Sunday, July 6, 2008

Where Our TIF Money Goes

"The Bench" of Rogers Park took photos Friday of Wilson Yard dirt being pushed around the site. Construction workers working on Independence Day? No wonder the low-income housing units are costing so much to build. Union workers on federal holidays don't come cheap.


  1. And the reports are that the dirt is full of lead and arsenic? The construction workers are going to need that over time cash to offset their damaged nervous systems. ALDI's has suddenly become a place where I can no longer buy my produce. If decades of heavy metals are blowing through ALDI's and the other nearby businesses, you can't underestimate how dangerous that is.

  2. Where are these reports of lead and arsenic coming from???? The site most likely has standard 'chicago fill' of old building rubble that potentially dates back to the Great fire. This is something that almost ANY site in the city has that has not been fully excavated prior.

  3. The site used to house a CTA workshop. Lots of naughty chemicals have seeped into the soil and need to be removed prior to any construction going on.

  4. There's a hole in Wilson Yard where all the money goes,
    Jesus Christ died for nothin' I suppose.

    -w apology to J. Prine

  5. Alexis, the site is called Wilson Yards because it actually used to be a train yard and maintenance facility for the CTA (although it was originally called Montrose Yards). The yards were built in 1900, while the repair and maintenance facility were built in 1961. The whole thing went up in flames in the mid-90's, leaving an empty plot of ground where almost 100 years of oil, heavy metals, and other nasty industrial contaminants have seeped into the soil. To add to the mix, there also used to be a gas station on the site....

  6. Could we please go back to the topic? What's in the Wilson Yard dirt? And why should you care?

    The Wilson Yard dirt is filled with a lot of really bad "contaminants" that are harmful to people, especially kids and seniors.

    According to the IEPA and City documents we have on Wilson Yard from FOIA requests, there are high levels of lead, arsenic, benzene and other toxins. The lead concentration is 1000 higher than recommended levels for human exposure in some parts of WY.

    The soil is so contaminated that the two reputable senior housing providers decided this was not an appropriate site for senior housing, so they pulled out of the project.

    This didn't stop Holsten who's now the developer of both residential buildings. What health consequences will there be down the road for the tenants? How sick will they become?

    Add this to the list of what were they thinking?

  7. Katharine,

    First the topic was "Construction workers working on Independence Day?" Not "What's in the Wilson Yard dirt?" I think that may be why you lost the election, because your to much on speaking points and not enough on the issues at hand. Maybe Im wrong.

    Ok, but what to do about your subject?

    I wrote a letter to the EPA, and as I understand it some people are working hand in hand with them to monitor the situation.

    I even hear some residents of the 47th Ward are filing lawsuits.

    What can be done along with scaring the hell out of people to fix this situation?

  8. There was a rather lengthy discussion w/links last year on in case anyone is interested. The soil is contaminated and needs to be removed, so perhaps that's "where our TIF money goes" right now, at least I sure as hell hope so.

    All I know is that it's not Helen Shiller's fault - nor is it the fault of any of the queens I know and adore. billyjoe, dude, what are you, twelve?

  9. I have a question . . . would they even be pushing this dirt around at WY if Uptown Update hadn't put the pressure on them to hit their June 1 deadline?

    I doubt it.

  10. LOL, pablo. Now they will blame Uptown Updaters for their poor financial decision to "hurry up"! Peter Holsten is either an idiot or rolling in money (or maybe it is both??) to decide to schedule union workers for a nonessential job on a federal holiday.

  11. Hold the bus for a second....where are the workers in the pictures. The machines are there 24/7, but I dont see anyone there to run them. I dont see dust, job trucks, or anyother signs of life. Are there pictures of actual work going on? I think maybe someone is playing a little trick....