Friday, June 6, 2008

Target Corporation is "Officially" in Discussion for Store at Wilson Yard

From Chicago Real Estate Daily: Retail giant Target Corp. on Friday for the first time confirmed negotiations to open a store in Uptown at the Wilson Yard mixed-use project, a critical step in the long delayed development.

A spokeswoman for the Minneapolis-based retailer says in an e-mail that the company might disclose details about its plan later this month.

We are currently still working through the agreements (related to the Wilson Yard project),” the spokeswoman says Friday. “Our real estate team let me know that we'll likely be able to give additional details/updates towards the end of June.”

The city in April agreed to increase the public subsidy for the mixed-use project by 25% to $52 million. The development, a former CTA repair yard that runs along the west side of Broadway between Montrose and Wilson avenues, is also to include a 382-car parking garage and two residential buildings with 178 units of affordable housing.

The increased tax-increment financing subsidy now accounts for just more than a third of the project’s estimated cost of $151 million, well above a city guideline that TIF grants account for no more than 20% of a project’s cost.

The deal for a Target has been the subject of much speculation, and the developer Peter Holsten acknowledged in 2006 that Target was considering pulling out over the proposed “Big-Box” ordinance that would have regulated wages at big stores like Target and Wal-Mart.

Mr. Holsten, president of Chicago-based Holsten Real Estate Development Corp., didn’t return calls seeking comment.


  1. Setting aside how you feel about the housing component, how do people really feel about Target coming? Personally, I am highly skeptical that a big box store is what Uptown really needs. We are spending a lot of money to get people to drive to the store, clog up already congested E/W streets around an increasingly dangerous stretch of Broadway and there doesn't seem to be any reason why this would increase pedestrian traffic such that it would encourage further growth for the mom & pop style stores in the immediate area. We all want Clark Street in Andersonville and our infrastructure is well-suited for that kind of development. All the other issues aside, this is another reason why I don't think this will be the best outcome for the neighborhood.

  2. I agree 100%!!! Truth be told, I am not thrilled to have Target.

  3. I don't think that Target will do anything for the neighborhood except make it more congested.

  4. I honestly wouldn't mind it if the whole Wilson Yard plan was scrapped and redone. I know that it has been years in the making, but that is a poor reason to push in a business that really isn't needed.

    A good electronics store would be perfect, like Best Buy

  5. I don't really understand some of the people in Uptown.

    You are un-happy no stores yet you don't want Target?

    Makes you all look silly!

  6. Ditto! Ditto! Ditto! You all speak the same frustration 1000s of Uptowners feel.

    My neighbors who live in Voice of People building have said repeatedly, "We have too much subsidized housing. We don't want any more."

    The people of Uptown deserve a Wilson Yard plan that's pedestrian friendly, with local stores, out door cafes, a farmer's market featuring produce, international food booths, flower & herb buying days, kid's festivals.

    Dump this mess and let the community really help form a better vision for Wilson Yard.

  7. Target is much better than the vacant lot now but I agree it will only create traffic congestion, not pedestrian congestion. Add all the low-income housing.....I wish the plan was scrapped and the entire lot divided up among competitive developers.

    Overall, two steps forward and one step back.

  8. I find it amazing that for one reason or another someone is always unhappy with something. You don't want an empty lot - but you don't want a big retailer. Given all the empty storefronts sitting around now, why would you think if it was changed to a smaller business development - people would move or open a business?! Not everyone is going to be happy with it, and it sucks you have to take what crumbs you get. But I think we should at least be slightly happy that they are even willing to move their business into our neighborhood. A lot of places wouldn't - thanks to our awesome alderman.

  9. This is great news. The neighborhood will bustling with retail. I can't wait to shop at Target.

  10. YEAH!!! I love Target!!!

  11. stop moaning you old goats!

  12. "thanks to our awesome alderman."

    Holy crap that was funny!

    Helen's monkeys are flying high, today. We've trapped a few in here already.

    (they must be getting nervous about tomorrow's rally)

    I love the "all or nuthin'" attitude 2:24.

    If our alderman were so "awesome" those vacant storefronts wouldn't be vacant.

