Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Wilson Yard From Above

Dear UU,
Thought you'd like to see what's going on with Wilson Yard construction. The photo was taken this past weekend (click to enlarge).
As you can see, they're furiously working and the construction goes all the way up to the Aldi's driveway.
The BIG question that remains a mystery since we have the Howard Hughes version of an alderman:
- Is Target really coming? Target bought the land but has never signed a single document stating Target is coming to Wilson Yard
It's a shame we have an alderman who abuses her power to serve her own purpose and not what's good for the community.

36 comments:

  1. Target is still planning on coming. They had meetings about a month ago with a New York-based digital signage company to discuss their plans for animated advertisement and entertainment displays to face the Red/Purple line tracks.

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  2. Digital signage by the el tracks? Interesting.

    Am I the only one picturing an animated Helen on a broomstick cackling and saying "suckers!" as we travel by on the El? Must just be my imagination....

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  3. I can't wait to see you all at Target!

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  4. Uptown Girl, Ill see you at TARG√ČT. It is a nice French Store....

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  5. I do remain optimistic that the having Target in the community could keep WY from becoming the future slum so many fear.

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  6. They had meetings about a month ago with a New York-based digital signage company to discuss their plans for animated advertisement and entertainment displays to face the Red/Purple line tracks.

    How can this be confirmed?

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  7. I hope you're right Uptown Girl...I had thought Target was supposed to go up first then the housing, but voila, that has been reversed...

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  8. I think Hal was kidding.

    I have never seen Target use digital signage on any stores.

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  9. With all of this construction, it's kinda' interesting that there aren't plans to either revamp the Wilson stop, or replace it with a stop integrated into all of this.

    I mean, the Wilson stop IS such a wonderful gateway into Uptown, and I'm sure that no shoppers will be hassled, ever, walking to the train with all those bags of fresh merchandise.

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  10. No, yo. Target shoppers from Wrigleyville/Lakeview, Ravenswood and other points west will just drive---clogging up an already problematic intersection.

    With all of the supposed radicals we have around here I am surprised that few people have taken issue with the Truman Parking garage or Target's plans from an environmental or new urbanist perspective. Likewise, there is no furor over the wealthfare largesse that Target will be the beneficiary of.

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  11. Sassy, I'm with you on the money part. No way should Target have been given much (if any!) TIF. This is a great location for them and they have enough land to build a near-prototype store.

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  12. No, I wasn't kidding. I talked to a friend who was in the meetings. And, really, what kind of lame joke would that be anyway?

    Regarding "confirmation," given that I am one of the very, very few that will actually use his name here and a donor of record for James' campaign, I would have hoped my word wouldn't be questioned like that around these parts.

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  13. This is a great location for them ...

    Indeed. But Helen couldn't shove the housing aspect of WY down our throats without sweetening it with something.

    And she couldn't get that sweet something without paying for it - with our money; and better yet, without that nagging obligation to to get our input.

    Like an old Jerry Reed tune, Helen gives Target the gold mine, everyone else in Uptown gets the shaft.

    Except, of course, the soon-to-be-newly pro-Helen folks that will essentially be living in Target's parking lot; which is in the alderman's backyard.

    Convenient, no?

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  14. Barring any action from the lawsuit Target is certainly planning on coming. The city finally offered so much TIF money that they couldn't refuse. "No, no, Mr Mayor, please don't give us any more taxpayer money. It's simply tooooooooooooo embarrasing."

    Perhaps Target fan get some additional TIF money for their digital sign. I'm sure if they added Daley and Shiller's names some additional funds might be freed up.

    "Target Uptown" would like to thank Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley and 46th Ward Alderman Helen Shiller for their Generosity". I can see that scrolling across the sign in lovely taxpayer green.

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  15. Hal: I'm just trying to confirm what I can confirm. There's nothing wrong with "I heard it through the grapevine". It's just for my notes as I forward different information.

    I mean, the Wilson stop IS such a wonderful gateway into Uptown, and I'm sure that no shoppers will be hassled, ever, walking to the train with all those bags of fresh merchandise.

    Just move the stop one block south to Sunnyside. That's my current prediction. New station that will be sold to us as paid, in part, by different retailers which will be the tenants inside the station. Blow out the Wilson stop and either convert it as another point of entry off Wilson to the garage or more under the tracks commercial real estate.

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  16. Well we all dont have super duper real names like "Hal Shipman" so some of have to use cleaver screen names.

    Thanks for the info on Target though Hal Shipman and thanks for donating to James's campaign Hal Shipman.

    I can't wait for this Target to open up! I can't wait to get mixed up in a gang shooting as I exit the store or hit by a car due to overwhelming traffic. "Look Daddy a real life gang!" "No son you look.a NEON SIGN!" "Wow your the best dad ever!" "I know son, lets move to UPTOWN!" "YEAH!"

    I am so happy Uptowngirl will be greeting us at the door. Yeah for Uptown!

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  17. Sorry Hal.

    I stand corrected.

    I didn't think that was your real name either. Great name by the way.

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  18. Chip, will that love fest occur before or after the lit cigarette being put out on the forearm. You shouldn't have spilled paint on the garage floor!

