Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Holsten: Target Is Coming to Wilson Yard

From Pioneer Press:


Developer Peter Holsten went on record that a Target store is coming to Wilson Yard despite no official announcement from the retail giant.
In a June 6 meeting of the Wilson Yard Task Force at Truman College, Holsten, the lead developer for the former, five-acre CTA rail yard, insisted that his firm, the Chicago-based Holsten, had passed all of the Target Corporation's financial boards and had a signed contract in hand.
"Target wants to open in mid-2009," Holsten said.
Wilson Yard, bounded by Broadway and the CTA tracks on the east and west, and Wilson and Montrose Avenues on the north and south, became a political battleground during the recent 46th Ward aldermanic race. Some Uptown residents have criticized Holsten and Alderman Helen Shiller, 46th, for what they claim has been a lack of transparency in the mixed-use development's planning process.
The redevelopment plans include a 180,000-square-foot Target store, 178 units of affordable housing and a 700-car parking garage, with 30,000 additional square feet for retail, offices and restaurants. A new Aldi's that replaced an existing store at 4450 N. Broadway, opened in May at Wilson Yard, almost six months past its projected opening of December 2006.
Last month, the City Council approved increasing Wilson Yard's TIF subsidy from $35.6 million to $43.1 million, stipulating that construction begin on the Target and residential units no later than July. Holsten attributed the increase to a 15 percent rise in construction costs and materials.
Holsten told task force members and a handful of residents attending the mid-morning meeting that toxic soil removal had already begun on the site. Demolition of the old Aldi's and the Azusa Building will start in July.
Wary after the pullout of a 12-screen movie theater in 2005, residents have questioned whether Target has truly committed to anchoring the Wilson Yard complex of stores, offices and apartments. Uptown resident Dustin Fogel, who took a day off from work to attend the task force meeting which are typically held during business hours, asked why there has been no official announcement.
Repeated calls to Target's media relations department were not returned.
"When the Target on Peterson opened there were signs up well in advance of its coming," Fogel said.
"Also, (residents) have contacted Target and asked if they had any new stores planned in the Chicago area and the Wilson Yard Target was not mentioned," Fogel added.
Holsten described Target's policies on announcing new stores "odd."
"We asked to put an announcement in the newspaper. It's bizarre," Holsten said.
Shiller backed Holsten, who reiterated that his firm did indeed have a contract.
"Do you think he'd go forward if Target wasn't on board?" Shiller asked.
Holsten said that once construction is underway, a rendering of the proposed Target would be posted at the construction site.
"(Target's) policies on this side are absurd. We'll put up a rendering and to hell with them," Holsten said.


  1. Phew...well I feel better now. Peter said so.

  2. Again, odd language from Mr. Holsten.

    Who tells their huge mega-client "to hell with you"?

    That sounds like some serious animosity to us. Or maybe frustration.

  3. What a dip shit to tell Target the hell with you. I have been around the re development business my entire life and I can tell you for Target to not say they are coming is bull. Target never hides when they intend to build a new store in any community I have ever been in. Target isn't like WalMart where people resist them. In other words the hell with Target I will put up a rendering to cover my ass is what Hostein is saying. Don't you think Target would want to announce they are coming so the community would be happy? If it were true.

  4. This could be so easily handled by both Ald. Shiller and Peter Holsten by simply showing the community a copy of the signed contract with Target.

    We've been told that the contract was signed, but they are still "working out the details". That seems a little odd. Still, both Shiller and Holsten appear frustrated that the community is questioning Target's intentions, but given the lack of transparency from the very beginning, it's no wonder.

    We need to keep holding them to be accountable to the community.

  5. Shiller and Hostein can't show you anything because nothing is signed. Target hasn't signed anything. If Target has signed anything Target would say there were coming. I am sure Hostein is busting his ass right now trying to find a replacement such as WalMart.

  6. by the way Who owns that property? If Hostein does contact his lenders too. Does anyone know the tax pin # for the property?

  7. I did notice some digging at the WY site this morning. Anybody know what this is about?

    I hope they're not going forward with the low income housing.

  8. Does this developer have track record doing retail developments?

  9. I think this developer has a track record of attending the University of Wisconsin with Ms. Shiller.

  10. Has anyone attempted a FOIA with the Dept of Planning to request the Target contract ? All city contracts are reachable by FOIA. Any rejection of a FOIA reject must be given with a citation to the exception the city is relying upon to deny the request. These rules apply even when the work is outsourced to a third party so long as city funding is involved. If they do not turn it over, then file an appeal and file a complaint with the Illinois Attorney General's FOIA investigator.

