Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Wilson Yard TIF Through The Ages

Courtesy News-Star:
From Ald. Helen Shiller's Summer 1998 46th Ward newsletter:
"I have a few 'bottom lines' for Wilson Yard in addition to job creation. TIF funds must go back to the Board of Education. TIF funds must go into preserving affordable housing. (This doesn't have to on the Wilson Yard site, but it does have to be within the boundaries that get drawn up for the TIF). TIF funds must go the previously planned relocation and rehabilitation of the Wilson El station ... The amount of parking now available to Truman College must be included and retained."

Ald. Shiller's response to charges by the Uptown Neighborhood Council that there was no community process on the Wilson Yard redevelopment plan, News-Star, April 12, 2006:
"These folks are dreaming. This TIF probably got more community meetings than any other TIF development in the city. We had hearings before the Planned Development Committee. We've been in front of (the City Council Finance Committee) twice ... I think these folks have no clue how development works."

Ald. Shiller on loss of movie theaters from the Wilson Yard project, News-Star, May 31, 2006:
"There are no major changes in the plan ... It's not a big deal. You replace it (the theater) with retail."

Developer Peter Holsten, speaking at the last "quarterly" Wilson Yard Meeting Task Force meeting, News-Star, June 16, 2007:
"Target wants to open in mid-2009."

Ald. Shiller, updating Uptown United/Business Partners on progress of Wilson Yard redevelopment, News-Star, Nov. 21, 2007:
"I'm hesitant to give any more details (on Wilson Yard redevelopment) because as you know they obviously changed a lot over the years. The details of the project haven't changed but the timing is a little elusive as you know, but there is constant progress."


  1. From Inside Online:

    << Previous Back to NEWS / Archived Back Issues Next >>

    April 2-8, 2008

    Target confirms Wilson Yard involvement
    Permits sought
    There are signs of life at the controversial $150 million Wilson Yard site in Uptown.
    Target spokesperson Kelly Basgen April 1 confirmed the retail superstore “definitely plans on moving forward” with the keynote Wilson Yard development at Montrose and Broadway as city permits have been pulled to begin construction.
    Basgen said she spoke with a Target real estate executive March 31 who told her the company remains interested in opening a store at the location.
    “We continue to be prepared to open a store at that location as the development moves forward,” she said.
    Basgen also referred questions to developer Peter Holsten.
    According to a posting on the Buena Park Neighbors block club website, city permits were pulled for the Wilson yard development at 4466 N. Broadway for the first steps of the Wilson yard development.
    The permits are seen on the City of Chicago website to “construct [a] new mixed-use building including 2 residential apartment towers, core and shell retail space and one level underground garage.”
    About a dozen vehicles and workers are parked inside the lot development on a daily basis as well.
    Holsten was called at his Holsten Real Estate Group office at 1333 N. Kingsbury but could not be reached before deadline.
    In addition to all this, one local Uptown resident said March 30 that a friend works at Target and requested to transfer to the new Uptown store expected to open in 2010. The worker put in to transfer to the new store last month.

  2. Wow, definitely PLANS on moving forward. That sounds convincing and concrete.

  3. I sure hope Uptown doesn't turn into the Clybourn Corridor in Lincoln Park.

    We all very much want pedestrian friendly commercial corridors here but it takes very careful urban planning to get that. It can be done but given what I am seeing, I have little hope that is what will end up with in 5 years time.

  4. The Target rep sounds a bit wishy-washy to me. No where does she say Target is 100% in. She's more like, we'll see how the development goes, and maybe thay sight will have a Target store.

  5. "According to a posting on the Buena Park Neighbors block club website, city permits were pulled for the Wilson yard development at 4466 N. Broadway for the first steps of the Wilson yard development."

    I have no doubt that this is true, but is this what journalism has come to today? Citing an online message board posting for a fact that could and should have been verified by the reporter down at City Hall?

    Overall the story seems rather soft on confirmed facts, but still is encouraging.

  6. I will believe it when there is a sign up.

  7. "The permits are seen on the City of Chicago website ... "

    the reporter acknowledge the source of the TIP, then checked with the City's website

  8. Translation of Shiller Speak:

    I had a survey process but only accepted surveys from my own designated people and threw the rest away.

    I had my posers appear before the Planning Committee and the Finance Committee. Who are my posers? They are my longtime campaign worker Marc Kaplan operating under the name of COURAG and the non-profits operating under the name of ONE. Oh, and I brought in over 40 activist organizations from across the city to tell the Planning and Finance Committee exactly what this commmunity wanted. (And I didn't tell the local block clubs and residents as I did this behind their backs).

    I keep these residents in the dark so that they are clueless as to what I am doing behind their backs.

    At the very first meeting of the Wilson Yard Taskforce the Theatre's Realtor representative told everyone that the Wilson Yard site was not feasible for theatres, but we continued to pretend as if the theatres were coming for an additional 4 years. Hell yeah, it was no surprise when we announced they weren't coming.

    You replace the theatres with retail. (That's my new lie. The project is bankrupt because we took out too many bonds on the low income housing that have to be paid from future tax revenues.)

    And in the next article, regarding I am committed to funding the schools. Sure, that is where all my patronage workers are stashed and they need to be paid off with a constant funnel of city dollars on a regular basis to retain their loyalty. I've gerrymandered the district to make sure my patronage schools and their workers will be the ones to benefit from the education spending.

