Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Target From The Train

The Wilson Yard site as seen yesterday afternoon from the red line.


  1. It has just sprung up over the last few days. Maybe it'll be open by May of 2010?

  2. I still don't believe they are building a Target. What proof is there?

    Where's the letter of intent?

    They are building something.

    How do we know it's a Target and not a Target Practice Range for seniors using Winchester rifles that uses live cats as targets, or a Bell Helicopter repair facility for helicopters fly backward underwater, or the world's largest sperm bank or a Sham Wow! media center or a detention facility where evil, vile, live teenage terrorists who hate America from Guantanamo will be placed by reactionary forces inside the government so they can escape, blend in easily with the local population and give an excuse for a governmental crackdown on our everyday freedoms? Maybe that's already happened...but it's still a possibility.

    I'm keeping my eye on the place.

  3. What they are building is a retail space built large enough for a discount store like Target.

    Target will not confirm they are indeed coming because they have not yet signed anything concrete.

    I am sure they will end up getting a rent and taxes free for 100 years just to entice Target to actually come there.

    It's pretty easy to build something on speck when it's guaranteed by TIFS and the City of Chicago. Remember the City of Chicago can't stop payment to Holsten.

  4. I might add Walsh wants to get it done as quick as possible so they can go build the Olympic Village where Michael Reece was.

    That will be the next big TIF funded development.

  5. lol Stu, you crack me up. Although the visual image of a Winchester sponsored, senior citizen firing range full of cats conjured up a mental image worthy of The Far Side, you are correct.. an actual Target store would be better.

    I'm excited for the Target store though.. aaaaannd, *queue the cynics*

  6. For the millionth time, the Target is going in and is not the problem. or the thing we need to keep our eye on.

    It's the housing project that is going to need vigilance to make sure it employs proper screening, maintenance and security.

    Also, the other retail spaces are important to monitor. Will they be more tattoo parlors, thrifts. bodegas and currency exchanges? Or will they be establishments that encourage foot traffic and economic growth?

  7. seriously, and this development is an eyesore thus far. yuck.

  8. Sunnyside show me proof Target is going in?

    Do you have any correspondence from Target stating they are opening a store there?

    I am just saying this all could be resolved by showing us owners, yes the tax payers of Chicago the documents that prove Target is coming.

    We have a right to know, it's our tax money.

  9. Supposedly, the retail that is going to ring the Target will be a nail salon, a video game store, and a Subway. There may be something else, but I've since forgotten.

    I'm concerned with the viability of this type of retail, actually. Will it be a high end nail salon which can generate decent tax revenue, or some pet project of Helen's steeped in some level of dependency financing?

    The game store, by nature of the industry and retail trends, will more than likely be shuttered within two years.

    When you can now buy video games online, through the game consoles - there's no reason to go to a store to buy, and nothing that can be exchanged or sold.

    The only decent bit of anything related to WY is the Target - everything else is an inevitable disaster.

    I'd highly doubt Target would allow for their logo to wrap the development if they weren't on board.

    I do think that there's something hiding in this mythical letter of intent that we've been told exists and yet hasn't been released to the public.

    Based on the fact that Helen doesn't want to show it, I think it safe to assume that there is something either embarrassing, or politically dangerous to her.

  10. Is roast pork on the menu?

    Perhaps I could use photoshop and combine a photo of Mayor Daley and an oinker.

  11. HMMMM,

    methinks my last comment was meant for the FWY barbecue thread.

    I blame my addiction to alcohol and deteriorating eyesight.

  12. I assume Target is coming.

    This almost reminds me of the "birther" controversy regarding President Obama.

    Sure, I'd like to see the contract between the various parties, but I'm merely a taxpayer. I don't count.

    Expect to see St. Helen riding a horse down Broadway when the Target opens.

    Like Paul Revere: The Target is Coming............etc etc etc

  13. R: Here is a link for you to an October 29, 2008 Article in the Sun Times:


    "Uptown residents who have waited years for progress at the Wilson Yard development site are finally getting good news. Target Corp. is officially in the deal and plans a new, 180,000-square-foot store on two levels by the fall of 2010.

    Target closed on the purchase of property in Wilson Yard, acquiring it from the site's developer, Holsten Real Estate Development Corp. Terms were not disclosed."

    Target's coming.

