Friday, March 27, 2009


A reader sent in this photo of Wilson Yard this evening, and guess what's been added since yesterday? Why, it's a great, big (maybe even gen-yew-ine) Target logo! Now, it doesn't say anything substantial, like "TARGET COMING SOON" or "LOOK FOR OUR NEW STORE IN JULY 2012," but it's a huge improvement on the copyright-violation-version next to it.

This kerfuffle leaves us with four conclusions:

(1) Helen and Peter are very avid readers of Uptown Update (thanks for helping us drive those visitor numbers up, H&P!)

(2) Why is it that posts on a community blog seem to be the only thing that makes these people take proper action? Can they do the right thing unprompted? Or do they only act after they get caught with their hands in the cookie jar?

(3) It really wasn't that hard to get an official logo from Target Corporation after all, now was it?

(4) This entire saga could have been avoided if Helen and Peter would only be straight with us (remember us, the people who are paying for Wilson Yard?) How about that Letter of Intent from Target? Can we see it now? Pretty please? If you'd coughed it up several years ago, when you said you first had it, no one would have doubts about Target coming to Uptown. Do the right thing, Ald. Shiller... let us see it. Put it on your brand spanking new "TIF Transparency" page for all to read.


  1. Perhaps Helen in some twisted way thinks this proves that she's been right all along? Like she's going to pull the "They said target wasn't coming, and it did, so you can't believe a word from those Fix Wilson Yard folks"

    I know thats twisted, but it fits the bill. I fully expect a quote like that in this Sunday's paper.

  2. Hopefully it isn't true and Target doesn't open in our area. That is the last thing we need- more big box stores stealing away the identity of historic neighborhoods.

    Although it would provide a few part-time minimum wage jobs.....some school kids could work there for date money.

  3. Um ... there's still that bit about the curious public housing financing.

    And yeah. Helen will definitely mention how she told everyone all along, and then fail to mention that Target may eventually be the only thing she said that came about the way it was supposed to.

    It also leaves me with the conclusion that the same folks who can't get a red dot right are the same people behind a public housing project, and that's only a shade worrisome.

  4. Come on Otto. Some of us have been waiting years for a Target to get built close to home. Seeing as I lost my job at Experian after 18 years, I may even apply for a job at Target. Min wage is better than none at all.

  5. Well I suppose then we could look like every other suburban neighborhood. Hopefully Walmart and Piggly Wiggly will come in to Uptown soon-after.

    I can't for the life of me see how anyone would want some generic place like target coming in to their neighborhood selling imported goods that do nothing to support our local economy.

    I would far rather support local businesses that are owned and operated by local people.

  6. upsboy..AMEN!
    I wish more people thought like you. Some wage is better than none at all...especially if you have a family to support.

  7. Why does Target need to be lured to our neighborhood with 68% of our property tax dollars? I guess we all will need to shop at discount stores since the city sucks our money away for their own purposes.

  8. Will this be the thing that pushes the far leftist like Otto away from Helen's warm embrace?

    Get used to it Otto. Now that B'rock and Tiny Tim Geitner are in charge there seems to be a trend towards colossal corporations and colossal government working hand in hand. This "small" guy you are talking about will soon fall in to the endangered species list. No "bail out" eeer "Stimulus" for them.

    Now excuse me I must go turn off the lights for "Earth Hour" to fend off "Global Warming." Oh wait the Earth has been getting cooler the last few years so..oh thats right it is now called "Climate Change." Right up until that is debunked, and they have to come up with a new term to make me feel guilty about being about "Al Gore's theory of Stupidity", I like it, yes that will do.

  9. Now just get us a letter from Target to the community as to when they will open.

    Should be easy right?

  10. They are laying the foundations of concrete for the store.

    The store is going to be built.

    Why wouldn't it? It's being paid for by the TIF, large measure.

    Target is a shitty store. The prices are not less, but just the same as everywhere else. They are mid range.

    The issue is the Housing. I would like to know what the layouts are for the "condos" that what they are?

    Are there one, two three bedroom units. What materials are used?..

    Why do they cost this much?

    It's apparent that many of the people are picking on Helen Schiller over Target and are bitter they are wrong...that it is going to be built.

    I wouldn't bother with that....but rather if you don't like Helen Schiller focus on those condo's or whatever they are...

    What exactly are they building over there?

    I have yet to see any floor plan or rendering as to what the units are supposed to look like.

    How do people "qualify" to buy them?

  11. Stu,

    WY will be rentals. There is no purchase option.

  12. Got news for everyone. That Target logo was not put up by Target. It's just a logo. period. Nothing else said. Target wouldn't do that. They've never done that at their other proposed locations.