  9. Once again, Target is NOT coming! Why are we still talking about it?

  10. In the April 9, 2008 filed amended changes to Wilson Yard, the wording was changed FROM Target Corporation, TO Target Corporation or affiliate thereof.

    Read between the lines.

    What does this mean? NO Target.

  11. doesn't affiliate thereof mean an affiliated company of Target--- i.e., one of the "brands" in their company?

  12. Target doesn't have any affiliated stores since they spun off Marshall Fields. Since this was written by an attorney, perhaps one can respond to tell us what this means?

    It must mean something rather significant or they would not have added this amended change.

  13. I am not a lawyer but I thought someone here thought it meant Target Greatland.

  14. I think it gives them leeway to put in a Target Greatland or Super Target. Even though the chances of those opening instead of a plain vanilla Target are small, I wouldn't be suprised if some in-house counsel or other bureaucratic pencil pusher asked for it as a matter of instutional practice.

    Complete speculation on my part though.

    Can anyone with knowledge tell me what sweeteners there are for Target in the deal? Despite all the completely legitimate complaints, it seems to me that City Halls' ever-increasing $$$ support probably INCREASES the chances of Target coming. Again, complete speculation.

    It's pretty clear that the housing is coming in exactly the way Shiller wants it. I just hope Target really does come along for the ride. Call me naive, but I think a successful Target could do a lot for the area, even with all the other crap thrown in at WY.

  15. Target in WY will be great! Just like Sears was great in Cabrini, and Walmart at Robert Taylor. Large retailers love to be part of high rise low income housing projects. It's a great fit!

  16. I share the frustration. But quick yes or no question: faced with the choice of housing + Target, or just housing, what would you choose?

  17. housing. it needs to be mixed income in order to be a vibrant residential & commercial center.

  18. In my question by housing I meant the type that's currently in the plan - subsidized family and senior. Face it, true mixed housing is no longer happening.

  19. right if it can't be mixed then just housing and no retail. i don't believe the retail will be the vibrant commercial center we were hoping it would be.

  20. "i don't believe the retail will be the vibrant commercial center we were hoping it would be."


    No more housing; low, mixed or otherwise, until the retail situation improves.

    We've got plenty of housing here, and y'see where that's gotten us.

    We're up to our necks in housing. It's time to start bringing more money into this ward instead of continuing to throw our tax dollars down a hole.

  21. “Target Corporation or affiliate thereof ”...
    Nothing in this change of wording should be taken for granted or trusted.

    A Greatland or Super Target would be covered under "Target Corporation."

    Did you ever stop to think that Target might be in negotiations to buy or invest in a lower end discount store chain like Big R, Pamida or Big Lots (under a different corporate name)? This would make sense, if your current business is flat or negative which Target’s is ... why invest in more of the same. Target could have plans to diversify and have several levels of discount stores.

    As been noted before on this site, a Wilson Yard Target store would syphon business off from Elston and Peterson but a lower end discount store will have it’s own niche. I’d surmise that Target sees a lower end discount being a better fit after looking at Uptown’s demographics make-up of 25-30% low income subsidized housing.

    Personally I think a low end discount store coupled with low-income housing will be the death to any commercial revival any of us hope to witness.

  22. uptown lady nails it.

  23. The Ald can then still say that it is still a Target / Owned by Target. This is very much up your alley and proven tactic via her History. She must hate the fact she is so predictatble now. I hope everyone remembers this post, as I would bet it will become a reality. Gold star goes to Uptwon Lady. Revitalized via Family dollar, "Target discount, Doping store fronts, Non-profit offices, Dirty chicken places, bongs shops, etc.....

  24. I've been thinking about your post a lot over the past day or so, uptown lady.

    You might be onto something. I just can't think of an existing low-end brand (that Target might buy) that would need that much space. And, I loooove Big Lots! I go there every chance I get when I am in the rural areas in which they are usually located. I am more excited about that than a Target coming, although I don't think that brand being put there would help commercial revitalization one iota.

    The language "affiliate" is interesting because in a merger that is what the buying company is usually called. The selling company is usually called the Target...but in this case the buying company is ACTUALLY called Target! Drafting the language for an M & A for Target must make your eyes hurt!!!

    As to the demographics of the area, if they are having quality market research being done, they will know that they are set to be an anchor store in a concentrated low-income part of an increasingly affluent lakefront community. I hope they have quality people working for them and sorting this all out because it is tricky. If they are planning to come with any of their current or future brands, it would be nice if they met with the community or even just had a firm do some focus groups for them.

  25. Uptown luvva you just said...
    "I just can't think of an existing low-end brand (that Target might buy) that would need that much space."
    There are lots of discount department stores like MagicMart, Shopko, Freds, Value City that would need a large space- maybe not 180 sq. ft- but close to that and they can always amend the Redevelopment Agreement regarding the size.

  26. How pathetic that we are we would be satisfied with a mere Target when this was supposed to be the new econmic engine for Uptown. We should have had 20 new businesses in that space by now.

    It's bad enough that the city and state has always used Uptown to service the other wards and cities but did they have to use our own tax dollars to stick it to us this time?