  14. Just wanted to chime in- I've called and emailed Target Corporate HQ in Minnesota (posted numbers and addy here before) and they STILL have no knowledge of a store going in this location..at least that is what I've been told when I've contacted them.

    Also- I wonder how long they will stay (assuming they actually do move in) when all of their stock gets stolen, or the crack heads start roaming the store during the day? The "Public Housing" that is going in may drive them off. When the corporate Target people were here 3 years ago looking at the area they refused to get out of their car!

  15. Target Corporate HQ-
    (612) 304-6073

  16. From what I understand, calling Target's headquarters will not generate any answers. A Target rep is not going to confirm a new business venture over the phone. It does really suck though that taxpayers are not being shown the letter of intent. We obviously know Helen's word is worthless, but I believe Target is coming, and that letter has something in it that she doesn't want the public to see.

    If they are coming, Target better have one hell of a security force. They're dealing with underground parking (in this hood - that means shelter for the homeless), crime (people have been shot and killed less than a half a block away), and housing right smack against it with questionable management techniques (will there be stringent background screening or drug testing?). These 3 "cons" would have made me walk (if I was a Target big-wig), and frankly meeting Helen once would have killed the deal, but that's why that letter has to have some kind of stipulations in it that are being deliberately hid.

    Either that or Helen/Holsten are guilty of trademark infringement. Who the hell knows anymore with this ward....

  17. I want to see an official press release from Target.

    If Target is coming why would they be so secretive about it? That's not good PR.

    You might say because of the BigBox controversy but hey Target is already in the City.

    That is the problem with the press people believe everything they read. All I know is when I contacted Target they had no knowledge of a store going there.

    I think they probably know what stores they are building/opening/leasing, don't you?

    Don't you think at this point it would also make sense for Peter and Helen to show an official letter of intent since they are being sued? Wouldn't that be good PR and help their case in court as well as with the residents that are concerned it isn't what Helen said it was going to be?

    Did Target Corp the one traded publicly close on the property from Holsten or did it just transfer to another shell corporation with the name Target in it? That really isn't affiliated with the publicly traded Target Corporation?

    Developers use the LLC shell game all the time to mitigate liability.

    If the WY lawsuit is successful you can bet there will be a lot motions and discovery proven that that is what happen. The ownership really didn't change it was just used to hide who really owns the properties and liability from lawsuits.

    These developers that never use any of their own money are masters at it.

  18. Target is likely coming. There is no guarantee.

    The place to check is with the principals at Mid-America Asset Management Inc, which represented Holsten in the deal, and the principal at Gershman Brown Crowley Inc., which represented Target.

    Mid-America people are Richard Spinell and Paul Bryant. Gershman is Adrian Brown.

    Target Corporate Communications won't have the current data to comment on this store. They won't say it is going in. They likely will say they have no knowledge of the store.

    Call Mid-Am and Gershman and request the full details of the deal. You can ask Holsten and Target for this information as well. All the parties can just ignore you. Shiller wouldn't have it any other way.

    Super tons of fun points if you get Paul Bryant to talk. He's a Shiller contributor that donated AFTER this deal was brokered. And super tons of fun take 2, he's a Burke booster.

    One last thing, you can also try to reach Cari Brokamp of GlobeSt.com. She appears to have good sources at Mid-America Asset Management. Maybe she's seen the contracts and not just taking a single source word to cover herself.

  19. The viability of Target and the surrounding retail space doesn't depend on Target - that's the good news; it depends on the safety of the 2-block radius, including the clean-up of the Crustiest El Station in town.

  20. Here's one Globest.com report from Cari Brokamp that mentions retail lease pricing.

    "Asking lease rates for the 20,000 sf of retail remaining will be in the low-$40s per sf, net, Spinell says."

    In the UU wayback machine, you can see in this post what Hugh has to say about the property transfers between LLCs on paper as well as what Hal Shipman writes he's seen with his own eyes, Target in the planning process for digital signage.

    None of this is any skin off Target's back at this point. Until you can get more details on the exact deals Target signed with Holsten we really won't know how much Target really has at risk other than a belt surrounding the expanding waist of WY.

  21. Nobody is going to talk because it isn't done deal.

    If Target is really in the mix don't you think Holsten could go to them and say you know I really need you guys to issue an official release of some kind?