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  19. I know, I guess Im still bitter about the shootings outside my window, the lack of a decent public school to send my kid to, the fact that my friends business keep getting either broken in to or inspected and that the economy is so far in the tank the thought of selling for a safer hood is impossible?

    Oh, and did I mention the wife and I are sparing?

    TOP OF THE MORNIN TO YA UPTOWN!

    AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

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  20. Yep, UptownUnity, I am pretty sick of the hypocrisy around here. "economic violence" "unjust wars to protect commercial interests abroad" "the rich get richer while the poor get poorer" "American jobs being shipped abroad while multinationals take advantage of tax loopholes" "we must speak truth to power."

    MY ASS.

    Where are the so-called lakefront liberals? Did they move/die/get bought off? Did they just turn into "johnny one notes" on the topic of affordable housing or is it that the radical fringe are the only ones to raise a ruckus anymore? Have the liberals gone "corporate" (i.e., Heartland?) Or, if they are not just gone completely could they have morphed into something new?

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  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  22. I love beating tree-hugging liberals with dead baby seals......

    ;-) That one always makes me laugh.

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  23. Chippy D-

    Maybe I can arrange a police escort to keep you safe on your way to Target.

    Scaredy Cat!

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  24. I will only go at night and with $100 bills hanging out of my pockets....... because that is the way I roll.

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  25. Aww thanks UG. Kill me with kindness you do.

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  26. Oh, Chip. If your kid's grandmother were an alderman then you might be able to get a leg up in getting into some better public schools. All it would take is a few well placed phone calls...

    Too bad you are just a nobody living in a poor neighborhood. You'll get what you'll get and be expected to like it.

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  27. What's up with all this crap talk about traffic in that area? I'm serious. I've lived in the neighborhood for a long time. I've also ventured into other neighborhoods. Exactly where are people getting this view that this is a hugely conjested area? It isn't.

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  28. Maybe it is more accurate to say that the intersection of Montrose, Sheridan and Broadway is difficult because they are all main thoroughfares that converge right there? Not to mention the number of seniors who try to cross the street to Jewel but the sight lines for people turning onto Broadway are bad and there is very little room for someone to go if they encounter a pedestrian unexpectedly. It seems to me that if you add more vehicular traffic, this 3-way intersection is going to get bad. But, I'm no traffic cop and I'm willing to be proven wrong. (I hope I am!) The unfortunate fact is that nobody really knows. Wouldn't it have been nice if there had been a traffic study done?

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  29. Thats the point JACK.

    Now add a huge big box retail, along with what over 150 new units? What does that bring??? Cars?? People??

    I don't know about you JACK but some days during the spring/summer/fall when people are coming and going from the lake fron the Montrose area becomes a parking lot. You ever try turning left out of your alley on to Montrose at around 5?

    Am I wrong or did I see a report/ study about the uptick in traffic in that area that this will create?

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  30. PS: What we need to avoid is the nightmare over on North and Clybourn. IMHO in order to get people out of their cars, you need to have good, clean & safe public transportation that meets everyone's needs and there should be other reasons to get out of your car while you are in the area. This development probably will not offer that in the minds of people from other neighborhoods who will want to shop there. So while locals may walk or hop an el a few stops, we should expect that others will drive.

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  31. Moving the "Wilson" stop south makes so much sense. Sunnyside / Montrose / Shillerville---whatever you call it, it will make more sense than the redundant Wilson/Lawrence stops.

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  32. The sad irony of this is that if people living in WY do have cars, they are probably used to drive to a job that pays as much as Target. Then Target will hire people from other neighborhoods, who will then drive to Uptown to work. Kind of backwards to me. I think it would have been nice for the city to mandate that Target hire X% of initial workers from the area, but I doubt they did. I don't know the stats, but my hunch is that the majority of low/no income people in Uptown have mental and/or substance abuse problems or other disability that would prevent them from holding sustainable employment.

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  33. Lest we forget, there was a traffic study done and a report by the CPD discussing the increase in traffic and the impending congestion due to this development. The CPD has stated that they will need more patrols because of this congestion. They also stated that there will be an increase in crime, another reason for even more police. Check the archives here and you will find it. It was posted in the summer.

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  34. Oh, and until there is something in writing I will NOT believe there is a Target coming to Uptown.

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  35. Chip, in fact yes I have. I lived at that intersection Sassy mentions for 5 years. Funny thing, I just learned to drive south and had no problems. I'm one of those silly people who takes the traffic into account and changes my trip by a small amount to reduce my stress. Go figure.

    Sassy, I can see your comment far more about that intersection. But that's a heck of a lot less to do with the actual traffic pattern on that road and much more about the park district's management of the lakefront parking.

    But I still think this traffic issue is a red herring. Right now there is a huge hole on that corner. I find it hard to believe that filling it with a Target is going to be the problem versus the reality that filling it with anything is going to make that area denser.

    I'm approaching a full decade in the neighborhood. I for one am more than willing to put up with some more traffic if I get some benefit from it. Right now I get traffic as people from outside of our neighborhood cut through it to get to our part of the lakefront. I get no benefit from that.

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  36. I'm sure some of those TIF dollars were spent with a reputable urban planner. Perhaps Peter and Helen could be persuaded to release the report.

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