Thursday, April 9, 2009

Suellen Refinances Peter: From One TIF Hog To Another‏

A reader sent this in to us:

Who dat sez there's a credit crunch? Great news for stressed Uptown homeowners! We're seeing some indications that credit may be becoming more available from Uptown banks - at least for homes in Hinsdale - and at least if you're a member of the TIF Insider Mutual Credit Union.

Regular Uptown Update readers know that October, 2008 was a bonanza for the Wilson Yard project and the ongoing saga of Uptown's long-promised Target.

1. With no public process, the City of Chicago unilaterally waived key accountability clauses in the redevelopment agreement between taxpayers and Holsten. ("City makes change to spur financing for Wilson Yard", Thomas A. Corfman, Crain’s, Oct. 13, 2008)

2. Target Wilson Yard QALICB LLC, the local front company Target, one of our country's most successful companies, with $45B in assets and $645M in net income last year, set up to qualify for federal tax credits as a "low income community business," finally secured a package of $10M in federal income tax subsidies through the US Treasury's "Qualified Active Low Income Community Businesses" (QALICB) via Enterprise Community Investments Inc. ("Wilson Yard developer lands financing for Uptown project", by Andrew Schroedter, Crain’s, Oct. 24, 2008).

But less well reported was that October, 2008, was a bonanza for Peter Holsten personally, as well! In the early days of trying to arrange financing for his project at Wilson Yard, Holsten put up his home, a $1M+ 4 1/2 bath 3400 square foot home with full basement on a 1/3 acre corner lot at 114 E 5th Avenue (PIN 09-12-223-003) in Hinsdale in Downers Grove Township in DuPage County (see DuPage County Recorder of Deeds document numbers R2004-324751 and R2005-205729). On October 1, 2008, Holsten freed himself from personal liability, releasing the Wilson Yards project's liens on his home by closing on a $1.5M home mortgage from Uptown's Bridgeview Bank, formerly the Uptown National Bank (see DuPage County Recorder of Deeds document number R2008-170404).

When Suellen Long, President of Bridgeview Bank, agrees to finance Holsten's private residence, of course you understand, it's a little mutual back-scratching between TIF beneficiaries. Long is a Major PLAYA - she has successfully executed the rarely-attempted double play of corporate welfare in Chicago: she has her very own SSA AND her very own TIF project, making her one of the most individually distinguished pigs at the trough in Chicago.

1. Suellen's SSA: Long is the Chairman of the board of directors of Uptown United, formerly UPCORP, formerly Uptown Community Development Corporation, as well as Uptown United's landlord. As a delegate agency of the City of Chicago, Uptown United is almost entirely funded through City contracts, most notably as the "sole service provider" for the north side's largest special service area (SSA) taxation district, SSA #34. Long's husband "Chip" is an SSA commissioner.

2. Suellen's TIF project: Suellen and Chip own the building on Bryn Mawr, rehabbed with a "fast-track" approval $620,435.00 public subsidy from the Bryn Mawr-Broadway TIF, that now houses the Flourish bakery (see Journal p. 60749 pdf p. 22) and the Blink/Echo day spa (see Journal p. 47270 pdf p. 346) next door.

Now you might think that the last person who would need a public taxpayer subsidy to build out their commercial rental property for new tenants might be the President of one of our most successful neighborhood banks, but if you did, that would just show how little imagination you have about what is possible in our home town thanks to The Miracle of TIFs!

Bridgeview Bank is also at the Wilson Yard trough. Bridgeview earns fees from taxpayers for their role in originating the City loans (see Journal p. 588 PDF p. 491), paid back out of the Wilson Yard TIF, that finance Holsten's Wilson Yard project.

It's GOOD to be a Chicago TIF hog!


  1. I just puked in my mouth, a little.

  2. And Suellen's response to learning this was placed in Uptown Update: "Oh my God!"

    Ditto Peter's response. Ditto Helen's response.