    If our alderman were so awesome, that festering toxic pit would have been something, by now.

    If our alderman were so awesome, she'd have grouped community members together and done proper planning.

    Instead, she flicks the promise of crumbs at us on occasion and tells her minions to tell everyone else to be happy with that.

    Uptown is her lil' socialistic petrie dish. She gives folks in the southern portion of the ward a few cool things per Daley's wishes, but reserves this area for her own failing experiments.

    I don't think anyone is slightly happy for having things shoved down their throats.

    And while I'm not a fan of having a Target here (for many of the aforementioned reasons), I'm not terribly concerned that our awesome alderman has the political wherewithall to even pull it off.

    So, an empty lot it will remain until some sanity returns to this ward, and we can find some way to stave of corrupted elections and get some one in here that can actually do that damned job.

  13. You are un-happy no stores yet you don't want Target?

    There are plenty of ways to shop at Target in this city. I can get to either the Peterson store or the one in the south loop very quickly most days. I don't mind hopping in my car to run to Target because most of the time I end up buying quite a bit. What I would like in Uptown are places that I could walk to and do some leisure shopping. I'd like to stop in a few stores, grab a bite to eat, walk over to a park to let my child play and then maybe get an ice cream or a quick drink with a friend. That would be a lovely day spent entirely in Uptown for me. I am sure other people could imagine similar scenarios according to their own lifestyle. The point is I would like to be doing it all in Uptown...creating jobs and a tax base here. Right now, I still do all of those things but I usually have to get in my car to do it.

    People who think that people like me are bitching for bitching sake just don't get it. I could suggest some books that you could read about good urban planning but an easier route is to shove a couple of $20s in your pocket and ride your bike over to Andersonville or to the Southport Corridor.

  14. If built, wonder if they will put their front doors in ass-backwards like Aldi.

    I actually hope they don't come. No Target = No poorly planned housing.

  15. I'm really surprised more people aren't happy about this development. I think it's a great opportunity for Uptown. Yes, there will be congestion issues, but that's a small price to pay compared to having a big dirt yard there.

    Lighten up folks, let's celebrate this one...if they actually confirm building the Target there. I hope it's a SuperTarget...I loves me some SuperTarget! :)

  16. Personally, I'm not going to complain about Target coming. Is it the panacea for Uptown's problems? No. But come on, folks. Any development is going to lead to more congestion. That's unavoidable. And while it may not lead to pedestrian traffic on the street, it will I think help with the general effort to change that stretch of Broadway. Unless you don't think a huge store that actually sells things people want will have no impact on a vacant commercial district...

  17. Well I'm happy about it. Wilson Yard needs to get developed one way or another, and Target will bring other businesses (that aren't hair braid shops, cell phone stores and more Popeye's) in along with it. Sure, it would be great if we had neat little stores like Andersonville, but this is a step in the right direction.

    Scrapping this now is going to add another 3+ years on the development time line, and that's just unacceptable.

  18. I'm of two minds about it as well, but think it's a whole lot better than nothing.

    Also, I'm curious what people think about this, but I don'y feel that that Uptown has enough "density of dollars" to support the type of commercial strip that you see on Clark/Foster or Southport/Addison, and we're still a few years away from that. If the Gouskas project with the movie theaters comes in near the Aragon, and that area keeps plugging away, then that with a Target a few blocks away could conceivably be the start of a true revitalization.

  19. Target would be a great addition to the neighborhood for the following reasons:

    1. It brings more people into the neighborhood which will lead to more opportunities for existing businesses and new businesses to get noticed and get people coming into their stores/restaurants.
    2. Target won't settle for the crap of someone getting killed across the street from their store. They will put more pressure on the police and the Alderman to make Uptown safe.
    3. Target is a good company and many people shop there beacuse its affordable. I buy some clothes, some food, and lots of children's items like diapers/toys at the Target on Peterson or the one on Elston now.

    We can only hope that the Cabrini-Shiller project portion of the development gets cut.

