Friday, February 13, 2009

So What's Happening At Maryville? Now We Know

Last week Sedgwick Properties met with area residents, including members of Clarendon Park Neighborhood Association, about its proposed redevelopment of the former Maryville site on Montrose.

CPNA sent out a lengthy email to its members after the meeting, stressing its concerns - primarily parking and the large number of proposed units - and asking neighbors to get involved with the planning process. The mail, edited for brevity at the request of CPNA, can be seen here.

And of course, as always, the News-Star was there:

Residents sound off on Maryville proposal
But get restless over parking, traffic


A Chicago development firm last week sought residents' feedback on plans for a proposed planned development on the site of the former Columbus-Maryville Academy at 810 W. Montrose and heard in response that neighbors want answers, especially related to traffic and parking.

Admitting that the firm had not yet drawn up designs, Jay Feeley, director of business development for Sedgwick Properties Development Corporation, told a gathering of about 40 residents at Clarendon Park on Feb. 4 that his firm was asked to gather community input by Ald. Helen Shiller (46th Ward). One of Shiller's staff aides was in the audience taking notes. The developer is proposing a residential and commercial development with up to 850 units of housing and 100,000 square feet of retail.

Read the entire article here.


  1. In this housing market, the project isn't viable unless we get TIF assistance.

    Here we go again.

    In this housing market, sure ... but, that's never an absolute and why in the heck would anyone want to start building in this housing market, anyway?

    I cry bullsh*t on this entire thing.

    The reason the TIF is tasty is that Helen won't allow anything which even remotely resembles progress into this ward w/o the inclusion of affordable housing.

    She leans on the developer with zoning leverage, the developer caves and bada-bing!

    This is also a preliminary tactic for use during the FWY hearings.

    Note that a rep from her office showed up to this.

    She didn't, but a rep did.

    The only thing "transparent" with regards to our beloved alderman is her feckless behavior.

    Fix Maryville, too?

  2. Well this property is even closer to the park and lake so how in the world could it be developed without TIF money.

    I wonder how many more projects are going to use Wilson Yard TIF money. I am proud to be part of the community who has continued to make people aware of how unnecessary this TIF district is!

    In the past the alderman has not been very receptive to hear about community concerns, i.e. two lawsuits, I wonder why this would be any different. She does not care what anyone thinks and as long as she can work in significant low-income housing. If they want to use TIF funds that is what the plan will include I fear.

  3. TIF funds and senior housing. What's next, low income housing? I'd bet on it. Smells familar (WY).

    Why is this not surprising?

  4. forgive me for saying so - but even though I agree that we have to keep an eye on this development, TIF funds and parking - is anyone else excited at the opportunity to take an eyesore of unused land and create a viable retail corridor that gathers revenue for the neighborhood. How many people walk down that street to get to the beach? If they're gonna be her anyways we might as well gets some tax revenue out of them.

    As for parking. I'm all down with making the area more desirable to walk around. It creates community and deters crime.

    Uptown ain't too bad for parking now - compared to Andersonville or Lakeview. If there's a permit, I would say it's worth the $25. And come on, we shouldn't be driving around this city anyway. I'm amazed how many SUVs, vans and megatrucks I see parked on our little one way streets. More convenience means less reason to even have a car.

    Not to be Pollyanna - i am as cautious as anyone. But lets not throw the baby out with the bath water. You can't shout for progress and then shoot it down every time it comes along.

  5. Hey d,

    I think most folks would be excited about an opportunity.

    But, we've been hearing the call of a decent retail corridor for 10+ years and all we've gotten so far, is an assbackwards Aldi and the seedlings of Cabrini-Green II.

    If Helen had any sort of decent track record ... well. She doesn't.

  6. Oh fudge, I don't want to go through another lawsuit!

  7. They're looking to get 5-15% of the WY TIF money. Unless I'm missing something, thats gonna be like 5 million bucks. They're claiming this a 500 million dollar project, so that 1% of their total cost. That screams BS on their TIF argument.

    The TIF is clearly a handshake deal with our Alderbeast. She lines their pockets with 5 million dollars of the publics money, and then the develop gets the right to build on that piece of land. In exchange, their must be low income housing.

    In the future, there can be more TIF money for more low income housing until eventually Das Fuhrer Shiller has handed yet another developer tens of millions of dollars in public money.

    And I'm sure none of us will be surprised when campaign contributions start flowing in the other direction.

  8. Actually edgewater... methinks Vista is appropo.

  9. I am very weary of this project in this market and the amount of units for sale all over town.

    Even Donald Trump won't tackle a project like this in this economy.

    Who is going to loan them money for this project in this market?

    In my gutt this just doesn't add up.

    A lot of times developers promise/propose one thing to feel out the community and hood wink them and then build a completely different project.

    Sounds like another WY to me.

    WY2.0 here we go.

    Plus Lakeshore Drive can not handle any more traffic for a large retail area there.

    Anything with Shiller's name attached to it has no credibility.

  10. I was at this meeting and they tossed out a figure of 20% affordable. They also said they would prefer that to all be senior housing on Clarendon. We'll see how that goes.

