Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Nothing Says 'Retail Corridor' Like This

Seen today on Wilson next to one of Uptown's famous retail establishments, The Wilson-Broadway Mall. Uptown Business Partners should be proud.


  1. Does Uptown Business Partners own this building? Why is it the Chamber's responsibility to paint and clean a doorway. That sounds like a landlord to me.

    As a business owner in Uptown and a member of Business Partners I find it amusing that some people on this blog seem to think that the legitimate business owners want to see a lack of retail.

    Business Partners has done several positive things over the year to improve the area. The banner program is a major project. Working with Uptown United to get the SSA established and put in place programs like street cleaning and the holiday decorations are two more positives.

  2. We realize that UBP does not own this building. But one has to wonder, when standing in this area with so many vacant storefronts, what could be the reason why businesses are not wanting to move to this area...could a graffiti and urine covered vestibule be a reason? It doesn't seem to be rocket-science. Business owners need to be held responsible for the outward appearance of their building. Do you think it would cost more than $5 to slap a fresh coat of paint here and clean up the trash and whatever is lingering in this doorway?
    If we want retail to flourish near Broadway and Wilson, we have to ask ourselves WHY it isn't to begin with. Pathetic looking doorways like this is a start.

  3. I agree with your statement that graffiti covered buildings and doorways are not attractive. Neither are the security gates across windows. This still does not justify your swipe at Uptown Business Partners, inferring that they promote or encourage this.

    I am a business owner that took over a space that was vacant for two years. We took down the security gates, put up a new facade etc.

    I'm not sure what the answer is to make this landlord responsible, but their negilgence is not a reflection on Uptown Business Partners or the hard-working business owners who have made a commitment to the area.

  4. I could have sworn that we had this thing called a Wilson TIF that was supposed to fix the blight identified in the TIF study. And if I recall that TIF study said the blight to be addressed included the Broadway business district.

    What happend to those tax payer real estate tax dollars? Were they hijacked to pay for City of Chicago low income housing needs instead of the Uptown neighborhood development needs?

    I thinks so.

  5. We have a great idea. Why doesn't both Uptown United and Uptown Business Partners move out of the Bridgeview Bank building and into one of these empty, blighted buildings at Broadway and Wilson. It would make them more visible to residents and encourage new businesses to move into this area.
    We never said that UBP or Uptown United promotes or encourages run-down, filthy buildings. Can you tell us, though, what they are doing to stop it and encourage businesses to move into the immediate area at Broadway and Wilson? We have 2 entities to promote business growth in our neighborhood. Why is it not working near this intersection?
    We applaud you for taking over a vacant storefront and putting money into fixing the facade and running a successful business. We wonder why other businesses did not take advantage of using grants/tifs to fix up the exteriors of their buildings.

  6. As a member of Uptown Business Partners, I can't force new businesses to come to the neighborhood. I certainly do my part if asked, but I'm not a leasing agent nor a building owner, who can entice new businesses. I'm just a tennant with a business. Also we did not use grant or TIF money to replace our exterior. We paid for it ourselves.

    Your issue is with the landlord of the pictured building. Their the ones not taking care of the building. You post the picture, then you made a sarcastic comment about Uptown Business partners should be proud of that doorway. You should be just as proud as you have as much ability to impact that doorway as anyone.

    UBP can't make that landlord clean up his building or paint his building. Is the space for lease?

    Unfortunately we have had some horrible slum lords here in the past. The Riviera Building is a great example of that. It sat empty forever as Lou Wolfe let it deteriorate. Was that UBP's fault too? What has the CTA done to attract new tennants?

    UBP and United did work extensively with Borders and that development. We are also working with Thad Wong on the building just north of Leland on Broadway, assisting in the tennant process.

  7. We are well aware of the Riviera Rehab and the Uptown Broadway Building and they will both be great additions to the neighborhood when finished. But still, what is being done to bring business to the area around Broadway and Wilson? You failed to answer that. There are several beautiful vacant buildings here that have been empty for ages. We have done our part and highlighted these buildings in our "vacant storefront showcase." We have emailed businesses and pointed them in this direction. We realize we do have the ability to make an impact. But you have to ask yourself, is everyone working toward a common goal, and if so, what is that goal?

  8. It's obvious why UBP and Uptown United have been unable to bring businesses to Wilson and Broadway - Helen Shiller. She wants to keep the area a dump and they are unable to go around her.

  9. Uptown Business Partners and Uptown Chamber of Commerce have to take some responsibility for business development at Broadway and Wilson when they hold themselves out to the public as the business development groups that represent Uptown. It's not enough to say that they have no responsibility because they are just individual business owners because we are not addressing them as individuals, but as the development group.

    The business development is taking place north of Lawrence, but not South of Lawrence in the area we are concerned about. Nobody said it has been or will be easy.

    Yet, someone from the business community has to be in there demanding the TIF development funds, ward services, and city pressure on bad businesses, and if not our own business development groups then who? Should we consider forming our own business development group that represents our interest in our area?