  20. I think there is a lot of "density of dollars." Contrary to the mythology around here, there has long been a middle class (even upper middle class) living in 60640. Now, with the money that exists all around us there are plenty of people who could come to Uptown to shop, dine and partake in various forms of entertainment. But, if all we have to offer are big box stores they will drive over in their cars load up and then go home. It may not change the character of the pedestrian byways in the way that local residents want. And, since it is our TIF money that is being used for this development we should expect to see some of these spillover effects. Attracting big retailers with financial incentives is relatively easy (although WY puts that axiom to the test!!) but doing quality economic revitalization is a bit harder. I guess I am not claiming that Target will necessarily be "bad" for Uptown, I am just saying that if this were part of a quality plan it could be GREAT for Uptown!

  21. Thank you, Helen. Thank you, Peter. This will be great for the hood.

  22. With Target anchoring the south end and the new movie theatres anchoring the north end (not to mention Borders or a replacement store in the middle) Uptown could have a significant retail corridor in the not too distant future. With easy access to the nearby Red Line, this could also generate the kind of foot traffic that would appeal to smaller boutiques and specialty stores.

  23. saskia:

    With respect, I think you are dead wrong on this. We do not have density of dollars, and if we do, people don't spend them in the neighborhood. Just go talk to the people who do run the shops that most on this site would approve of that exist in this neighborhood. I think most will tell you they aren't rolling in it.

    I think too many people on this site want perfection without having to lift a finger. Do you know how hard it is to get a thriving boutique district to take? I'm sorry, but I don't see many people stepping up to the plate to risk their own cash to do that. Heck, most don't spend their cash to buy services from those in the neighborhood that do take that risk.

    We absolutely don't have the right density of dollars right now to encourage development on the massive scale that broadway needs. And no boutique is going to be strong enough by itself to be a frontrunner on blighted broadway and survive the transition period to success. In fact, I think only a big box could make that happen in a short time frame.

    Is it the greatest thing since slice bread? No. But of all the big boxes, Target's actually a pretty solid corporate citizen. Like everyone, I'd be annoyed by the traffic that development brings. But I'll trade the gangs for traffic problems any day.

  24. We would all love unique, locally-owned individual stores, but the reality for there to be enough of these to coalesce into a true shopping district would take many years. Given the violence and blight on Broadway, it's doubtful it would ever occur.

    Target provides an anchor for the other types of stores to build off of. It's the start of a shopping district, not the end.

  25. Expediency is not the key 4:02, and aren't the TIF funds designed to encourage the kind of development you're stating can't happen, right now?

    We don't want perfection, per se, we want progress.

    Did Andersonville start off perfectly?

    Southport Corridor?



    It seems to me that Helen had no desired plan beyond low-income housing and tossing a Target in was cover to keep her from lsing her scalp.

    I think you'd be surprised at how much money Uptown residents could drop in the hood if given proper motivation.

    Though, I am interested in see the sources for your not enough dollars statement.

    As for trading gangs for congestion - sure; but that congestion will get very old, very soon.

    And, considering Helen's push towards protecting the environment, you'd think the last thing she'd want would be more carbon puking cars idling on her streets.

    There are proper ways to plan development, and then there's Helen's way.

  26. Screw the traffic, I can deal with that. Face it, the housing is the bad end of the deal.

    So we get a Target for all to enjoy and housing that is going to be a nightmare for all to disdain. Remember, Shiller does not allow drug testing for subsidized/low income housing in her ward (1 of only 2 alderman in the city). It will be a matter of time before it gets overrun with gangs and drug dealers - the same people we are rallying against tomorrow. No doubt the majority of the residents will be nice, decent people, but it only takes a few to destroy a building. Yes, Holsten will supposedly be managing the building, but his hands are tied as long as Shiller is in office.

    I am not that short sighted to love Target so much that I will overlook all the bad that this WY plan will bring. Look at the big picture. So many people are so short sighted - exactly what Shiller wants you to be. "Here's a Target so you condo owners will shut up and I can saturate the area more with low income housing, i.e. more voters for me!"

  27. I'm not crazy about Target myself, however, I do hope they plan on hiring locally, as I think it would be great opportunity for more jobs.

    Some other stores I wish would of come in - Walgreens or CVS... we really don't have a local convenience store/pharmacist like this near by.