    Now Helen, could you please explain again why the City Inspector General should stay out of the affairs of City Council?

  3. Whoever found this made a good catch.

    I guess pissing people off with that subpoena the bloggers business is really working out well for Mr. Holsten.

  4. You just gotta figure Shiller and Holsten and their feeding at the taxpayer trough buddies REALLY hate the internet.

    I wonder if any of the Mayor's relatives have their hands in the Wilson Yard cookie jar. His son Patrick, better known as Fredo to his Mt Carmel High School contemporaries, has been back from his glorious Army stint for a few months now. Since he and his first cousin Vanecko's partial ownership of a company doing sewer work for the city was disclosed a few years back I imagine daddy will have to be more discreet in finding lucrative opportunities for Patrick in the future.

    Perhaps Patrick Daley can put his MBA to use and act as a "consultant" for various developers and contractors.

    With Chicago having a good chance of getting the Olympics the Daley's must be salivating like me at a crack whore/Guinness convention. So much legal and consulting work to be done. So many opportunities for cash to be made.

  5. I bank at Bridgeview. Have since I moved to this god-forsaken hell hole of a city in 2000. Looks like I'll be taking my pennies elsewhere. Hopefully any readers of UU will do the same. And if you do, might I suggest you contact Jerry S Kochowicz, the branch manager, directly and let him know why you are closing your accounts. His e-mail is:
    his telephone number is:

    Maybe even e-mail him the link to UU so he knows the neighborhood knows. When I spoke with him two months ago he was very interested in getting to know the neighbors and what they thought. Now's as good a time as any.

  6. Bridgeview Bank
    Suellen Long, President

    $500.00 6/11/07 to Citizens for Shiller
    $25,000.00 3/15/07 loan to Shiller
    $1,000.00 2/12/07 to Citizens for Shiller
    $500.00 6/15/05 to Citizens for Shiller

    4800 N Broadway LLC

    $300.00 2/9/07 to Citizens for Shiller

    The Longs own the NW corner of Lawrence & Broadway, wrapped around by the Uptown Theater to the north & west, in the Lawrence/Broadway TIF:

    4800-4812 N Broadway, PIN 14-08-320-012

    1200-1212 W Lawrence, PIN 14-08-320-014

  7. It's a good thing the TIF cartographer made sure Bridgeview Bank wasn't included in the Wilson Yard TIF.

    This is of course an outrageous conflict of interest.

  8. Wait? Which building on Bryn Mawr does she own?

  9. I closed my account with Bridgeview today, after nine years of banking with them. I made sure they knew the reason for my leaving this bank was because of the unethical practices they enjoy engaging in. Jerry Kichowicz, Uptown's branch manager at this specified location, told me personally that Bridgeview does not do residential mortgages. In this report we see differently. I also instructed Joe, the very nice receptionist, to give Jerry the copy of this posting I printed out for him. Also, in my comment yesterday I gave you Jerry's contact information so we could all express our disappointment with Bridgeview's actions.

  10. Suellen and Chip Long own 1134-36 W. BRYN MAWR LLC which owns 1134-36 W. BRYN MAWR PIN 14-05-408-031, they are the landlords of Salon Echo 1134 W Bryn Mawr and Flourish Bakery Cafe 1138 W Bryn Mawr, on the N side of street E of Broadway and W of the EL

  11. Suellen and Chip Long are also the landlords of the Green Mill, Crew, and the Wild Pug.

  12. Once again, a big thanks to UU for following the money trail that links the corruption and abuse of property taxpayers money flowing into the developers' pocketbooks who pander to our politicians.

    Don't forget another fat feeder at the Wilson Yard TIF Hog Trough, Alderman Burke. Burke chairs the powerful Finance Committee that rushed through the 3rd questionable Wilson Yard amended change freeing Holsten of any financial responsibility.

    Burke's law firm represents both Holsten and Walsh Construction. So his clients got millions of $$...and his law firm collects SWEET!