Friday, May 2, 2008

Tick Tock,Tick Tock,Tick Tock

We just added a fun widget off on the right that will countdown the days and minutes till Wilson Yard developer Peter Holsten stated we will see the latest groundbreaking for his development at Broadway and Montrose. Mr. Holsten stated the project would break ground on June 1 in a recent article in Crain's Chicago Business. The clock's running.


  1. Ahhh. The doomsday clock.

  2. It will likely rain a few weeks before hand which will push the groundbreaking back a year or two.

  3. A real clock would be a more appropriate image than a stop watch.

    Due to the poor economy, a lot of developers are pushing back their construction project plans . . . .Even still, I'd rather have an empty lot sitting dormant than a big ol' dusty rat-condo behemoth like the Uptown Theater.

  4. "Due to the poor economy, a lot of developers are pushing back their construction project plans.."

    The last thing Holsten needs around here is supporters like you.

  5. That clock is fantastic! I am sure that this deadline will be the one that comes true. But just in case I will hold off planning the parade.

  6. Better a vacant lot than any more low-income housing, if you ask me.

    Still .. why is it that when I walk past WY I can't get the theme song from "Good Times" out of my head?

  7. Pretty damn funny to me! You should add a clock running up for all the missed groundbreakings next to it. That might take a big clock though...

  8. Yo said: "Better a vacant lot than any more low-income housing, if you ask me. Still .. why is it that when I walk past WY I can't get the theme song from "Good Times" out of my head?"

    I guess Yo's more coded expressions of racism are preferable to mine?

  9. Having read most of the comments on this Uptown blog for the last month or so, I have come to the conclusion to the Blight that has permeated this area for close to 40 years now. Yes, I lived there in the 60s. It was not much better when there was a Hillman's grocery store and a Tom McChan shoe store on Broadway and Wilson back then.
    The conclusion is in 1 word:
    Wal Mart. It may not be the best solution,but it draws crowds to blighted areas and thus future development.

  10. My point being that what I've heard of the plans for the housing in WY, in my opinion, vary little from those of the Robert Taylor homes (which was the setting for Good Times).

    And we all saw how well those worked out.

    I'd rather hear "Movin' On Up" truth be told.

    Racism? Please.

  11. Closely watch the opening credits of "Good Times" and see the camera pan of the area north and west of the Merchandise Mart. The setting for the show was Cabrini Green, but Im guessing you, like a lot of other folks, use "Robert Taylor" as a generic term for every (former) housing project in Chicago.

  12. If you are so astute at detecting "coded expressions" then I would expect that you would refrain from making explicit and extreme comments yourself. But you do not. You have said evil and hateful things but when confronted, you point fingers and (falsely) claim that everyone else is doing it.

    In the last 24 hours you have not only failed to account for your own hateful statements but you have pleaded for people to lay off Shiller, Moore and Holsten. What do you suppose people are to think of that? How is this supposed to reflect on Shiller, Moore and Holsten? To me it either says they are willing to tolerate racists among them or they support such racial provocation. If that is the state of political leadership on the northside then things are much, much worse than I thought.

  13. Billyjoe, I think you're missing the point a little bit here. Whether it was Cabrini or Robert Taylor Homes really makes no lick of difference. Both projects came down, right? I don't know what went where RTH were but go look at what the Cabrini Green area has become today Mixed income housing, WELL planned development and diversity. That should be a loose model for Uptown. I won't speak for anybody else but I don't want a homogeneous neighborhood. I want what most city dwellers want: less crime, safer streets, more retail, more pedestrian traffic. Am I being unreasonable or asking too much? That's not rhetorical either, I'm asking you.

  14. You're right. I mixed up the sites of whopping failed social programs.


    And, for the record, my disgust, distrust and anger at such sites lays with the arrogant bastards who think that stacking people into poorly maintained high rises without properly run social programs to help them scale up rather than down.

    Not with the unfortunate souls who have to live there.

    I look at the crumbling infrastructure in this ward, and read the proposals and I get "Good Times".

    People don't want to live in such sites, nor near them. Those types of sites are a pariah on society and better options exist which could actually help people.

    That's realism, not racism.

  15. BTW, Holsten was a developer on the mixed-income development in Cabrini. The mayor just lauded it. Why not stick with success and replicate the same thing here if the city is committed to making affordable housing a priority in this development? Doing something like that might make people's opinions of WY change.

  16. For the record, a lot displaced former Cabrini and Robert Taylor residents would have preferred to
    stay in these complexes, versus being relocated to some far-flung burb or area of the city away from family and friends.

    The variety of opinions regarding project living are complex--way more complex than "I know what's best for you people" do gooders can even begin to realize.

    Imagine some elderly black woman who used to be able to get downtown on public trans from Robert Taylor and go to her neighborhood church hearing someone rant "People don't want to live in such sites, nor near them. Those types of sites are a pariah on society and better options exist which could actually help people."

  17. Billyjoe, what does your last comment have to do with Wilson Yard? There are no residents there yet to displace.

  18. I don't have to imagine, I've talked to several people who lived there.

    You're right from the stand-point that transportation issues, and being removed from their community were major concerns.