    -Nail salon
    -Trader Joes -I remember when they were considering opening shop here. That would of been GREAT.
    -clothing stores

    We still have a lot of vacant storefronts, and I agree, if Target comes in, and does well, it might attract small businesses to come in and start renting those vacant storefronts.

    It may not be the best choice to start, but at the very least its a start! I'll take what we can get at this point!

  28. You Helen haters need to get a life. Ten years ago you were berating her for blocking this kind of development. Now we have new condos going up on every corner. Why be so quick to assume that subsidized housing equals drugs & gangs? I for one don't want to live in the next sterile Lincoln Park.

  29. The only reason there are problems with subsidized housing in Uptown is because Helen doesn't apply the same standards to them as the rest of the city. I'd venture to guess that 90%+ of the people in subsidized housing are upstanding - its the gangs and drug dealers that ruin it for everyone. And with an Alderman who turns a blind eye to crime, now wonder subsidized housing as a whole gets a bad rap.

  30. Well I'm glad business development is finally developing. But, this announcment in June 2008 that negotiations are now occuring doesn't jive with Shiller's announcement last month in the the lakefront condo newsletter that the Target basement was being dug May 1, 2008!

  31. Did it ever occur to anyone that national retail giants like Target may be a bunch of half-talking, lying, stealing, deceptive, manipulative, money grubbing scum that may tell the alderman one thing just to screw around and change the game?

    When it comes to the potential for evil games, I'd have to bet on the Big Red Bullseye.

  32. I'm not in favor of the entire WY plan - Target included. The entire thing should be redone from the ground up. And yes I would rather see an empty lot there for years than what is intended to come.

    I have no problem with Target in general. I shop at the Peterson one quite regularly. I like the store a lot.

    But a lot of people giddy that the big red bullseye may come to WY don't live right off Montrose next to the proposed site like I do.

    The increased car traffic & the lack of general infrastructure planning is the main reason why I'm not supporting this proposed store location.

    Do any of you drive or walk down Montrose on a weekend during the warmer months? Do you see how congested it is? The traffic moves at a snails pace with most of it coming to or from the beach.

    On Cubs games days it's the same thing. More cars & congestion. Now add a huge store where the majority of the shoppers need to drive to - sounds like a recipe for a traffic nightmare to me.

    The streets around the site are not designed or able to handle the amount of car traffic they have now. And they cant be widened. Adding a large retailer of any kind is only going to make a bad traffic situation worse.

  33. back to the topic of target:

    1) density of dollars- look up the research done by Michael Porter. he proves that low income + high density= plenty of purchasing power.

    2) here is some quick data from the us census. it's old (1999), and I only did it for the 60640 zip code, but here you go.

    Median household income for each census tract in 60640:

  34. The conversation you're having on this message board is the conversation that should have taken place IF the Wilson Yard charettes had followed the real charette process.

    A professional facilator would have conducted the various charette sessions that engages people like you and me to discuss our ideas for the Wilson Yard TIF.

    You start with breakout sessions (that's all that was done on Wilson Yard and those sessions never reached any conclusions.)to gather ideas.

    These ideas are organized and presented at the next meeting. The community stakeholders, with the help of urban planners and social engineers, further refine their list of what they want.

    Then initially design plans with renderings are presented to the community. It's amazing how these drawings help everyone really see what they can build for their community.

    More discussion, more refinements, more people getting involved and until you reach that ah-ha moment of this is what we want.

    You're angry, you're settling for a really crappy plan because the community never got to really come together and envision a Wilson Yard plan that would have truly energized our neighboorhood.

    I still think of Block 37 and smile.

  35. I know. You have to wonder who in the Transportation Department is doing this traffic planning.

    First they decide to route all the fire trucks off of Wilson Avenue, a commercial street where the fire station is located, onto a residential side street that they are turing into a northbound one-way. The sirens ought to make the nursing home residents on that street sleep well. Not to mention the safety of the residents of the 2 SRO's on that street that cater to clients with substance abuse, mental illness, and disabilities.

