Thursday, March 13, 2008

Mo' Money, Mo' Money, Mo' Money!

The bonds for the senior housing portion of the Wilson Yard development were increased a while back. We assume it will be news to some residents. Check out the documents here.
Update: Also check out "What The Helen?!" for an interesting analysis of this little tidbit of information.


  1. What does that mean?

  2. the document linked to above is dated 11/09/2007

    now for grins
    drill down thru the City website

    Mayor's office
    Mayor's ordinances
    2008 ordinances
    March 13
    Bond issuance for Wilson Yard Senior Housing

    a more recent version, similar except it just has the $12M,
    no $6M crossed out, obscuring the 100% construction cost overrun before construction even starts

    IHDA has backed out???

  3. I looked at the IHDA website and can't find the Wilson Yard property listed. Maybe it's there and I can't see it.

    Has IHDA really backed out?

  4. You're right. Wilson Yard is NO LONGER listed on the
    Low Income Housing Tax Credits list. It's vanished.

    Is this another nail in the Wilson Yard housing coffin? First nail, two highly respected senior housing providers pull out.

    Second, the movie theaters say
    bye-bye and take their $18 Million.

    Now IHDA decides Wilson Yard housing is a bad idea and they take back more millions that Holsten was counting on.

  5. thanks for checking the IHDA site

    but follow the above link, look at the ordinance as introduced by Daley

    the LIHTC is still there, in fact increases from $11.7M to $12.7M

    it's a $750K LOAN from IHDA that is being dropped

    also, this is an ordinance for bond sales and it is specific to the senior housing component, I'm not sure what it means for the bigger WY project

    issues raised

    process: after the WY financing is approved by CDC, Plan Commission, Finance Committee, City Council, etc. but before construction even starts, construction costs double and are approved with no public hearing

    managerial incompetence: did the allocated IHDA loan money expire because the project never got off the ground?

  6. excerpt:

    WHEREAS, subsequent to the Bond Ordinance, the Borrower has experienced increases in construction costs and has requested an increase in the Bonds to $20,000,000 and the City’s Department of Housing (“DOH”) has approved such increase; and

    WHEREAS, subsequent to the Bond Ordinance, IHDA has determined not to lend funds separately to the Project, and the Borrower has asked DOH for a corresponding increase in the Affordable Housing Loan, and DOH has approved such increase, as set forth on the revised Exhibit A-1; and


    All references in the title, Preamble D and Section 3 of the Bond Ordinance to “$17,000,000” as the principal amount of the Bonds are hereby amended to read “$20,000,000.”

  7. you do the math

    construction costs double from $6M to $12M ... debit $6M

    IHDA "determination" ... debit $750K

    total projected budget shortfall $6.75M


    increase bond sales from $17M to $20M ... credit $3M

    increase BOA construction loan from $6M to $12M .. credit $6M

    increase loan from City $5.75M to $6.5M (City takes IHDA money from a City-wide allocation?) ... credit $750K

    increase LIHTC from $11.7M to $12.7M .. credit $1M

    increase proceeds from TIF note from $9.3M to $11.8M ... credit $1.5M

    Holsten's contribution: $100 ... no change

    total budget increase: $12.25M


    our City is admitting $6.75M of budget problems and now proposes to fix it with $12.25M of new money

    only in Chicago

    taxpayers are being asked to cover $5.5M of unaccounted-for overruns in this latest bail-out of WY

    and this is just the senior bldg...

  8. that is not a typo, Holsten's skin it he game is not $100K or $100M it is ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS, less than one decent pair of loafers

  9. Thanks for digging in on this. We can always count on Hugh.

    So his skin in the game is $100. I've been known to spend 10x that on dinner for two. (Not that anyone cares that there are people with money in Uptown who would really like to spend it at local businesses which in turn can create economic opportunities for local residents...)

    What I don't get is why he is wasting his time? He wants to make money...we get that...but why mire himself in this boondoggle? It is not going to work.

  10. I would love to see a timeline of the WY project from the very day it was an idea on paper.

    Everything that has happened from the beginning.

    Promises made, people for, people against, Dates of all meetings (public and non public), original plans, current plans, all of the money involved and where it has come from, companies who were involved and who have backed out and why.

    I imagine if all of the information on this project were compiled in one file it would show just how screwed up it has become.

