Monday, June 1, 2009

Lake Effect News: Another TIF For Uptown?


Is Uptown in line for a new TIF district? That’s one of the ideas being tossed around to fulfill a developer’s request for TIF money to redevelop the former Columbus-Maryville Academy campus at 810 W. Montrose Ave.

John Wyman, president of the Clarendon Park Neighborhood Association, shared details of a proposal to carve a new separate TIF district from the existing Wilson Yard TIF District to help fund the private $500 million private development. A $7 million loan would immediately be withdrawn from the new TIF to go toward renovating the Clarendon Park field house. The Wilson Yard TIF District comprises 34 blocks all within the 46th Ward that ends on the west side of Clarendon Avenue.

Wyman said that a working group of residents most directly affected by the proposed Maryville redevelopment has been meeting with developer Sedgwick Properties and Ald. Helen Shiller (46th Ward). Read the rest of the story here.

And another related story is running, too:
On the Record — More on the Maryville Development


  1. Oh, boy. Another group of residents who think the alderman will keep her word THIS TIME. On THEIR project.

    Naive doesn't even begin to describe it.

    When is Ald. Shiller lying? Whenever she talks.

    Hee. Good luck, John Wyman. You poor starry-eyed innocent.

  2. IANAL...What is the earliest a law suit could be brought to stop this? (Avoiding the current problems against FWY.) No matter what is planned this violated the spirit of TIF districts (IMHO).

  3. Boutique hotel... upscale grocer... let's hold out for a Crate & Barrel and movie theatres. Because NOTHING she's promising has a snowball's chance in hell of getting installed anyway. Anyone who believes in this project surely is putting hope over experience.

    If "people" *and I think there's exactly one person who feels this way* think putting a blue light camera at the Clarendon Park fieldhouse will be bad for property values, just wait until another housing project goes in. Shiller Cabrini East.

  4. Alderman Shiller simply cannot be trusted on this issue. Do not believe a word she says.

    The Fix Wilson Yard lawsuit was dismissed because of the statute of limitations. I sincerely hope concerned residents in the Clarendon area take heed and do something now. There likely isn't cause for a lawsuit yet - you probably need to wait for a redevelopment plan for a formal filing! - but it's definitely time for start looking for a lawyer and raising funds to pay them.

  5. The only reason they want TIF money is because they're obligated to set aside 10% of the housing for low income residents.

    So thats 10% of the housing that they'll see no revenue for. Plus, that dramatically reduces the value of the other units.

    So, in the end, the city is helping to stop development in an area, not because of blight, but because of their own rules. Its a whole new TIF argument. Create rules so development can't happen. Then claim that development can only happen if you give people money.

    The corruption involved is absolutely staggering.

  6. LOL....I love when they throw the words Boutique Hotel around....have these IDIOTS who call themselves developers 1) walked around Uptown, there's a reason why a KFC and a Burger King couldn't survive, let alone a "boutique hotel" and 2) IT'S CALLED A TRAFFIC STUDY. 30 and 39 stories....right....

    More crap construction will be thrown up so it can be destroyed within five years by the residents...and yes, it will be destroyed....can't wait to see Wilson Yards fall apart....

    jim o

  7. Guess who was on the WY Task Force, but never went to meetings and never spoke up or out about any of the issues regarding that project.

  8. So is there any piece of property anywhere in Chicago that doesn't qualify for a TIF?

    This piece of development affects the entire ward. I wonder if anyone outside of this block club has any make-believe say in this?

  9. The residents right acroos the street at the 4343 Clarendon condo for sure hope its not true as we all know about the lier Shiller. I hope some was going to be built as the empty building on the park side is starting to become a homeless hang-out and sleeping grounds. It would be nice to have a upscale condo but not on such a large scale as we read about. Many of us are against Shiller and her plans and we will fight it to the end.........

  10. Call me naive, but I think this building has some wonderful, almost Oscar Neimeyer qualities about it (he built Brasilia, in Brazil)

    TIF has become a synonym for 'bad choices' up here.

    Preserved, I think this building has great potential.

  11. Uptown Refugee said: Guess who was on the WY Task Force, but never went to meetings and never spoke up or out about any of the issues regarding that project.I don't know about anyone else, but I'm really bad at guessing blind items. Who?

  12. When/where are these meetings held?

    I live a block-ish north of Maryville and have only heard about this from UU and Lorraine.

    If Wyman wants to experience something "intriguing", CPNA needs to do a little better job of communicating these meetings to every one possibly affected so that we can attend and hear what's happening in our neighborhood.

    Not just the members of one small group of people who weren't elected, and don't comprehensively represent everyone in the area.

    That, and to trade one field house for a massive construction project on this corner, with WY and its corruption, lies and horrid costs, is short sighted and honestly, comes across as a bit naive.

    Traffic from WY is going to be bad enough, adding even more to Montrose is simply ignorant.

    And think about the carbon footprint!

    The only green thinking in this entire scheme has presidential faces on it.

    How 'bout using some of that Wilson Yard TIF $$ for the field house and call it a day?

    I mean, we're footing the bill on so many things we don't want (WY, Truman College's Charity Garage, relocating tattoo parlors), why can't the existing residents of the area get a little love for their dough?

    Oh, that's right, cuz if you are gainfully employed and actually pay property taxes in this city, you're opinion doesn't mean squat.

    Nothing about this rings well, and we should put a stop to it, immediately.

    If Sedgwick cannot afford to build this without public money, then tough sh*t.

