Courtesy Uptown Chicago Commission:
On March 12, 2008, the City of Chicago Department of Planning introduced a 2nd amendment to the Wilson Yard TIF. The matter was referred to the Committee on Finance and is expected to be considered by the full council on Wednesday, April 9, 2008.
A 2nd amendment is necessary because the developer "has encountered a number of additional challenges that have caused changes to the nature, budget and timing of the project" since the 1st amendment was adopted in June 2007.
Outline of Significant Changes
* Costs to deliver 98 units of low income senior rental apartments has increased to $337,000 per unit - nearly double the area median sales price for 1 bedroom, 1 bath condos over the past 6 months.
* Costs to deliver 80 units of low income family rental apartments has increased to $447,000 per unit - greatly exceeding the area median sales price for 2-3 bedroom, 2 bath condos over the past 6 months.
* Third-party lenders have reduced the amount of funding they are willing to provide to the project by $20 million, or approximately 23%. The funding shortfalls are to be met by the City and Holsten; each organization's contribution will increase by $10 million.
* The City's funding may need to increase again, once maximum environmental remediation costs are determined.
* Size of the retail / restaurant mixed-use building will increase from 16,000 square feet to 24,000 square feet.
* All references to "Target Corporation" are to be replaced with "Target Corporation or an affiliate thereof."
In Separate but Related Actions
The Illinois Housing Development Authority reversed its earlier commitment to lend $750,000 to construction of the low income senior rental apartments and also requested that the developer return low income housing tax credits IDHA had previously pledged to help fund the low income family rental apartments. IDHA determined that the project "was in danger of not being completed by the date the project was to placed into service." Holsten requested that the tax credits be available at a future, unspecified date.
Aldi Project Costs
It should be noted that the only development deliverable completed since creation of the Wilson Yard TIF in 2001 is replacement of an existing Aldi discount grocery store - at a total cost of $5.6 million, $650,000 of which went to Holsten. Perhaps we should begin referring to this as the Aldi TIF; it may be the only thing ever built with these TIF funds.
Interesting Point of Comparison
In the newly designated Hollywood Sheridan TIF, plans are underway to acquire and renovate a 200 unit low income rental building at costs estimated from $125,000 - $150,000 per 1-2 bedroom, 1 bath unit.
Update: We will be adding our handy "News Media Contact At Your Fingertips" off on the right.
Use this to give the local media any Uptown news tips, including this one.
Update #2: Curious what $400K will get you in one of Chicago's poshest neighborhoods, Lincoln Park? Take a gander here.
Update #3: Here are some other tidbits from the recently released WY documents:
New clause that states there is no ceiling on what the city could pay for remediation cleanup of this contaminated site.
We know if Holsten can claim the parking lots are part of the remediation he would shift cleanup costs to the City and the taxpayers.
This seems to be his plan because he removed both the cost of toxic remediation and the cost of the parking lot from the most recent budget. The costs for these two items total $21.1 Million! So $21.1M is missing from the latest Wilson Yard budget. The city will have to come up with the money for this unaccounted cleanup and parking costs to the tune of $21.1 Million.
This raises the cost per low income housing unit to a whopping to $480,905! Not the quoted $447,000!!! (with no end in sight).
Be aware that City Council is being asked to approve this outrageous cost increase without any assurance (letter of intent from Target) that Target is actually building/buying into Wilson Yard. IN FACT, the wording has changed to state: Target or affiliate.