Note that S.B. Friedman has given Alderman Helen Shiller a political contribution ($500) once again this reporting period.
S.B. Friedman, led by Steven Friedman, is the supposedly independent outside consultant that did the Wilson Yard TIF study. The study concluded that our Broadway/ Montrose /Wilson area qualified as a Conservation TIF because it had four blight factors, which proved that it was in serious danger of slipping into decay conditions, despite the fact that the real estate market for the surrounding land was booming.
This particular firm has undergone criticism from its peers for two reasons:
1. It gives political contributions to the alderman in the ward in which it "finds blight" (and a potload of TIF funds for that alderman to control)
2. It plays both sides of the fence. Most consultants will only work as city consultants or for developers. This firm appears to operate in a conflict of interest mode because it takes money to do both roles simultaneously.
*Criticized in Chicago Magazine July 2005 for working for both developers and municipalities by competitor Beth Ruyle, Exec. V.P. and director of Ehlers & Assoc, which does TIF creation and analysis only for municipalities.