    As for Helen ...., for someone who wants to keep this area from gentrifying and destroying the neighborhood; building a couple of 30+ story towers across the street from another seems a bit .. inconsistent.

    Then again, if things need to be reworked in committees, we all need to storm the doors of those meetings and make darn well sure our voices are heard (for a change).

  13. Sedgwick Properties has given Helen $1,300 in campaign contributions (that's been reported anyway). It may be legal, but I don't like it. It's legal corruption.

  14. Why would Shiller ever approve anything that would bring in law abiding, tax paying, working citizens to Uptown. She knows that they will eventually cast a vote against her.

    Now, bringing in people who are completely in her pocket and owe their $400K unit to her (as well as their friends and family who will commit violent crimes and add to Uptown's notorious/dangerous image) is a different story.

    She is an absolute CROOK.

  15. I agree with what many have already said. The plan may not be final but what the developer and Alderman are talking about is not even close to what they want. They will slowly change the plan over the next 12-18 mo. you can count on that.

  16. Sue early and often I say.

    Where do I send my contribution?

  17. "Paris claims the firm needs TIF money to make the project financially feasible in accordance with a city ordinance that requires 10 percent of units in new residential buildings of 10 or more units, to be set aside for affordable housing. One of the residential towers will be rental..."

    Does anybody else see the irony in this? They are setting aside an entire 30+ story tower for rentals, and they are worried about financial feasability? They are obviously keeping it as a long term investment, so what's the big deal if they are getting slightly less rent on the subsidized units.

  18. This is nothing but Wilson Yard Take 2. If anyone believes that this project will be anything more than Helen cramming more low income housing in the area - you're absolutely nuts. Her idea of "rental" housing is low, very low and no income housing.

    And wake up John Wyman! I can't believe you would even consider supporting another TIF in Uptown. Are you only concerned with furthering your real estate career while selling out the community?

  19. Since the Wilson Yard TIF is already 100% no/low income wouldn't the 10% be covered? Is that why the "new" TIF?

    Just say no to TIFs

  20. The only reason they want TIF money is because they're obligated to set aside 10% of the housing for low income residents.No.

    You can set aside 10% to go to CPAN, and the trick is that you set aside the shittiest, least salable units - low floors, views of a brick wall, or whatever. All the units you would never be able to sell for full price and profit on the open market to to CPAN.

  21. Resist the creation of another TIF. Fight it with everything you've got.

    If you care at all about the future of property ownership and how government taxes it to benefit the community as a whole, you need to review the history of Wilson Yard and see the early moves as the checkmates played by the Mayor, the Alderman, and the connected interests in the development.

    Sedgwick is going to play the game perfectly. They'll be shown the moves to make by the masters and owners of the game. They're already using trickle down political economics.

    Lenin couldn't control your house until you opened your door and allowed him entry.

  22. The simple and critical question to ask:

    WHY would Shiller request the boundaries of the Wilson Yard TIF be changed and overlay yet another, new TIF?

    Answer: Because the Wilson Yard TIF has exceeded it's financial
    CAP of $58,000,000 and she can't squeeze one more penny out of it.

    It's time to clean house and replace our political systems with people and processes that work
    to build and create healthy communities based on safe & sound transportation, thriving retail and oh, how family oriented parks and good schools.

  23. I was at a meeting with John Wyman about the dog park that he wants built two blocks from the other dog park at Marine and Lawrence. I wondered if two blocks was to faar for him to walk. Anyway he talked as if him and Shiller good buddies and he could get a meeting with her anytime he wawnted.

  24. I don't understand how 'reworking' the TIF boundaries would allow more taxes to be sucked from the coffers. I mean, isn't that essentially double dipping in the same community pool?

  25. This city is going to go bankrupt someday because of all the corruption surrounding the TIF process. It'll be like California, only smaller and worse.

    We need to get the word out now that the writing is on the wall.

  26. The reason they want a dog park there Ken is to create a little positive loitering in an area frequented by thugs.

    Personally, I gave up on the leaders of the CPNA in 2007. They reminded the residents to vote in the aldermanic elections, but chose not to endorse a candidate.

  27. Pablo:

    I noticed a trend with the block clubs. Well, at least with some of them.

    They confuse the term "non-partisan" with "apolitical". For whatever reason, they are scared out of their minds when it comes to demanding good government and policy from the Alderman, and the fall back excuse is always "but we're non-partisan".

    I think this mindset is at least partially fostered by the Alderman, who plays the victim role so well. She guilts people into letter her run amok.

    You can be a 501(c)3 organization and still demand good government and effective representation. What you can't do is endorse a candidate.

    What other 501(c)3s do when it comes time to go to the polls is create a "voter guide" that lists the issues and the candidates' positions on each, so that the organization's members can be properly "informed".

    CPNA may not even be a 501(c)3. I don't think they have their act together enough to even file the paperwork.

  28. Pablo then they need to find some other way to create positive loitering, because with a dog park two blocks away and the dog beach just one block away its a waste of tax payers money. And I am a dog person. Even put the dog park farther south like Montrose and Claredon

  29. I can think of a lot more taxpayer waste than a dog park. Wilson Yard comes to mind.

    Plus, if this dog park is anything like pup-town in Margate Park, a lot of the upkeep will be paid for and done by the people who actually use the dog park.

    One of the main reasons the CPNA wanted a dog park there was due to the improvements Margate Park saw once their dog park was added.