  11. I was at this meeting here are more details not mentioned in the article:
    1. Marty one of the representatives from Sedgwick came up to me after the meeting and told me (because I questioned this during the meeting) the developer of the "senior building" will apply for Low Income Housing Tax Credits. This funding is classified for low, very low and extremely low income housing. BTW this is one of the same funding sources that is being used at Wilson Yard.
    2. Claiming the “senior housing” is the set aside designed to comply with the 20% requirement for this planned development is misleading. The senior housing will be built by a totally different developer, thus Sedgwick still needs to comply with an additional set aside in the “market rate” towers they’re building. I confirmed this with Marty from Sedgwick.
    3. The trade off on this project is very simple. Sedgwick is giving the Alderman her low income building of 200 units and she in turn is giving them the zoning approval to build two densely packed high rises towers - zoning in excess of what that location can handle.
    2. Once the plan gets approved as a planned development there is nothing the community can do to stop the senior building from mysteriously turning into low income family housing much like Wilson Yard.

    Let's just start calling this project
    Wilson Yard lite.

    We all must be vigilant about this project. Spread the word.

  12. "We all must be vigilant about this project. Spread the word."

    Not only that, but please get involved. You can find out more about this project and work with the block association by emailing

  13. I recall Shiller stating publicly that her goal was to down-zone the lakefront because of the density that resulted in the unregulated Lakeview. Now, she is approving high rise twin towers on the lakefront for Uptown???

  14. Given the density of low-income housing in Uptown, especially zip 60640, any future developments should be getting a waiver on the "affordable" requirement.

  15. This is just going to lead to a canyon effect on Montrose. You can already see it at the Broadway corner.

    How can any City planner believe this is a good idea?? Oh wait, I'm applying LOGIC, to this.

    My bad.

  16. Wilson Yard lite? As Uptown Lady tells us, the potential here is 200 more units under the Low Income Housing Tax Credits umbrella.

    This isn't lite. It's yet another attempt to force property owners to subsidize the concentration of fixed cost housing in the 46th Ward.

    Just say no. The concentration of fixed cost housing is a burden that must be diversified throughout the city or it risks classic mistakes of putting all their eggs in one basket.

    People that need and deserve affordable, temporary housing should not be relocated to a single neighborhood. That's what is happening in the 46th Ward.

    There is ample real estate around this city in the South Loop, West Loop, and near North Side that deserves fixed cost housing. Sedgwick doesn't have to participate in Alderman Burke's strategy to hide the poor people from his client's wealth portfolios.

  17. Let's start he legal process on this one sooner than the we did with WY.

    What will the promise in this one for retail Macy's?

    How many Theaters?

    Or I mean how many low, very low, extremely low income hosing are we talking?

    I would rather see this site sit as it is until after the next Alderman election.

  18. Well .. if the FWY suit is successful, WY2 could/would be affected via mis-use of TIF funding.

  19. All of this just gives the folks at FWY more ammo!!!!!
    Everyone, wave to Helen and Peter....

  20. In addition to the two "residential towers" mentioned, there are two words that leap out of the article:


    Imagine what, in the Alderman Helen Shiller world view, that might be.

  21. "The trade off on this project is very simple. Sedgwick is giving the Alderman her low income building of 200 units and she in turn..."

    Did I just read 200 units of low income housing? That's ANOTHER 200 units in addition to the ones in the WY slum under construction (a fast-paced one, I must say).

    Why should TIF funds, meant to relieve blight, be used for this prime real estate location by the lake?

    This is crazy.

  22. Zesty says, "BOUTIQUE HOTEL"...Imagine what, in the Alderman Helen Shiller world view, that might be.

    LOL! Take a walk along Leland just west of Broadway on a Sunday morning and you'll get an idea of what constitutes a boutique hotel for our revered Alderman lady, lover of the poor or anyone who can cast a vote in her favor without expecting accountability.

  23. Yes, we should act faster on projects like this... scare the developers developers out of the area until this witch gets voted out of office in the next election... how long do we have left???

  24. Kookachoo, I think I understand what you're saying.

    It has been rumored for years that the Alderman shakes down each developer who walks through her door looking for a zoning change from her office. If true, that intimidation tactic will probably not change until she's out of office.

    In the meantime, it would be nice if those developers who are willing to sell their soul to the Alderbeast in exchange for TIF money would think twice about the impact their development has on the community as a whole.

    If it requires the threat of a potential lawsuit to keep them honest, then so be it. Those developers should be afraid to "stick it to those on the Alderman's enemies list" just so they can get obscene amounts of TIF dollars in return.

  25. I'll be paraphrasing here but one of the things this developer said to the crowd was, in essence, that we should be glad they came to this meeting asking for input because they could very well present us with plans for what they will do and leave us out of the planning process all together. It sounded to me like a threat to be nice them and go along or they will not be nice in return with a total screwing over while they do as they wish. I found the demeanor of these developers to be less than noble.

  26. I bet they can't get the money to build the project unless it's all TIF money.

    We have too much inventory for sale in Chicago now as it is.

  27. Unless they receive TIF or some other tax derived money I don't think they should have to get input from anyone as long as they get the proper permits.

  28. Any project in any city takes input from residents that are in the community whether it's a new Ford dealership or an addition or a McDonalds that is just how most Cities work from Orland Park to Iowa City, Iowa to New York City.

    No matter how small or large they are they all go before the public and allow for input from the residents of that City.