    Helen and Tricky Dicky have alot in common. It's another little tricky.

    Is Target coming in? I don't know. I do know that there is a lawsuit going on and someone is acting like she is panicked for a reason. As has always been the case in Uptown, don't believe anything you see at face value.

  13. The foundation for the store is not being poured.

    Only the housing portion.

    Hosing first, Target later per Shiller

  14. Your typo made for a hilarious sentence, r.

    "Hosing first, Target later per Shiller"

    Did you get hold of a super-secret memo? ;)

  15. You can get some of your taxes back by buying stock in Target.

    Target's dividend is $.16/share.

    If your tax bill is $6,000, and 68% goes to Wilson Yard, you only need to buy 25,500 shares of stock.

    At $34/share, that's only $867,000.

    BTW, Target didn't pay a dime for their store. As you might recall, they bought it for $6,000,000 using federal money they got in grants meant to subsidize building in blighted areas.

    Perhaps the FWY people would like to do a FOIA request for any communication between Helen and Richie and Rahm and Jan regarding the wrangling of that $6,000,000, and also take a look at Target's political contributions to them.

    Can you get Target's local lobbyists email communications through discovery? Who did Target pay off through their 3rd party?

    When the Chicago taxpayer well runs dry, Helen and Richie will just move on up the ladder to milk ALL taxpayers.

    This is the next big scam, with the Olympics as front for it.

  16. Target put their plans on hold during the Big Box living wage dust up.

    Now, we have the Employee Free Choice Act.

    Maybe they're on hold again to keep those nasty unions at bay.

  17. Otto,

    What more does this blog need to do to satisfy you? Your two complaints are that we

    A) Don't support local businesses

    B) Don't care about the housing portion of WY

    I mean, every single day there is a post on this blog about Kawaha or Magnolia, Wilde Pug, Crew, Unique So Chique, Fat Cat, The Spot etc. There are constant posting supporting the local business community.

    And as for the housing, we're SUING THE CITY!!! How much more can citizens do? What would it take to make you happy? Pitchforks and torches outside Shillers office?

  18. Curious - If this Wilson Yard fiasco is completed, does that mean the WY TIF is eliminated and all of our tax dollars can go back into general revenue, or .. well, what happens then?

    In other words, when our very own Hugo Chavez has her brand spanking new political base all tucked in, snuggly and warm (and ready to vote!) in Little Caracas, are we off the hook, or do we still bleed into into the unregulated coffers until 2024 (or until such time that Helen has the entirety of Uptown wholly dependent upon the fruits of our labors and completely devoid of any need or desire to be self-sufficient)?

    As for the mob rule bit from the Zesty one, I'd be down for some pitchfork and torch action. Wonder what would happen if let's say a 1,000 people filled up the Montrose/Broadway intersection in protest (y'know, the type of radical activity that got Helen's warted toe in the political door way back yonder)?

  19. i drove by WY today and the new target logo is the exact target logo that target corporate was used. so either they put it up, gave permission, or they couuld go after peter and co. for improper use of their logo. the new sign is not to be confused with the one with the fake target logo either.

  20. R

    The concrete walls are visible...that's part of the foundation....the floor is not in....some of the walls are in...

    I have seen it...

    i don't know why people resist the idea that Target will be's because you don't like Schiller....I have no problem with not liking her....but why don't you like her?

    If you are not going to like her, don't dislike her for Target ...if that's what you want to see....because it's going to be's being paid for largely through tiff money ...unless I don't understand something.

    How much are these apartments....going to rent for...

    Factual information leads to understanding what's going on...

    There's not much discussion of factual information on this development...It does seem to be very secretive....but aren't there any floor plans, suggested rental prices etc?

  21. The walls you see are not part of Target they have to do with stabilization/water tight preparedness of the whole property and the caissons.

    It's one connected foundation does not mean a Target has to be built on it.

    Same with the Chicago Spire caissons anything can be built on it now the foundation is done doens't mean the Spire will get built or another building that is not the Spire might be built.

    A foundation being poured proves nothing about Target coming or a Super Dollar Store.

    It could be anything.

    If anyone wants to believe things without proof I have a bridge in Florida to sell you.

    The only thing we know for sure it the project will consist of super low, no income housing costing more than most news condos per unit in Uptown.

  22. Jason, I agree that the logo used is the exact same one that Target uses. However, have you ever known Target to put up a sign for a new project and only have a logo with nothing else? Something is screwy here.

  23. Stu Piddy,

    The apartments are reserved for low income residents and as I understand it, they'll be section 8 style housing, so the "rent" is based on a percentage of income, but there is no income floor, so basically the rent could be as low a couple hundred bucks a month for a three bedroom place.