  11. That is why we need an uptown wiki,
    dear previous poster.

  12. Isn't it also true that Helen threw in over $300,000 of the ward's menu money into the housing pot as well? This is money that is supposed to go to street repair, lighting, sidewalk repair, alleys, speed bumps, sewers. etc.

  13. How much TIF money has Shiller put into the Wilson Yard low income housing is the big question. Estimates run as high as up into the $45 Million range.

    This is perfect example of how TIF abuse is rampant. No public community process, no requirement to show where the money is going, no information on your tax bill to show how TIFs increase taxes.

    The big winner on this is Holsten.
    Remember Holsten owns the land, is the only developer and will be the owner of both low income buildings.
    Carol Marin said it best, "TIFs are corporate welfare."

  14. So, anon 8:18 you are saying that for $100 (and some leverage) he will be collecting rent on two residential buildings and the retail space?

    I think I am beginning to understand what is happening and what is at stake but I am uncomfortable that the entire story has come from a variety of pieced together sources. While I am not attacking the veracity of anything, I always try to evaluate the basis on which I "think I know what I know." I have mentioned the need for an Uptown wiki on this blog before. Or, perhaps some local residents could team up with an investigative reporter for a story. Besides professional reporters, maybe some of those Medill students would be willing to help us get all of the facts straight.

  15. Isn't it also true that Helen threw in over $300,000 of the ward's menu money into the housing pot as well? This is money that is supposed to go to street repair, lighting, sidewalk repair, alleys, speed bumps, sewers. etc.

    Shiller earmarks $350K "Aldermanic menu" to WY

    A new source of funds popped up in the revised Wilson Yards redevelopment agreement: Shiller's so-called "Aldermanic menu" fund.

    Recall the redevelopment agreement (RA) was revised to accommodate the project management's failure to secure federal funding for the subsidized housing, to increase the taxpayer contribution, and to increase the number of units. The revised redevelopment agreement was passed by the Plan Commission 8/18/05, the City Council's Finance Committee and the full City Council in one of their same-day-service legislative slam dunks 9/14/05 (9 AM Finance Committee meeting, 10 AM Council meeting).

    Anxious to get on with it, Shiller sweetened the deal by loosening her purse strings and kicking in some of her taxpayer-supplied pin money.

    Exhibit J: Project Budget

    Target. Permanent Sources.

    Menu Funds Offset $200,000

    Theater. Permanent Sources.

    Menu Funds Offset $150,000

    These funds were not included in the original redevelopment agreement passed by the City Council 5/11/05.

    The allocation of the "Aldermanic menu" funds to the WY project has received no public scrutiny or debate. These funds represent another hidden cost of the WY project: the opportunity cost of these funds. These funds would have otherwise gone to other projects in the 46th ward: stop signs, alley paving, street resurfacing, park improvements, etc. Shiller's earmarking of her future "menu" money is a measure of her single-mindedness.

  16. That is why we need an uptown wiki

    so do it

  17. Leona said "What I don't get is why he is wasting his time? He wants to make money...we get that...but why mire himself in this boondoggle? It is not going to work."

    Here's why
    Phase I (Aldi)
    *Developer overhead 1,120,507
    *Developer profit 1,507,850

    Phase I (Target)
    *Developer overhead 1,766,824
    *Developer profit 2,362,086

    Phase II (Low income family housing)
    *Developer fee 2,081,548

    Phase III (Low income senior)
    *Developer fee 1,809,941

    How many business transactions GUARANTEE a profit?

    * from revised redevelopment agreement budget June 1, 2007

  18. I am looking into it. Stay tuned.

    Just keep your notes and documentation, everyone.

  19. Who is this Holsten anyway? There is a member of my family who is a commercial developer (not locally.) I'll give the plan to him and see if he has seen anything like it. I could be wrong, but this looks like the sweetest of sweetheart deals. If this is the kind of stuff available in Uptown or in Chicago, I am sure he would be interested in bringing his investors here if the money involved is $100 + whatever behind-the-scenes "finessing" is necessary to set up the conditions for the deals.

  20. Trying to answer my own question... "who is this Holsten anyway" I noted that they are saying that Target is part of Wilson Yards and also this little gem:

    "What makes us successful in acquiring, developing, and managing our properties? It's simple. We achieve success by drawing upon community support with a diverse and highly competent staff committed to making a difference."

    If you are interested in maintaining your anonymity, though, I would suggest that you check out their website from a public URL.