Friday, March 24, 2023

National Car Wash Goes Straight To Shell

Say what? Our favorite no-name gas station, National Car Wash (Ainslie and Broadway), finally has a branded gasoline supplier!

A keen-eyed reader noticed the signage and branding Thursday and snapped these photos.

As she says, and we agree: "I hope Shell preserves the amazing vintage signage."

Monday, March 20, 2023

Crain's: Angela Clay Has An Outstanding $18,450 IRS Lien Against Her

Angela Clay (right) seen here at her campaign kick off event (Facebook)
Greg Hinz, Crain's Chicago

Angela Clay, the 46th Ward aldermanic hopeful who failed to disclose she operated a company that received nearly $42,000 in federal COVID-relief funds, also has something else in her financial record she hasn’t talked about: an outstanding $18,450 Internal Revenue Service lien against her According to an IRS lien that’s filed with the Cook County Recorder of Deeds’ office, in September of 2018 Clay was assessed $18,450 for unpaid taxes, penalties and interest. 

Permits Pulled For 19 Story Development At 619 W. Waveland

City Club Apartments at 3636 N. Lake Shore Drive

A development that passed through city council in the summer of 2021 is finally ready to break ground.

Permits were just pulled on the 3636 N. Lake Shore Drive project from City Club Apartments. The project lists the 619 W. Waveland address. You might recall the project includes one 19 story building with 183 units. The 6 story building south of the midrise has not been permitted and that area will likely be used for staging during construction.

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

46th Ward Aldermanic Run-Off Candidates Walz and Clay To Meet In Forum In Uptown On March 29th

Kimberly Walz (left) and Angela Clay (right)

From East Lake View Neighbors:

"East Lake View Neighbors 46th Ward Runoff Candidate Forum

East Lake View Neighbors will host a forum for the 46th Ward Alderperson Runoff Candidates on Wednesday, March 29, 2023 from 7:30pm to 9pm. in the lobby of Thorek Hospital, 850 West Irving Park Road.

This forum will be in-person. Please bring any questions that you wish to pose to the candidates.  We look forward to seeing you then!"

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Crain's: Candidate Angela Clay Faces Questions Over PPP Loans Of Nearly $42,000

46th Ward run-off candidate Angela Clay seen here with former Alderwoman Helen Shiller, who endorsed Clay (Neighbors For Angela Clay Facebook)

Greg Hinz, Crain's Chicago Business

"A candidate in the 46th Ward aldermanic runoff has filed a revised statement of economic interest with the Chicago Board of Ethics after Crain's asked why she apparently failed to disclose nearly $42,000 in federal Payroll Protection Program loans to a hair-products firm she owned.

In a letter yesterday to Ethics Board Chairman Steve Berlin, candidate Angela Clay said she inadvertently disclosed financials on one newly formed company that she said paid her $9,000 as president, Saij, when she should have listed another that was formed earlier in 2014, Pink Ribbon Hair...

Clay's campaign website makes no mention of the companies she ran or what income she derived from them, terming her a "community leader" who was the youngest president ever of nonprofit Voice of the People in Uptown."

Read the full story at Crain's (with subscription)

"Bear" With Us -- "Sheldrake" Will Be Filming In Uptown On Wednesday

There will be filming taking place in the heart of Uptown tomorrow.

On Wednesday, March 15th, between 6am and 2pm, there will be no street parking allowed:

  • On BOTH SIDES of Wilson between Sheridan and Broadway, and 
  • On the WEST SIDE of Sheridan between Wilson and Sunnyside
Vehicles parked on those streets will be towed.

You may have never heard of Sheldrake, the TV show, and there's a good reason for that: it doesn't exist. It's the code name for another series you may be more familiar with: The Bear.

Saturday, March 11, 2023

Spring Forward On Sunday!

We return to Daylight Saving Time this weekend (2am Sunday, to be exact), so set your clocks to spring forward an hour on Saturday night.

One less hour of sleep, always a lot of fun if you have a kid or pet who's firmly tied to a 24-hour schedule.