    The constuction costs, however, are known, and the 3 bedroom units are going to cost $449,000 dollars to construct.

    The reasons to hate Shiller go back a long long way. Its a series of lies, deceit and betrayal. Time and again she's lied to the community. People who have lived here for a while are all expecting Shiller to somehow pull out Target and throw in my low income housing. There was a movie theatre that was promised for a long time at WY until it mysteriously dissapeared, so their is precedent for her doing this.

  24. Yo and Zesty,

    I'm all for a mob action demonstration at Montrose and Broadway. I've heard a lot about folks around the country using pennies to make financial points due to the large quantities that can be collected with minimal financial stress on the collectors and the large mess they create when accumulated in concentrated areas. One demonstration in Florida had to be stretched out for days due to the weight problem the amount of pennies collected posed to the support system under the sidewalk they were to be placed upon.

    I also think there should be some sort of civil disobedience on that corner to draw attention to the injustice being thrust upon the community by our alderman. Not that I would ever suggest such a thing as this type of action is usually illegal. Although protected under our First Amendment rights of Freedom of Speech. You know, the amendment being opposed by our alderman and city using that pesky subpeona against our fellow bloggers.

    Just my random thoughts. It's not easy being inciteful.

  25. That's not the official logo. It is much closer than the previous version, but this was not supplied by Target. Its missing one key element.... a ® or registered mark. No company (especially a bo-hemuth like Target) would ever allow their logo to be used without that... you would have to check but my guess she CANNOT put that ® because she would be violating copyright. Again, not a lawyer, but I can tell you that this is just a better rip off.

    Doesn't really matter though folks. Target will come. They have no reason not to. We have invited them to a fancy dinner, bought them a new dress, and even supplied the limo to get them there....wouldn't you eat?

    The real issue is that housing and the fact that she has put her political agenda ahead of the safety of the community she represents (supposedly). This has gone on long enough. Win or lose at Wilson Yard, we need to bring more awareness and get a new Alderman that wants to work for our community, not pimp out the less fortunate.

  26. @Windy City Eagle - you are incorrect in your description of the rents for the WY apartment buildings. They are low-income housing tax credit buildings, which means that there are fixed monthly rents tenants must pay, based on limits set by the state. Tenants also have to have incomes under certain limits - I think WY is limited at 60% area median income, or about $40,000 per year for a household of 3.

  27. Notice the Target bulls eye doesn't have the Circle around the R that indicates it's a registered trademark.

    At least I can't see it in this picture.

  28. Here's an idea:

    Wouldn't it be just nifty if Ald. Shiller - who just last week boasted on the news about what a great communicator she is and how easy it is to get information out to her consituents - actually ADDRESSED THE ISSUE about whether or not Target is coming?

    A fake logo on a sign, followed by a huge sign with corrected logo, which may or may not mean anything, isn't what I call great communication. It is confirmation that she reads this blog.

    One email blast clarifying the situation, Ald. Shiller, is all it takes. Is that so hard?

  29. I put this in another thread but I'll mention it again here just to be a devil's advocate. Target says that it takes 9-12 months for them to build a store and that they announce their intentions within that timeframe. For us, that means they have until July before any "official" announcement should be expected. They only open stores in certain quarters. If they don't open the store in July 2010, then it would be October 2010.

    I can't find any public documents where they identify which locations will not be opened in 2010 as planned. Generally, they are forecasting a cutback in store openings but who knows where at this point. My guess is that they are reserving their right to the property and are in a wait-and-see mode. Unless their was some requirement in getting the TIF money that they had to agree to open by 2010 regardless of the overall retail climate, its probably better for them not to be out there making public statements.

    I have a question, though. Only property tax goes back into the TIF---right? No portion of the sales tax, right? Anyone out there interested in playing devil's advocate as to why this is a good deal for property owners in the TIF? I would think that the best "deal" for property owners in the TIF would be one that pays back a portion of the tax incentives during the life of the TIF so that it could be spend on improved sewers or greenspace or whatever for the TIF residents. Otherwise, people are just paying into the TIF but you're not really leveraging anything. In that kind of scenario, you should have a really sound plan for your return-on-investment.

  30. you should have a really sound plan for your return-on-investment.

    The way I understand it is that property owners are repaid via the increase in property values resulting from the TIF-funded improvements.

    I'm sure that a massive section 8 development is going to do wonders for the condos adjacent to WY.

  31. why do people assume that the new Target sign has ANYTHING to do with this blog?

  32. Well Sean... the sign was erected in Uptown recently and the blog's name is Uptown Update so I'll go out on a limb here...

    There's something happening in Uptown at Wilson Yard, a location not devoid of controversy, and the neighborhood, Uptown, is being updated.

