Thursday, August 13, 2009

WY Developer Now Battles Housing Slump

By Andrew Schroedter
(Crain’s) — Even as developer Peter Holsten pushes ahead on the controversial Wilson Yard affordable-housing/retail project, on track after lengthy delays, the housing slump is dogging his efforts to sell out a mixed-income residential project on the former Cabrini-Green site. Continue Reading


  1. Holsten:

    “I haven’t figured out how to get people to be more open-minded.”

    Hm. I'd recommend that you stop trying to force tax payers to foot the bill for housing projects which have proven not to be effective, and didn't garner much community acceptance.

    And, you could stop lying to people.

    That might help.


    The controversial project, scheduled to be completed next summer, has had to surmount numerous hurdles including the cancellation of the project’s market rate housing, trouble getting financing and a lawsuit challenging the $52 million that Mr. Holsten received in tax increment financing. A Cook County judge dismissed the suit in May.

    Yes - about the cancellation of the market rate housing. A little more detail on that, if you don't mind.

    And, what problems has he had getting financing?

    It's obviously not terribly difficult to get tax money when you contribute to an alderman who ignores the will of the people and does what she wants, is it?

    Doesn't seem so.

    And no mention that the FWY lawsuit is still ongoing?

    What a load of tripe. Still, it's a real estate rag; by real estate rags, for real estate rags.

  2. "The controversial project (WY), scheduled to be completed next summer, has had to surmount numerous hurdles including the cancellation of the project’s market rate housing, ......"

    Who "cancelled" the market rate housing? Helen, care to answer this for us?

  3. "Mr. Holsten maintains a classic developer optimism about mixed-income communities.

    “I still believe in the idea,” he says. “I haven’t figured out how to get people to be more open-minded.”

    Peter - the citizens in Uptown were also open-minded about a MIXED-INCOME community at Wilson Yard. Since WY is now clearly NOT mixed income, you should understand why there is a lawsuit filed, right?!?

  4. Seems point of the article is that development of market rate housing is being halted due to lack of demand\unsold supply. If Wilson Yard had included mixed income\market rate units, would the units have ever sold? There seems to be plenty of unsold condo units in Uptown, so is there really a demand or need for more?

  5. I suggest writing the writer of this article and illuminate him on the idea of doing some additional research, i.e. the updated lawsuit that was refiled..

  6. Sean, here's a better idea: make it mixed-income rental if it can't be sold but by all means, use the same standards for affordable housing as is used throughout the rest of the country. Just because this is Uptown doesn't mean we should be accepting of low standards for housing. It's insulting to all of us, the poor included.

  7. Oh, my goodness ... this just keeps getting stinkier and stinkier!

  8. Oh, and don't forget this nose-clipper: the FWY injunction was denied in order to keep construction workers (Daley's fav's, and Helen contributors, Walsh Construction) working during an economic downturn.

    Thanks, judge. Now we've got people working to build something that may sit empty for while.


  9. "and still needs to lease up about 66% of the 25,000 square feet of retail space."

    Tick-Tock. Tick-Tock.

    It's a good thing he had such a high wall to climb to tap into his own home courtesy of Bridgeview Bank. Oh, that's right, it's hard out there for a developer linked into a TIF in the same bank's backyard.

    Anyway, Peter is slashing the prices of his Parkside in Old Town development. The prices are now lower than the costs to build the new units at Wilson Yard.

    Thanks for keeping the trust community bankers. Awesome job.

    Stop lying. Stop dodging. Face the music. Confess to your peers. Reconciliation is right around the corner if you want to pursue it.

    Let's make a deal. Don't make me have to spend money on lawyers I'd rather spend on tattoos and Eggs Benedict at Cafe Too.

  10. Hey Sean, if you look at the video that was posted I think it would address the question you have of why so many unsold condos are in Uptown! Clean up the trash and the condos will sell!

  11. Sean,

    Wilson Yard was never touted by Shiller or Holsten as having a "condo" component. It was supposed to be a mix of incomes in strictly rental buildings.

    If you consider low to no income a "mix" then it is mixed income.

    In reality it is nothing but low, lower, and lowest income folks.

    "Failed housing model" comes to mind.

    What's next a fish farm?


  12. Funny that he can talk about money issues when the TIF is going to be almost doubled to help pay for all his cost overruns? How much of the newest TIF money is going to pay for all that overtime back in December and January? Cost of each apartment in the end will be even higher. Not that anyone will share that info with the tax paying public.

  13. All I can Mr. Holten karma is a bitch and it's coming back to get you for your thievery of public funds.

    Yes capitalism lives on and kills his business.

    Because when you over tax people to fund these lousy projects everyone loses.

    Guess he should have taken some classes in supply vs. demand.

    52 million would have bought a lot of housing in Uptown already built.

  14. Anyone else notice how old Holsten looks in the Crain's photo?

    He has aged rapidly since appearing at the WY meeting in 2004. I guess that's what happens to you when you play with fire - aka, our Alderbeast.

  15. How much of the money he is getting for WY is being diverted to his other projects to shore them up?

    A lot of developers do that take money from project to cover their butt on another one.

    Maybe that is why it cost 400k a unit?

  16. The title is very misleading. It should be "Developer to Reap Millions from Housing Slump". Now he's full steam ahead for taxpayer supported housing (forget that fickle market b.s.) He got a hugh property for a fraction of its worth...sold a portion for essentially what he paid for the entire parcel...the taxpayers put up the capital and pay the interest on the loan...taxpayers pay the rent for the tenants. Yet it's Mr Holsten who gets the wealth. I have to give it to him though...he got a very good return on his investment in our alderman.

    Of course, if I'm mistaken, Helen or Peter are free to show me the error of my ways. I had given them the oppportunity, for two months planned to treat them to dinner. The day before our get together I receive an e-mail from Helen's office cancelling.

  17. Well, that explains a whole lot of crazy:

    " Altogether, he has developed about 5,000 housing units and now employs about 100 people, including his wife, Jackie Taylor Holsten, a former assistant commissioner with the city’s Department of Planning and Development."