    Of course he could, he is a seasoned developer.

    Target could even make a comment we are very interested in that site and continue to work with the Holsten Group and will make an official announcement by such and such a date.

    Folks, I am sure they are marketing to other retailers telling them hey if you don't lease Target is about ready to sign or to smaller retailers saying Target is coming you should lease the smaller spaces.

    Developers play this game all the time.

    It's a typical dog and pony show.

    Also if you look at Walsh Construction site it lists Holsten as the owner of the site where the proposed store is going not Target. The other Target Stores they have built list Target as the owner.

  22. Target closed on the purchase of property in Wilson Yard, acquiring it from the site's developer, Holsten Real Estate Development Corp. Terms were not disclosed."

    This bit still doesn't sit right with me.

    I'm sure selling to Holsten, then Holsten to Target was done for a reason - considering that no other entity would want a massive parcel of land like this (*cough*); but, I still think the city got rooked.


  23. Funny how Ald. Shiller, who bills herself as believing in TIF transparency, absolutely refuses to show the alleged letter of intent. What's IN that thing? Does it even exist? It's turned into the smoking gun. Helen -- release it if you want the questions to stop. Just saying "trust me on this" doesn't work any more.

  24. R. I understand your skepticism, but lets be clear - Holsten is NOT a seasoned developer on a project with this grand of scale. This is also his first retail building.

    Holsten's development experience is low income housing. Period.

  25. Target is coming. I have friends up at corporate in Minneapolis, and I've been asking them to check their official store opening list for a few months now. Just this week I got an e-mail from them -- it's on the books slated for July 2010. To be honest, I have no problem with Target coming, in fact I LOVE Target. I'm more concerned with the low-income housing development and think that's where the FWY funds should be focused.

  26. I happen to believe the Target is coming. Take a walk by Wilson Yard and then find the Target "birth certificate".

    I can't explain the secrecy surrounding this emanating from the offices of our beloved Alderwoman Helen Shiller, the city, or Peter Holsten.

    Something is getting built there and is clearly a retail or warehouse building. Since warehouse isn't in the plans my 5th grade education makes me think retail.

    Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

    The only way to find out what happened with this is to hope the Fix Wilson Yard lawsuit continues. Something clearly stinks in the State of Denmark(46th Ward).

    The idea that Holsten would start building a retail building without a "done deal" is hard to believe. The man placed a lien on his house to get earlier parts of this deal through and I have to suspect he isn't in business to lose money.

    Maybe Target won't open. Maybe Obama was born in Kenya. Maybe I'm drunk. Ok, I am drunk.

    Anyway, sometimes the simplest answer is the best answer. Methinks the Target is coming. The answers behind the deal may be years away.

  27. I am just saying prove it.

    I think everyone in the USA should ask for proof and question our elected officials more.

    Seems like there are not a lot of independent thinkers anymore.

  28. Just face it, target will be in this location. Why are you guys still being in denial?

  29. People,

    Even UU says it is a Target. Didn't you see the name of the post? "Target from the Train." If UU says it, it must be true!

  30. "Why are you guys still being in denial?"

    Why won't Helen produce the letter of intent to prove it?

  31. All you really want is to prove she (Helen)is somehow lying. It sounds like a "birther" arguement. "why won't Obama supply a birth certificate?" No offense TSN, but you are beating a dead horse...

    I mean, who cares about the letter?

    Find another battle I say...

  32. TSN,

    perhaps we should say "please" before we ask for proof.

    Dear Helen,

    I believe Target is coming.

    Will you PLEASE provide some proof.

    Thank you,




    Pretty please

  33. Jason - Helen *is* a liar. Let me count the ways...

    "These 75 letters from the community are all in support of Labor Ready."

    "There'll be a Crate & Barrel at Wilson Yard."

    "There'll be mixed-income housing at Wilson Yard."

    "There'll be a movie theatre at Wilson Yard -- in fact, the financing won't work without a theatre."

    "I am firmly against tearing down the Victorian home on Beacon."

    "I'm giving $350K from the WYTIF to Uplift School for their cafeteria."

    "There's going to be soccer fields, basketball courts, and a skating rink in this park that I'm giving to the Cubs for parking instead of to the community."

    So, Jason, I have to wonder when she says she has a letter of intent, and has had it for YEARS, but she says it's none of our business what it says. None of our business.

