Thursday, August 14, 2008

News-Star Features "Fix Wilson Yard"

Update: Just a reminder that there will be a "Fix Wilson Yard" Meeting tonight (8/14) at 7pm at Buena Pointe at 4350 N. Broadway.

In what is, unfortunately, a longstanding Uptown tradition, the News-Star is once again the only paper in town to run a story on "Fix Wilson Yard" and the prospective lawsuit. Thanks, Lorraine Swanson and News-Star, for a community paper that actually deals with the community's concerns!

Fix Wilson Yard

In what is becoming a new trend - residents suing and filing injunctions against the city for projects about which there is demonstrated community opposition - a coalition of volunteers from various Uptown organizations have launched a new Web site called

According to the Web site, the Fix Wilson Yard organization claims an urban disaster in the making, and has been quietly holding SRO meetings throughout the neighborhood regarding the Wilson Yard development and a pending lawsuit. In 2004, 10 Uptown block clubs went on the record opposing the redevelopment in its current form, which includes a Target and two high-rise developments for low-income senior and family housing.

The Fix Wilson Yard organization has also lined up two law firms that specialize in fighting municipalities and land use issues, and the other in tax increment finance issues. According to the Web site, both law firms "have utmost confidence in our case and have offered their services at greatly reduced hourly rates."

Molly Phelan, an attorney and Uptown resident, stated in an e-mail reply that the goal of the group is to stop the development in its current form. A possible lawsuit, which so far only names the city as a defendant, may also be imminent.

Organizers are trying to raise funds for the six-figure invoice that they say is needed to wage this latest legal battle. Graceland-Wilson Neighbors Association (GWNA) which is a registered 501(c)3 organization, has offered to collect donations for the legal fund until Fix Wilson Yard's own application as a registered not-for-profit organization is approved.


  1. I've been looking for more information on what Fix Wilson Yard would propose if the lawsuit is successful. I share a lot of the same concerns. I think any reasonable Uptown resident should be concerned. But, without a post-lawsuit plan the presentation/proposal seems incomplete.

  2. Mission: Stop Wilson Yard in its current form and initiate a new planning process that includes:
    Uptown residents, urban planners and land use experts.

    Hope you're planning to attend a Fix-Wilson-Yard meeting either tonight or this coming Monday.

  3. Well, the Bellville, IL TIF ruling regarding the "but-for" language in the TIF laws definitely helps the case.

  4. Where do we find out about the Fix-Wilson-Yard meetings? I'd really like to attend one. I only heard about the last one, that was held the night after the Town hall meeting, very last minute. I couldn't handle another community meeting back to back nights.

  5. There's one tonight at 7pm at Buena Point, 4350 N Broadway (at Montrose)