    Other concerns were the how the open air areas were fenced in; how the gangs took over the projects; how they were afraid to even go to their local churches for fear of their children, or grand children being shot.

    Hell, some times they were afraid to even open their doors.

    To say that they weren't thrilled at be displaced to some far-flung location is true.

    To say that anyone preferred to stay in that particular environment isn't patently false, but it's damned close.

  19. I was responding to the 2:27 pm remark by "Yo."

    I will go on record as supporting any measure that will improve the quality of life in Uptown. But I won't hold my breath waiting for it.

  20. Shocker of all shockers I actually agree with the sentiments behind billyjoe's most recent comment. There were communities there that got disrupted. Communities were disrupted to put people there and now communities are being disrupted as they are being moved someplace else. Poor people are constantly subject to "I know what is good for you" do-gooders and often have very little say in what happens in their communities.

    Excuse me, but I am going to have to remove myself and take a cold shower in order to figure out how someone who has made horribly racist comments on this blog can also come up with a sensitive appraisal of the CHA transformation. A racist/Shiller/Holsten apologist with anthropological insights? Maybe I need a stiff drink instead.

  21. How about getting a job and moving off the gov't tit and you can move where ever your heart desires.

  22. How about another countdown until the next Alderman election? :)

  23. "I will go on record as supporting any measure that will improve the quality of life in Uptown. But I won't hold my breath waiting for it."

    Amen to that, brother-man.

    Again, my issue isn't with the people needing help - nor with helping the people who need it.

    My issue is with, as saskia states, the "I know what's good for you" do-gooders who, so far, haven't demonstrated any positive accomplishments in this ward, to date.

    In short: I don't trust Helen to make the right decisions to draw a compromise between those who need the help, and those who are footing the bill.

    So, better the vacant lot than a travesty.

    It all goes back to what I said orignally:

    Not gettin' hassled, not gettin'

    Keepin' your head above water

    Makin' a wave when ya' can ...

  24. So what are you up to, billyjoe? You still haven't responded to me calling you out on what you were sayin' round these parts last month.

  25. Can't we count the days upward of when the 1st ground breaking was proposed, so we no how long it's been as well since this project was started!

  26. I love it... you rock UU!!!

  27. I get warm fuzzy feelings when I realize that in 3 years we won't have Bush, Blagojavich and Shiller holding any political offices ever again. Maybe the countdown should be on how much longer we have to put up with Helen.

  28. Oops. I forgot to include Stroger. There's no way in hell he'll get elected again.

  29. I'm focusing on what I do want to see in Wilson Yard...
    - The Wilson El station is beautifully restored with the southern entrance directly into the amazing Chicago Public Market.

    - The Chicago Public Market draws people from across the city with vendors selling local organic produce, seafood, the smell of baking bread permeates, freshly prepared foods from around the world, great cafes where kids and families gather, especially on weekends, festivals and music, and weekend flower and garden vendors that spill nature onto the sidewalk.

    -Outdoor cafes with delicious food and live music.

    - First Fridays showcasing Uptown artists and crafts.

    -Wide treelined sidewalks with benches, planters and seating.

    -Ornimental lighting that directs bright, safe lighting onto the sidewalks and streets.

    - Street design that focuses on safe passage of pedestrians.

    That's what I want for

  30. And I want my own pet unicorn...

  31. Amen to Anonymous at 9:49. The previous anonymous comment is *all* (underlined, bolded, italicized "ALL") a daydream unless a new planning/scoping process for WY starts from scratch and is limited ONLY to the residents and taxpayers of the WY TIF District who will have to pay for and live with whatever eventually goes in there.

    Yes, I'd be just as happy to see it remain vacant and have the TIF money accumulate rather than be pissed down a hole by people who don't know what they're doing and don't CARE. But since we're daydreaming and since I'm both (a) one of the people paying for it, and (b) one of the people who will have to look at the backside of all of it every day....I'd like to see:

    * The Truman College garage be totally underground
    * Sunnyside be extended east to Broadway
    * A pedestrian bridge from my front door to the new Montrose Red Line stop (and failing that, safe access to it from the extended Sunnyside Stree)
    * MARKET-RATE residential housing
    * A community corporation consisting of WY TIF District taxpayers, nominated and elected by WY TIF District taxpayers, as the sole entity responsible for the ownership and operation of ALL rental properties--office, commercial AND residential--that have received TIF money for repairs, upgrades, and construction...including the ability to direct building management and tenant screening decisions.
    * Evict Aldi's and replace them with Dominic's or Trader Joe's.
    * Field a long-term increase in CPD presence with bike-and-beat-walking officers to act as a real deterrent to crime
    * Construct a mix of pedestrian-friendly buildings that will appeal to a variety of businesses (e.g., restaurants, night clubs, small shops, gyms, etc.) and stable residents with low turnover.

    Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

  32. I like the 5/3 4:02 post except I have the following concern: Does anyone know how the train noise will be affected from the new TC parking garage and the new WY buildings? Will it be contained (like a tunnel and sent north towards Wilson and south towards Montrose) or amplified towards one side? I believe the WY will be taller then the TC buildings.