  11. I don't think Holsten attending any particular university has any thing to do with his being the developer for Wilson Yard.

    His company is probably the most successful city development firm that concentrates on low income or mixed income developments.

    As for retail experience they have little or none.

    Originally there was another company involved but they pulled out. As did one of the organizations that was going to run the senior building.

    HMMMM. The theaters disappeared also.

    Oh well.

  12. I guess it doesn't take much to be successful at developing low income and mixed income properties because from what I've seen he's shit.

  13. It's doesn't take much to be a developer period. There aren't that many good ones in Chicago. I feel like I bought a condo in Florida.

  14. Target could be playing a game of hide and seek with a big-box ordinance still fresh in minds. & the contract could have an out in it for Target that Holsten doesn't mention.

  15. Does it really matter anyway? They control it and the truth will come out eventually no matter what.

    You would think Hostein would have been smart enought to put the spin the previous post did about the big box ordinance and them wanted to be quiet about it. LOL

    That's a good one!

  16. Yes, it does matter because there is supposed to be community involvement in TIF's and the Dept of Planning, not the Alderman and not the developer, is the legally responsible agency for TIF's, and the Dept of Planning is supposed to, by Illinois law, be notifiying the community and persons on the interested parties list. These things are not happening. Furthermore, the TIF is supposed to address our blight. The money is being spent in ways that thus far still do not addess the blight that justisfied the TIF district to begin with. It matters because Illinois Law matters and there are huge violations going on here. Until the violations are properly documented with the responsible parties, i.e., the Dept of Planning, instead of the non-responsible parties, i.e, Holstein and Shiller, no tract record for legal action is being developed.

  17. Didn't we notify the Dept of Planning? A lot of us wrote letters to then Commissioner Lori Healy. She responded that we were all misinformed and WY was everything it claimed to be.

    So, basically everyone in Chicago government, who could help us, is in on it.

    It's all too frustrating!

  18. I suggest you all hire a lawyer and go after the City. I think a lot of you are wasting time and energy on things you can't really control.

  19. hey the 46th ward went 80% for rich daley - so he thinks that all is hunky dorey - maybe you should spend your energy by letting the man on the 5th floor know how dissatified you are - by the way, doesn't holstein look like a dork?

  20. Hostein looks like a dork for sure and a scum bag for that matter. But seriously as I have said before why don't the people in Uptown that want change form one group, fund it and hire a lawyer and hold these people accountable. Blogs, bitching isn't going to change things. Only putting the heat on the right people. And one suggestion would be to hire a lobbyist to lobby City Hall.

  21. Being a lobbyist in the city of chicago is probably the lease ethical job there is - dealing with scum like hs, rd, and the other animals who run this zoo would me puke - I agree that the UNC type organization needs to be started and funded again - I am willing to contribute, are you?
    (btw - if you were a lobbyist at city hall, would you need disinfectant?)

  22. yes I would contribute if we had a United organization and a clear plan of cleaning up Uptown. No reason Uptown is the Social Services center for the North Side. LP, LV, Rogers Park and Old Irving can take some of that off our hands.

  23. I definitely would contribute, once and for all, we could get back at Shiller!

    Getting back at Shiller should be enough for all of us to contribute.

    Not only could it stop Wilson Yard, but all the other BS, when she sees we have the power.

    It is time to flex our financial muscle.

  24. Shiller won't know what to do if we had a untied organization and had PI's and Lawyers all over her dealings. It's the only way you can take back Chicago. We have the worst City Council around that only the Feds can investigate them. Talk about organized crime. we should call it takebackuptown

  25. I hate to keep beating the same drum, but when it comes to TIF's the FOIA laws are your friend.

    Letters to the Dept of Planning Commissioner don't put the city on the hook for their lies to our community. FOIA letters to the Dept of Planning FOIA Officer do.
    Form matters when it comes to holding the city legally accountable. They have to to be backed into the corner where they must respond and are then forced to lie on record.

  26. While reading through some old neighborhood correspondence regarding Wilson Yard, I was struck by the insanely long timeline to get to where we are today.

    Over three years of nonsense to build a very small, by today's standards, grocery store.

    That's it. Besides that, we ain't got bubkis.