Thursday, March 26, 2009

TIFS Are "Throwing Money Into A Giant Hole"

Gaper's Block is taking a long hard look at the Chicago's "culture of TIFs" and guess who's mentioned as the group taking the lead?

From Should Chicagoans Stop Throwing Money into a Giant Hole?

"The situation in Uptown--a northeast Chicago neighborhood--is a case in point. Originally promised mixed income housing, a movie theater, a big box store and street level retail, Uptown residents have watched as 4 of 5 developers have bailed on the project, and the only part moving forward will create 178 units of low income housing. With Wilson Yard's $52 million TIF stash, each unit will cost area taxpayers nearly $300,000.

Sounds pretty posh to me.

The plan for more low income housing is in a neighborhood where the Chicago Housing Authority's own rules prevent it from building more low income housing. Not that rules matter or anything.

Enter Fix Wilson Yard, a grassroots movement of over 2000 Uptown residents shining light on broken promises and wasteful TIF fund spending."

Read the entire article, which includes the FWY revelation that more than two-thirds of our property tax money is going into the Wilson Yard TIF, as well as an update on Ald. Waguespack's Sunshine Ordinance, here. Comments are open.


  1. Publicly the city won't build more low income housing in a section of the city already inundated with it. Privately, however, is a whole other ball of whacks. 'cause what the public don't know won't hurt it. And if it finds out, well, it don't know the half of it and it doesn't have the money to deal with it. That's how much Daley cares about Chicago. Not one single iota.

  2. Where is the mainstream Chicago media?

    They are completely silent on an issue where backroom dealmaking continues in an attempt to direct tax payer dollars around the very limits put in place to prevent areas from an inundation of subsidization.

  3. "Originally promised mixed income housing"

    What MIXED-INCOME? This term seems to be thrown around a lot, but then why does Uptown already have so much low, low low, low low low, no no no, and senior housing?? Plus, every time I read about a new development, it's just more of the same. That is not MIXED at all.

    Mixed income to me would be a mix of low income, senior and yes, even some evil condo dwellers!

    Of course we will never have a diverse and vibrant commercial area in Uptown if it's completely packed with low income housing. And really.... do you think those seniors are going to be out and about spending money in the neighborhood? No way - they will only spend a little bit of money at Aldi or Jewel and that is it.

    Sorry, but it is only the evil condo dwellers who will patronize Magnolia Cafe, Agami,

  4. Sorry, but it is only the evil condo dwellers who will patronize Magnolia Cafe, Agami,
    ...and pay the taxes that make all of the alderman and mayor's lame programs possible!!! From TIFs to Parking, we are being sucked dry!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Where is the mainstream Chicago media?

    What a question!

    The local tv media has demonstrated that they won't touch TIFs with a 10 foot pole.

    My guess is that the Trib doesn't want to go anywhere near TIFs until after the Cubs sale (that parking they get in the 46th is a very valuable thing).

    Considering that the Trib has filed for bankruptcy, I'm sure their concern for the bottom line is affecting what they choose to cover.

    The Sun Times tells me that they've got a story in the works regarding TIFs, but ... well, I'll believe it when I see it.

    Seriously, though - with the dead tree media slowly evaporating and desperate to sell papers, a story like this could easily generate some serious revenue.

    The fact that they don't might make one wonder what sorts of backroom deals they have going.