    Yeah, that's the way to build trust. Target may very well be coming. I'll be surprised if it doesn't. But -- I'm past the point where I believe one word out of Helen's mouth without something to back it up. That letter of intent, if it makes her honest and truthful -- where is it?

  34. TSN,

    the alderman can't possible worry about every individual request. Things happen, and things change.
    Decisions have to be made.

    Don't get the wrong idea, I don't defend politicians, but it is pretty obvious that the Target is coming. Lets Move on.

    Love you!

  35. Was I just defending the alderman? Sorry, someone please check my temperature. I also spent an hour today having cocktails at Clfton and Wilson...

  36. TSN, just wondering, were you actually there when she said these things?

  37. I am sure Target is going in otherwise they would have made Ald. Shiller and Holsten take the signs down. They are obviously aware that they are there based on all the calls and emails they have received from Uptown citizens.

    If Target does not go in, then I am sure the building will be turned into a free range chicken and cattle ranch (to go along with the fish farm) to employ 6 homeless people and educate the public about agriculture and its place in our progressive green community that is leading the way in change and is an example all cities should follow for success.

    We need to focus on the housing going in and Shiller wanting even more TIF money.

    What business will stay in the retail spaces if the housing above and around them deteriorates and houses criminal activty (no I am not saying all low income people are criminals). Shiller is instituting low income housing plan that has been proven to fail here in Chicago and all over the country. Want to see what will happen to Wilson Yard? Go see what remains of Cabrini Green and other large tracks of low, very low, and extremely low income housing.

    Shiller is hell bent on making sure Uptown does not become like Lincoln Park, Lakeview, or even Andersonville. She wants Uptown to be the north side slums/ghetto.

    I understand low income residents need reasonable housing but it needs to be mixed in with different income levels as well. She needs to look to other large cities that have reformed public housing for the better for an example of true mixed housing.

    If Chicago wins the Olympic bid, look out, all low income and homeless will be pushed into Uptown to contain them and keep them out of the Olympic venue areas especially if Shiller is (God forbid) still Alderman.

  38. "TSN, just wondering, were you actually there when she said these things?"

    I saw her lie in front of the ZBA while waving the letters in the air. I saw her at the aldermanic debate promise a Crate & Barrel. I was at the Task Force meeting when she claimed the $350K was going to from the TIF to Uplift (which was contradicted the next day by Rep. Harris). The rest were said on her website and by her spokesman (Maggie). Don't believe me if you want, or you can do the research in your law library on Lexis/Nexis. Don't make any difference to me.

    All I'm saying is, when she talks, I don't believe it unless I see proof that what she's saying is the truth. And the fact that she's saying "trust me" that Target is coming... yet won't produce a letter of intent that she claims she's had for years ... makes me very skeptical indeed. NOT that Target is coming - I said I'd be very surprised if it isn't - but what the heck is in that letter of intent that she reallllly doesn't want anyone to see? Why isn't she jumping up and down, waving it in the air like her "Pride and Justice" banner or her 75 letters, and going "neener neener neener I told you so!"?

  39. I can speak from some experience myself. Many of you recall the 2007 aldermanic debate when Ald. Shiller and I were told of a requirement that there would be no video taping of the event for our campaign websites. This statement was a repeat of a document that Ald. Shiller and I had signed a week earlier before the debate. Soon afterwards, snippets of the debate appeared on her campaign website, thus giving the League of Women Voters no choice but to speak up for the first time in their history to openly chastise an incumbent for not following the rules of an event sponsored by their organization. Even when repeatedly asked to take it down. Ald. Shiller continued to refuse to carry out the promise she had made earlier.

    We learn as children that real character is developed when we find ourselves struggling with making the right decision during difficult circumstances. When it's done over and over again, genuine integrity becomes a part of our character. Integrity doesn't develop overnight... it's a slow process.

    It's not honest to deny the public a copy of Target's letter of intention while still claiming to seek transparency. After the Channel 11 debate when the sound was fading for TV viewers and we were getting up from our seats but still talking, I remember remarking to Elizabeth Brackett that the community was not allowed a copy of this letter of intention because developer Peter Holsten said it should remain confidential. I distinctly remember Ald. Shiller agreeing about the need to keep this letter away from the public. She didn't give a reason for her response but she kept talking, not giving Elizabeth Brackett the chance to ask why the need for secrecy.