    Then, in their infinate wisdom, they decide to make Wilson Avenue a bike lane street. This is a street that has no back alleys on either side so that trucks making deliveries to the businesses already park in the street. Now we have bikes passing parked delivery trucks passing CTA buses. Very thoughtful traffic design.

    Then, they decide to add a Truman College parking garage with a left turn lane in front of the fire station fire truck and ambulance garage doors. Brilliant, just brilliant.

    And, they've turned multiple shelters into transitional housing SRO's with in-house social service offices and feeding programs. Shiller immediately waives the parking lot and loading dock requirements. So, even more delivery trucks unload on Wilson Avenue next to mandated handicapped loading zones - including the handicapped loading zone the Community Housing Partners still use for their dumpster.

    But no, that is not enough. The CTA has to add 250 more cars to the street by adding a Wilson El stop Park-n-Ride facility for the CUBS, or as they say, the downtown commuters.

    But wait! There's more. A transportation study to decide whether to open Lakeshore Drive at Addison to route CUBS game traffic away from Wrigley Field was recently completed. This would end the practice of routing Lakeview Cubs traffic to the Drive through Uptown on Irving Park, Montrose, and Wilson. Lakeview Citizen's Council block clubs were allowed to vote on this proposal. Uptown Block Clubs were not. Guess how the vote came out? Guess whose aldermen keep the Uptown Block Clubs out of that discussion during the aldermanic election because she and LVCC did not want it to become a political issue?

    The Wilson TIF Study suggests that the area blight is caused by dead end streets. Crime studies suggest Wilson Avenue crime is caused by one-way and dead end streets. So 10 years later, the TIF creates more dead end and one-way streets!

  36. 6:04, that's a doozy of a post!

  37. Uptown has some major problems, the least of which is lack of a big box retailer and more traffic coming in from outside the area to our already congested Montrose & Broadway intersection. A bad plan is just that. Scrap this plan altogether until sensible minds are able to work on something reasonable.

  38. Love how no one has mentioned how Peter has claimed to have a signed "letter of intent" from Target. He claimed to have that over a year ago but no one has been able to FOIA it. Target is just now in discussion? Hmmmmm.

  39. They have probably been "in discussions" all along. Any lawyers know exactly what this might mean legally? No doubt someone put some pressure on them to at least say that something has been cooking now that another deadline has come and gone.

  40. Target is a bullshit store...the Prices Are HIGH!...they sell's a con

    What;s wrong with IKEA?

  41. I ain't thankin Helen b/c we all know she hurt this more than helped this.... But it's better than Walmart!

    ...and I do like Target. I'll walk there!

  42. What ... we’re afraid to walk out of our houses now. We’ll have to drive to the Target even if it’s only a block away after more gang bangers move into the Wilson Yard corner of Montrose and Broadway.

    All I can say is stop the terrible plan.

  43. Is it better to have a brain tumor than lung cancer? That's basically what you're saying.

    Wilson Yard is the heart of Uptown. Will it become the heartbeat of a thriving retail center? Or will it diseased and die a slow death?

    If you believe we deserve something better than get off this board and join your block club and UNC at

    We can make Wilson Yard what it was originally supposed to be!

  44. Anon June 6, 6:04, that was a very disturbing picture of Wilson, Montrose, Lawrence and Broadway.

    We live off Montrose and have to deal with massive traffic congestion from May through October. Literally the traffic is backed up from Clark going east and from LSD going west.

    The bogus WY traffic study was conducted in November during the day. The monkeys at the zoo must have conducted it.

    Why have the home owners who live in the community been completely shut out of the Wilson Yard planning process?

  45. For those of us who don't own cars being able to walk to Target and take a quick cab ride home is gonig to be great.

    Also, this will be the only Target accessible via the red line on the entire north side. Think of everyone from Loyola students on the north to Depaul students on the south of us coming to the Uptown Target becaues it the closest and most accessible. Not to mention all the Lakeview folks who will now be spending time in Uptown too. This congestion that many of you refer to is going to lead to much more foot traffic and I think you will find that retailers will be waiting in line to be right near by.