On the flip side, it means that evening light will last until at least 6:30pm next week, which is lovely if you like having the chance to stay outside in the daylight longer.

(photo from the JJ Sedelmaier Productions Collection, used with much appreciation)

Friday, March 10, 2023

Eight-Story Residential Set To Rise at 5035 N Sheridan

5035 N. Sheridan from DLG Management (48th Ward Office)

We told you back in August about the one story retail buildings spanning 5033-5045 N Sheridan selling for $2.6M, and now we know what to expect for the site.

Ald. Osterman's office just released a rendering showing the residential building with retail space that will rise eight stories on the NE corner of Sheridan and Carmen. A total of 77 residential units with 40 parking spaces is planned for the site, with demolition/construction slated to begin the week of March 13. The site is being developed "as-of-right" with no zoning change requested. There will be no affordable units.

The current retail buildings at 5033-45 Sheridan (UU)

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Run-Off Elections on April 4th Will Decide Chicago's Next Mayor, 46th & 48th Ward Aldermen

Kim Walz will face Angela Clay 

Joe Dunne will face Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth  

With so many candidates running, it's not a surprise that no candidate received more than 50% of the vote in many contests around the city, including the mayoral contest. Uptowners will go to the polls again on Tuesday, April 4th, to decide the winners of the 46th and 48th aldermanic races, as well as join the rest of the city in deciding on a new mayor.

With 100 percent of the precincts counted in the 46th Ward, this is how it shakes out:

Angela Clay                4,598 votes (34.80%)
Kim Walz                    3,476 votes (26.31%)
Marianne Lalonde        2,290 votes (17.33%)
Patrick Nagle                1,613 votes (12.21%)
Roushaunda Williams    988 votes (7.48%)
Michael Cortez                249 votes (1.88%)

Total Votes: 13,214

With 100 percent of the precincts reporting in the 48th Ward, it goes like this:

Joe Dunne                                   3,835 votes (27.45%)
Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth       3,009 votes (21.54%)
Nick Ward                                    2,588 votes (18.53%)
Isaac Freilich Jones                    1,421 votes (10.17%)
Larry Svabek                                  904 votes (6.47%)
Roxanne Volkmann                       794 votes (5.68%)
Andy Peters                                    515 votes (3.69%)
Nassir Faulkner                              354 votes (2.53%)
Andre Peloquin                              341 votes (2.44%)
Brian J. Haag                                  208 votes (1.49%)

Total Votes: 13,969

Matt Martin ran unopposed in the 47th Ward, and received 100% of the 13,784 votes cast.

The mayoral election saw Mayor Lightfoot conceding the race less than two hours after polls closed. The voters will choose between Paul Vallas (approximately 34% of the vote) and Brandon Johnson (approximately 20% of the vote).

The official tallies will continue to change slightly, as mailed-in ballots arrive over the next few days, and vote-by-mail ballots that were turned in today at polling places are counted. All early voting votes, mailed-in votes that were received through today, and in-person votes have been tallied in the above totals.

Get ready for April 4th!

Proposal To Convert 4655 N. Broadway To Residential Released

4655 N. Broadway proposal, viewed from Leland side (Yu & Associates Collaborative)

A proposal to convert a retail building to residential on the SE corner of Broadway and Leland has just been revealed on Ald. Cappleman's development page.

The current retail-only building at 4655 N. Broadway (home to Dalia Food Mart and the former 'Style House') has been on the market for a while now. Developer Wemi Properties LLC proposes adding a 3 story addition to the existing 2 story retail building.

In total, 24 units of housing would be created featuring a mix of two bedroom, one bedroom and studio units. The ground floor retail would be renovated and become 2 retail units. Similar to what we saw at Hack Haus to the south, the glass block windows on the second floor would also become actual windows. (Hooray!) 

Because a zoning change from B3-2 to B2-5 is being requested as part of the proposed renovations, the city's affordable requirement ordinance kicks in, requiring 5 units designated as affordable. The site currently provides no market-rate or affordable housing, so this is a net gain. 

