occasionally and try to help them out.

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  4. Btw, I'm a former Uptown resident.

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  5. The Men's Wilson Club has to go.Do you think it's humane for men to live in cubical/cage rooms in 2016.

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  6. This building should be renovated and turned market rate.

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    1. Yes, we need to have someone like BJB who covered Hotel Chateau or FLATS come in a renovate it

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  7. I wonder if the homeless tent cities were under the Belmont/Fullerton/North Ave viaducts - would that last? Would that neighborhood and the powers that be 'allow' that there as it has been 'allowed' to happen here under our viaducts? I live in Uptown and have for 10 years. I have 2 young kids, and in order to get to the lakefront now - one of our favorite daily destinations - and in order to get there we are forced to pass thru the piss/sh*t stink and pan handlers. Most are smoking cigs and drinking is definitely going on as well.
    I understand that the homeless are human, they may have challenges that lead them to this point, and that there is a need to offer, extend a hand to them as a society that cares for each other... But there HAS to be a better solution than this. It seems these people are being used as pawns to promote other agendas and political aspirations, and as a home owner and parent in Uptown, I urge us to find a solution. The viaducts obviously weren't set up as a facility for the homeless.
    Totally off the topic of the article, but seems like the same people that use the SRO debate use the viaduct tent cities as causes.

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    1. Keep letting both aldermen in 46 and 48 know that it's not acceptable. Also, call 911 every single time you see them breaking any law. It's absolutely disgusting under those viaducts.

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    2. I agree we have to clean it up

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  8. I wish Chicago would try a program like this....

    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/02/housing-first-solution-to-homelessness-utah

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  9. I stayed at this 'residence' during an especially tough time a few years back. I can attest that it is basically a huge crack house that is overrun by roaches, rats, and bedbugs. This place needs to be demolished as the living conditions are inhumane with very little ventilation.

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  10. I was fortunate that the Wilson Mens Club Hotel was available for me when I arrived in Uptown back in the summer of 74. I only had a few bucks in my pocket at the time, so it was either the seven by five tiny cubicle….or sleeping out in the park somewhere. I think I may even have the Wilson Club Hotel Trade Token still lying around someplace.

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