    I for one am always concerned about pedestrian friendly developments and this is defiintely the best it could be for a big box. I welcome it, can't wait to shop there, and believe it will act as beacon of development for years to com.

  46. "I for one am always concerned about pedestrian friendly developments"

    Many of us are. That is why we do NOT want a big box there. Just look at the North/Clyborn area, a sea of congestion where very few pedestrians can be found not walking from their cars in the monster parking lots. Is that really what you want for Uptown?

    Helen has her idea (and if you are Helen, read this closely) of what a "compromise" would be for everyone, but never bothered to ask or seek input. She made false accusations and excluded the entire community from the process completely, all so she could take those campaign donations from Holsten and have full control. Now she is crying foul because she doesn't have the community's support. Boo Hoo.

  47. For those complaining about traffic - YOU LIVE IN THE CITY!!! If you choose to have a car, then you deal with traffic in the city. Chicago has public transit that can get you around the city just fine. Cars are ruining our environment, gas prices are thru the roof and will only continue to rise - get rid of your cars or move to the burbs!

  48. The United States and especially Chicago are in the dark ages when it comes to innovative ways to handle cars, traffic and congested streets.

    Hopefully we will wake up and start doing what European cities are doing to relieve car congested cities.

    There are simple solutions. We just do use them.

  49. Just because you live in the City, does not mean you have to live with stupid transportation planning.

    Look at the front of this week's Skyline and you will see another neighborhood dealing with the effects of poor transportation planning at the Halsted Triangle.

  50. Are their any attorney's on this blog that can address what legal remedies can possibly be available to us? It seems rather obvious that the TIF has gone way above the city mandated maximum (20% vs. 34% of total cost) Perhaps their are some legal channels we can explore.

    I would much rather wait an extra year or two and get something well thought out than being stuck with the albatross of a Target and more low income housing for the next 20 years...

  51. Target - YEAH!

    Low income housing - hell no.

    Alderman get out.

    How many of you would actually financially fund a law suit filed on Wilson Yard?

  53. If someone could show me a reasonable legal case then yes, I would give money.

  54. thought Holstein and Shiller had a signed agreement - Is this another lie by a democrat?

  55. Idealism--as far as city planning goes--is something that oftentimes hurts a city like Chicago more than helps. Reality:

    1.) Congestion? It's a big city. (Full of officials with big fish to fry :/) It's everywhere. And always getting worse. Can't put up with it, move elsewhere.

    2.) I'm an Uptown resident who has happily gotten rid of her car, walking more and utilizing the buses/train as much as possible. I imagine lots of people are re-evaluating their car-ownership status with gas prices being what they are. Especially lower income residents or those who simply work downtown and feel a car is an unnecessary $ drain. (Put those two together and that's over half of Uptown, probably.)

    3.) It will bring other businesses to the neighborhood. Uptown as some apocalyptic wasteland is sooo 5 years ago.

    4.) Sure, big box store customers typically load up & go home in the burbs, but with free parking in the city becoming a thing of the past, big box stores are one of its final frontiers. At Uptown's Target it's not unthinkable that those coming from North Lakeview, etc., will shop, pack up their trunks, then hit one of our raved-about locally owned restaraunts, etc. (Or do the reverse--park first...)

    5.) They'll probably hire locally.

    6.) If it's going to be a big business, it makes sense for it to be one that a wide variety of incomes can shop at--and one that actually provides sufficent health insurance for it's full time employees and sells quality store-brand/private label goods...unlike *cough* criminal *cough* Wal-Mart.

  56. Take a look at this site:

  57. I like Target but it would be weird to see one in Uptown. There is so many shelters, social service organizations and low-income housing, SECTION 8...can Uptown residents (the vast majority) even afford to shop at Target? This Holsten building...NO MORE SUBSIDIZED HOUSING PLEASE. I think in some 'way' this is why Uptown in kinda struggling...and with crime. I am an apartment renter not a condo or home owner but I say, bring in more condos....You dont like that I'm saying it but YES I'M SAYING THAT. If people want help with 'rent'...go to school get a trade and then get a better job...sorry but that's where I stand on that now. I didnt years ago because I was one of those people in need of rent subsidy and such more handouts...