Local block club Truman Square Neighbors as well as Uptown United will provide feedback to Ald. Cappleman. The project is under the $10 million dollar threshold, so it would not require consideration by the 46th Ward Zoning & Development Committee. 

Uptown United is planning to work with the current retail owners on relocation during construction.

The current view of 4655 N. Broadway (Google)

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Clark Street Gem "Max's Place" to Continue Under New Ownership


Max's Place at 4621 N. Clark (provided by Micah Hilgendorf)

A classic Clark Street dive bar, Max's Place, is getting a second shot at life under new ownership.

It wasn't so long ago that Ed Warm bought Carol's Pub and invested even more in the interior and exterior of the bar, still keeping most of the "charm" neighbors had grown to love over the years. It has turned into a very popular spot for folks from all over.

Now, another often unnoticed bar on the same block of Clark is ready to do the same. 

Micah Hilgendorf and his partner purchased Max's Place at 4621 N. Clark along with the building housing it. If you haven't been, Max's is a true Chicago dive bar, named for previous bar owner Maxine  and featuring a group of "regulars," great drink deals, and dive bar ambiance for miles.

Mr. Hilgendorf plans an interior renovation that stays true to Max's dive bar roots while making the bar more welcoming from the exterior. Plumbing and electrical in the vintage building are being upgraded and the roof will be replaced once the weather cooperates. Expect facade repairs to begin soon. 

If you are worried that the nostalgic Old Style sign will be removed, fear not! It has already been refurbished with more energy efficient LED bulbs and will be staying as a Fully Krausened beacon for all. 

They plan to apply for a back patio license with lighting, landscaping and seating. 

Finally, those of us who have enjoyed the Max's experience over the years will be happy to know that longtime bartender and soon to be great-grandmother Teresa is still bartending.

Hilgendorf recounts the first time he entered Max's:

"A bartender from The North End suggested I check out Max’s back in August.  I’d driven past it hundreds of times and never noticed it. I stopped by that afternoon and instantly fell in love with the place. There was this gorgeous mahogany and stained glass art deco bar tucked inside, and a colorful collection of regulars. It was my 50th birthday, so I bought a beer and the customers and staff eagerly told me the history of the bar and neighborhood with all its ups and downs. I knew the building was in rough shape, worn and neglected, but I couldn’t stop thinking about the possibilities. We decided to buy the building and closed mid-December. I haven’t met Maxine, but after hearing the tales of her storied life at the bar I couldn’t change the name.

It’s going to stay Max’s Place, a neighborhood dive bar. It does need some updates and repairs but we’ve already made good headway with the sound, tv’s, and lighting."

Hilgendorf is no stranger to the Chicago bar scene. He, along with business partner Brett Swinson, own Atmosphere (5355 N. Clark) as well as The North End and The Lucky Horseshoe, both on Halsted. 

Lots of changes on Clark, for sure, and this is a good one!

Sunday, February 12, 2023

We've Seen Enough - Uptown Update Endorses Kim Walz

Not to steal Dave Wasserman's thunder, or his signature line, but we are convinced:

Kim Walz is the best choice for the open aldermanic seat in the 46th Ward.

Since filing date passed, we have watched every available forum, read the campaign literature, studied the candidates in detail. We have been impressed by several of the candidates, including Ms. Walz, Mr. Nagle, and Ms. Williams. We think that any of the three will make a good alderperson for the 46th Ward. But the one candidate that stood above the others (and garnered the most votes in our internal poll) was Ms. Walz. 

Ms. Walz has received an impressive slate of endorsements from Governor Pritzker, Senator Dick Durbin, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, Congressman Mike Quigley, Senator Sara Feigenholtz and State Representative Ann Williams, Alderman Tom Tunney, and others in local government. She is connected with the folks who make things happen, and as we have seen, that is important and often necessary in getting the 46th Ward (Uptown's largest) the funding and services needed. However, she also has an impressive interest in governmental reform, with a history of real world accomplishments in the ethics and budgetary realm.

