Monday, June 4, 2007

A Sign of Things to Come?

From Pioneer Local:

Much to the delight of community leaders, the 80-year-old Diplomat Hotel, a Single Room Occupancy (SRO) at 3208 N. Sheffield Ave., will be auctioned off on June 20 at The Union League Club, 65 W. Jackson Blvd.
Affordable housing, rather than more high-end condos, is the desired use for the site, they say.
"We are happy that something is finally being done about the Diplomat, but be careful what you wish for," said Charlie Schmidt, president of the local community group, the Hawthorne Neighbors. "To have it rehabbed into something nice--for affordable housing or entry level apartments--would be wonderful."
Prior to the auction, three tours of the property will be held from 10 a.m. to noon, June 1; 1 to 3 p.m. June 7; and 10 a.m. to noon, June 12. The 99-room hotel--which has been owned by the same operator for more than 30 years and has long been a bone of contention with neighbors--sits on a 75- by 125-foot lot of prime Lake View real estate.
"I think there will be a strong interest in the property from all kinds of people," said realtor/auctioneer, David Kaufman, of DK Realty Partners in Schaumburg, the firm handling the sale. "The location is spectacular, and properties like these don't come along on the market very often, at least publicly."
Kaufman said sealed bids will be accepted in the Heritage Room of the club at noon. The seller will then review the bids, and can either accept the highest one on the spot, or invite top bidders to participate in a live-cry auction at 1:30 p.m. Kaufman said there is no anticipated price.
"The property has a good demand," he said. "It's a great location. I think developers will be very interested in it."
Kaufman said retail on the ground floor with condos above it, which is what the property is zoned for, would be "a real improvement," on the site. Currently, the property's use as an SRO, is "not the highest and best use for the land," he said.
"The property is more valuable via a different use then it is as the current use," Kaufman said.
He added that the property "doesn't fit the profile," with what the owners want any more, and that the decision to sell was not taken lightly by the family who owns it.
Yet for local community leaders, it's a welcome decision.
"Anything other than that hotel would be an improvement to the neighborhood," said Diann Marsalek, president of the Central Lake View Neighbors.

We here at the Update wonder if the SRO is going the way of the dinosaur. Can we expect to see Uptown's plethora of SRO's face this same fate?

1 comment:

  1. OK,
    So why isn't the Pioneer Press attacking Diann and the Lake View Citizen's Council for being gentrifiers, as they would do to any 46th Ward block club leader who would dare make such a comment?

    So, why isn't our Representative Sara Feigenholtz, whose office is in the same block, rushing in with funds to save LAKEVIEW' low income Housing?

    So, where is Ald. Tom Tunney, who managed to spend $700,000 of 44th Ward aldermanic menu funds on the LBGT Center on Halsted, but can't find a dime to save his low income housing?

    So, where is Alderman Shiller, who graciously accepted (demanded) porting of 48th Ward Uptown Theatre Funds into the 46th Ward to save 46th Ward low income housing? Doesn't she now want to share a little of the Wilson Yard TIF wealth to help poor little Lake View retain their low income housing?

    So, where is the Department of Housing, rushing in with funds to save the housing for the poor, as they do without community input in Uptown?

    So, where is Charlotte Neufeld and the rest of the Lake View Citizen Council crew, including their Lakeview Action Coalition, that have demonstrated for increased low income housing in the 46th Ward and lamblasted local community members as racist gentrifiers for suggesting that senior housing needed more elevators and fire sprinklers (Remember Buena Park's Ruth Shriman Center built in Uptown and named for a Lakeview activist)

    So, where is the Mayor and his committment to have low income housing in all neighborhoods - at least according to the fiction found in the City Housing Plan cubmitted to HUD.

    Where is ONE, from the 48th Ward? Don't they believe in low income housing south of the Irving line?

    So, where is Peter Holstein, the famed developer of low income housing? Too busy packing them in at high denisty, low and very-low income housing in Wilson Yards to bother with saving low income housing in Lakeview?

    OH My? Where will the old, disabled and poor of Lakeview go? They'll be dumped in Uptown, as always.

    Thanks, Lakeview, we feel your pain because you gave it to us. Hope you feel better, Now go tend to your flowers and birdies and leave us alone.