Friday, September 26, 2008

Crain's: Target Says Wilson Yard Deal Close

Update: Compare this current Crain's story with another story from June.

By Thomas A. Corfman
(Crain’s) —
Target Corp. says it is in final negotiations to anchor a $151-million mixed-use development on the Wilson Yard site in Uptown that has been plagued by delays.

And despite the turbulence in the market for construction financing, developer Peter Holsten is again close to arranging financing for the proposed project, sources say. The development, which would also include 178 units of affordable housing, would be on the site of a former CTA repair yard that runs along the west side of Broadway between Montrose and Wilson avenues.

Minneapolis-based Target rarely comments on any location until a deal is done, but on Wednesday a spokeswoman said: “We continue to be very interested in opening a Target store (at Wilson Yard), and are currently working to finalize our real estate transaction at this time.”

Earlier this year, Target expected an announcement in June. Now, the company expects an announcement in “a couple weeks,” she said. She declined further comment.

Mr. Holsten, president of Chicago-based Holsten Real Estate Development Corp., declined to comment. In April, he said he expected construction to start in June.


  1. Ok, how many years has this been going on?

    Hey Target..either s#*t or get off the pot.

  2. Should we boycott Target? By now they have to be aware that local residents are furious over the lack of transparency and the outrageous costs for this undercover public works project. Yet they seem to be ignoring these facts as well as the potential for a lawsuit over the money they are hoping to TIF into. No doubt they will get a sweet real estate + tax deal but will the store itself be profitable if local residents don't want to shop there?

    I'm angry and the opportunity to buy plastic crap from China will not make this go away.

  3. I'm more worried about this deal going through giving Helen a greater chance of putting up more units of her idea of mixed housing (low, very low and no income).

  4. Target coming makes the whole project work. Local residents have two ways to assert their will: as taxpaying citizens and as consumers. Obviously, we have no voice as the former. Maybe it is time to try making our concerns heard as the latter.

  5. Wow -- this is a surprise to me. Looks like there could still be some life in the deal. If Target signs on the dotted line I'll be happy about it.

  6. No way dude, how can you pass up two project highrises full of drug dealers? A Target will only kill the drug dealing business around there.

  7. kill the drug business? i doubt it. Move it down the road a little is more likely. only thing that will kill the drug trade is the police or building owners not willing to rent to them.

  8. This is a planted story by Holstein. You notice close to a deal with Target. Not we have a deal don't be stupid people Target isn't coming. Look at the market.

    There is no money right now for any residential developments period let alone Target and all the retailers already know it's going to be a horrible Christmas. Target isn't stupid.

    It must have been a good Fix Wilson Yard shindig last night and Holstein is worried. I wonder who his plant there was?

    Holstein is exactly the type of developers that got us into this real estate problem in the first place.

    If it was good project and money maker you won't need TIF funds.

  9. "Target Corp. says it is in final negotiations ... Target rarely comments on any location until a deal is done ... "


    you mean it WASN'T a done deal in 2005 when we were shown renderings with the big old target logo painted on the side of the building, and the TIF subsidy was approved?

    I don't think that was clear to our good Commissioners, aldermen, or the public

  10. Nice post b!

    Sounds about right to me. Just like the Town Hall meeting where Helen called up her 10 supporters to rant about us racist folks.

    Even if Target does come, it's not going to be safe to shop there. Didn't we just have a post about how dangerous the Jewel parking lot can be? Now add 150+ unit of public housing on to that.


  11. The timing does seem suspect.

    I'll believe it when I see it.

  12. I wonder if Crains would reveal their sources for these statements?

    Surely Target has to be made aware of all the 'goings on' in this neighborhood, from the shootings to the law suit to Save Wilson Yard!

    If they haven't heard by now, then it's up to us to let them know.

  13. Wait a minute... the story says that this is a statement coming from Target, not a statement from Holstein or Schiller. doesn't that make a difference? Or are you saying the Crain's is misrepresenting the story on Holstein's behalf?

    I'll believe it when i see it as well. But we haven't heard a statement coming from Target Corp before. (that i can remember)

  14. I e-mailed the author of the Crains story and this was his reply:

    "The quote is from a Target spokeswoman. Sorry if that's not clear. Crain's policy is not to name spokesmen or spokeswomen. Thanks for your
    interest in the story."

  15. I wonder how City Council feels about the projected costs of the individual family housing units? It would make an interesting editorial if the press dared to have some backbone.

  16. Maybe the planted story is from Target. Maybe they're hoping that the nation's economic problems have finally knocked some sense into Helen, or at least the reasonable minds from the city who are working with her.

  17. So, if they are now close to a deal now, were they also close to a deal when they made their June announcement as well? How many years now has Target been close to a deal and is the press curious about why so many past false announcements? It seems the press keeps forgetting that Target (or so Helen says) keeps making a lot of announcements, but I'm noticing they never seem to come to fruition. I wonder what would prod Target to do this unusual act of making an early announcement (again)?

  18. Once you know that Thomas Corfman lives down the street from Helen on Winona and has been a strong supporter of her's over the years, it starts to make sense why this story came out when it did.

  19. Indeed, I got confirmation that he lives close to her by getting his home address through

    How do you know he's a supporter of Helen? He didn't show up on her D-2's. Has he done other articles that are supportive of her?

  20. Those who know Mr. and Mrs. Corfman know that they have been very enthusiastic supporters of Helen for many years.

    Crain's probably has rules governing ethics saying that that they can't donate to political issues and candidates. Nothing says they can't give just enough to be just under the limit where they have to be listed on the D-2, or that they can't donate under a corporate or trust name.

  21. Great detective work people! I love digging up this kind of bullshit "fluff" piece that is clearly a slap in the face to true journalism. Not once does this man mention the problems that have plagued this project for years! Doesn't mention TIF funding, Fix Wilson Yard, the fact that it goes directly against what the community wants and what has been scientifically proven again and again to be a terribly housing model for "affordable" units!

    Can I just rant here? I mean, how the hell can this proposal be considered a good one? What the hell does Shiller, Holsten or anyone else expect to be beneficial about this? Are the owners of Driftwood thrilled that they will have to chase these people out of their bar day in and day out?

    And of course I am sure that when I am elderly and on a fixed income and want an apartment I will be glad to move into a development like this, where concentrated poverty is only going to beget concentrated crime. Can't we see the headlines now? "Elderly Resident Murdered" and then pick your location: "On Sidewalk" or "in Lobby" or "in Affordable Target TIF Unit by Jobless Extremely Poor Neighbor for Drug/Alcohol/Money/Shits and Giggles"

    It isn't a crime to be poor, or homeless, but by god it should be a crime to build this place! I realize Target will have a vested interest in keeping their parking lot and sidewalks and store safe, but those rental cops can only do so much, and I'm in shock that this might happen. Nuts!