  40. "Target will not confirm they are indeed coming because they have not yet signed anything concrete."

    Target has singed an operating agreement with Holsten.

    Target-Holsten Operating Agreement

  41. I hate to admit it, but it's brilliant spinning on Shiller's part - not revealing the letter.

    Look how much attention and energy is diverted to this red herring! All this idle blogging (seriously - if you're not part of the solution you're part of the problem) is a distraction away from the real issues of the housing project. She's probably gigging over this thread knowing that no ones watching the other half of the lot.

    Priorities. Not conspiracies.

    There is no way Target would risk the PR nightmare of advertising an opening and not having one. Target is going in.

    There is no big box problems. I'm not excited about traffic congestion, but this is the retail kickstart the rows and rows of empty shops on broadway and wilson need.

    As for security, this isn't the only "developing" neighborhood Target has come into. As brand stewards, I am sure they will do what they can to keep it up to snuff.

    The rest is on us people. You want progress in the neighborhood? This is it. You want changes in the neighborhood, blogging is just step one. Get involved.

    I'm sick of these threads.

  42. lets say for the sake of argument, we got the letter today. Then what?

  43. Holsten probably got the banners from other projects Walsh has built for Target.

    I doubt Target minds the free billboard advertising.

    My theory and it is just a theory is Target is not a definite owner/tenant/anchor of the retail.

    Target is waiting for Holsten to sweeten the deal and basically have to give them the retail space for nothing in order to get Target there.

    That is just one theory.

    There could also be something in the letter Shiller has that says it can't be all no income hosing or also Target won't come unless demand in the contract a, b, c, d etc are met.

    My theory is Holsten/Shiller and the City have not met all the demands/criteria yet and that is why Target will not officially announce it.

    Ask yourself why a big company like Target won't be willing to official announce they are coming through their corporate communications dept?

    Note: WalMart even announces when they want to come in. And then once the deal is done give an official opening date.

    Something just isn't right about this Target thing and them not saying officially they are coming.

    It also could have to do with Shiller wanting to use more TIF funds for those other properties.

    Target may have a criteria that the neighborhood needs to be cleaned up and all abandoned buildings gone. That might be in that letter she doesn't want you to see hence it isn't official.

    I am sure in Target Development contracts they have certain community standards for the area they come to and I highly doubt Uptown meets them.

    Go look at the other urban stores they have built and compare the hoods.

    I am just saying something isn't right here.

  44. A limited liability company subsidiary of Target purchased the store from Holsten for $6.675M last October.

    See Cook County Recorder of Deeds document number 0829440161.

    Target Wilson Yards Development I, LLC transferred title to Target Wilson Yard QALICB, LLC

    See also Land records, HMMM

  45. Good Target is coming!!!!

    They own the land, can't wait until they open.

  46. "Good Target is coming!!!! They own the land..."

    Target could sell

    Target has very little of their own money tied up in the project so far

  47. "Target is waiting for Holsten to sweeten the deal and basically have to give them the retail space for nothing..."

    already done

    when you add up the local, state, and federal subsidies for the big box portion of WY, Target is getting a big box store basically for nothing (of theirs)

  48. "Here's one Globest.com report from Cari Brokamp that mentions retail lease pricing...Asking lease rates..."

    Target is not leasing the big box store, they purchased it, which was the plan from day 1: an innovative public/private smart growth ratta ratta partnership in which the public builds a big box store and sells it to fund public housing.

  49. She's probably gigging over this thread knowing that no ones watching the other half of the lot.

    I can guarantee you that she isn't giggling over the FWY lawsuit.

    This thread is a venting thread. Nothing more, and that's fine.

    What happens were she to reveal the letter of intent? Who knows. Depends on what's in it.

    As always, it all comes down to a matter of trust.

    Helen's refusal to reveal the contents of the letter is simply an extension of every other reason that her word cannot be trusted.

    It's symbolic of her hypocrisy.

  50. "Why wont Helen produce the letter of intent to prove it?"

    ~Because she's much better at this game then you give her credit for, look at you all. Arguing over this ghost letter of intent takes your focus away from the housing side and places it on the retail side ! Every good magician is a master distracter.

    Targets not the problem stop losing focus