Beyond her experience in government and connections, our editors believe that it is important to have a socially responsible and forward thinking candidate. It is clear Ms. Walz has the social and personal bona fides, espousing a bevy of good ideas coupled with a long history of real world work on social issues that affect the 46th Ward

Of particular relevance to the 46th Ward, Ms. Walz knows the challenges of substance abuse and mental illness firsthand, with a close family member struggling with those challenges, and she knows the ins and outs of the system well. She has worked on extending health insurance to low-income working families and the uninsured as part of her work (in a high level position) in a non-profit health insurance co-op. She has been an active volunteer with the House of Good Shepherd (supporting mothers and children living at the shelter), serves on the board of Kids Above All, a non-profit helping children and families who have survived trauma, and is a member of the leadership council of the Haymarket Center, a group that helps individuals and families suffering from the effects of substance abuse and mental illness. And in her professional life, where she serves as a liason between Walgreens Corporation and local governments, she has a real life track record of work that helps advance public health, equity for people of color, non-English speakers, and the undocumented population.

What about the others? Patrick Nagle got one vote in our internal poll. We think that Mr. Nagle has good potential, a long track record of civic service, and would make a good alderman. Ms. Walz ultimately got more votes because our editors believe it is time for a female voice to lead the Ward.  

Like Mr. Nagle, Ms. Williams received a single vote in our internal poll. She is an impressive candidate with an interesting background and some important endorsements. We expect that she would do well as Alderwoman even if we didn't end up voting for her. 

Neither Marianne Lalonde nor Angela Clay garnered a vote in our internal poll. We still remain gobsmacked about how Ms. Lalonde conducted herself in the last campaign, including refusing to concede the election to James Cappleman. We expect that from candidates in the Republican party, but it was a petty move and provided a good window into Ms. Lalonde's psyche. 

For her part, Ms. Clay has little track record and has bound herself closely to former Alderman Helen Shiller, who was on hand when Ms. Clay announced her candidacy. Ald. Shiller is effectively looking for someone to pass the baton. In our view, a vote for Ms. Clay is effectively a vote for Helen Shiller and her favorite organizations to regain power in the 46th Ward

We have witnessed a neighborhood that has made tremendous strides in public safety and livability over the past 12 years under Alderman Cappleman. If you asked us what we expected to see in 2011 when he was sworn in for the first time, we were most hopeful for a change from a status quo that was willing to accept regular gang shootings and street crime as part of the "fabric" of the neighborhood. That change has happened, in large part, due to the work of police, the Alderman and his office, neighborhood groups, and Uptown's citizens, who have worked together to make Uptown a safe, clean and desirable location. 

We started this blog in 2007 because we were sick of the way Uptown was in the thrall of special interests who had no interest in the neighborhood ever improving. The status quo (and worse) were acceptable, as was the loss of life and subhuman living conditions that accompanied it. We don't want to return to the way things were under Helen Shiller, which is what a vote for Ms. Clay (or Ms. Lalonde) would bring. 

In 2007, we would have never envisioned an Uptown that now makes worldwide best neighborhood lists, and we want the neighborhood to continue to progress, rather than regress, over the next 4 years. Our editors think Kim Walz is the best choice to move the 46th ward forward, while ensuring no one gets left behind

We encourage you to read more about her impressive resume at her website or in the Tribune's interview before you vote in the upcoming election.

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

After Years Of Neglect, 4745 N Beacon Purchased And Rehab Set To Begin

4745 N. Beacon (NXT Realty)
We have gotten several emails over the past few years regarding a building at 4745 N. Beacon that has been vacant and crumbling since the long-time owner passed away. The building was in housing court and in danger of demolition. We are happy to report it was recently purchased by a company close to NXT Realty.

According to a post on its Instagram, NXT Realty announced they were thrilled to begin a complete renovation on this building. Building permits for the property mention removing non-load bearing walls, so expect a fresh and modern rehab. 

We are thankful this building didn't meet the wrecking ball and look forward to welcoming new neighbors to Sheridan Park.

Maybe former 4745 Beacon resident Andy Thayer will move back into the rehabbed units?