  33. Additionally, Uptown Update has become an important aspect of this community.

    We know that Helen and her cabal of folks read it, and respond/react accordingly.

    We also know that UU has the ear of both our IL Rep and IL Senator (note that the Town Hall mtg at Truman last year would not have happened w/o UU).

    There is a laundry list of things in Uptown which would not have happened if not for UU; and that's why Holsten's attorney and Helen's lil' flying monkeys have targeted them.

    So, the assumption(s) that happenings in the ward are a result of UU's activity are well founded and more than likely, dead on accurate.

  34. Anyone know what the list of corporations next to the bigger Target sign says? Maybe they are part of the financiers for the retail part of WY and that this sign does not necessarily mean a Target store is coming.

  35. Terry - Go to this post and you can click on the photo for a larger version. You can read the sign there.

  36. Terry hit the nail exactly square on the head. The Target logo ONLY has to do with financing. The sale of the land to the Target affiliate QALICB, LLC was the final piece of financing necessary for the project. This is all spelled out in the Wilson Yard budget under sources and is specified as “property rights sale”. In the agreement between QALICB and Target there doesn’t appear to be any contractual mandate to build a Target store by any specified date. Again this sign is only recognizing the sources of financing period.

    For whatever reason someone (wonder who) decided to highlight the Target logo over all others. Why they didn’t promote the Bank of America logo or blow-up the Chase logo is quite a mystery - as Andy Rooney would say “they’re quite nice logos and would look very attractive enlarged.”

  37. **I emailed Target guest relations yesterday about the sign at WY. Check out the reply I received this AM**

    Dear Customer,

    We're excited to hear you want a Target store in your community. Interest from Target guests like you is a major factor we consider when we decide to build a new store.

    As you might imagine, a lot of time and work goes into determining where and when to build a Target store. There's involvement by people in the private and government areas and it may take months or even years to build a store. Sometimes Target is mentioned as an example of a possible store anchor for a project by a developer or city. I don’t have any information about a store in the area/location/construction site you mentioned.

    Have more questions about Target stores, products or services? Write back, call us at (800) 440-0680, or visit us online at Either way, we'll do our best to help you!

    Thanks for your interest in Target. We'll keep looking for more ways to serve you.


    Target Guest Relations

  38. Again this sign is only recognizing the sources of financing period.

    Awesome post.

    (don't be surprised if Hugh sends you flowers)

  39. Make’s you wonder - if Target is really coming - then why is Helsten and Co. spending so much time and energy deceiving the community with their phoney signs and ripped off logo.

  40. Helen and Co need to put on a good face when the FWY suit goes to court.

    Smoke and mirrors to protect their coveted subsidized housing boondoggle.

  41. ...Just like the movie theaters
    ...just like the market rate housing
    ...just like the 5 other developers for Wilson Yard...
    ...just like the rehabbed Wilson El Station
    ...just like the promise for a vibrant and cohesive retail development
    ...this too shall pass.

    Shiller never planned to build anything other than the failed model of subsidized housing at Wilson Yard and pay for it with
    $52 million of your tax dollars.

    In 20 years, when they tear down the Wilson Yard slum, that will be her memorial.

  42. Wonder when they will change the name to Helen Shiller Homes?

    Wonder how much money Holsten kicked back to her and Brendon.

    Only one reason to do the things she has done is for financial gain at the expense the Citizens of Chicago.

    After all this is Crook County.

  43. Did somebody say copyright?

    First of all... copyright, registered copyright, trademark, and registered trademark are four separate things. Copyright law automatically applies to any original work -- as soon as they are created. A copyrighted work cannot be reproduced without permission, or unless it has fallen into the public domain (except in certain specific circumstances). A trademark is a "mark" (logo, slogan, etc.) that identifies an entity involved in trade. It is not necessarily (in fact, usually is not) protected by copyright law (which does not cover words, phrases, common ideas, etc.) Once it has been used in trade, that mark, or a similar mark (similar enough to create confusion) can be used only if it does not cause misrepresentation of the trademark's owner. There are plenty of legal circumstances where a trademark can be used without the owner's permission.

    The act of registering a copyright or trademark means that the government has a record of that intellectual property on file. It doesn't necessarily give any additional legal protection, but if the work is illegally reproduced, it will be easier to prove ownership.

    Copyrighted work is copyrighted regardless of whether or not the copyright symbol appears next to it. A trademark is a trademark as long as it is used in trade, regardless of whether or not the trademark or registered trademark symbol appears next to it.

    Target does not (and does not need to) place the registered trademark symbol next to their trademark in order for it to be valid (i.e. you will not see it next to their logo on their store signs, AFAIK).

    So, what does this sign itself tell us about its legal status? Zip squat.