Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Illegal Move-In

A reader sends a cautionary tale:

I wanted other neighborhood readers to learn of a disturbing occurrence at 950 W Leland that occurred September 13. It appears that squatters and/or non-residents are attempting to "move-in" to empty, unsold units.

At around 10:30PM, a woman, insulated by overflowing bins of childrens' clothing and toys, was sleeping in a hallway outside of an empty condo unit "waiting" for her keys. Police were in the process of having her and her belongings removed. Interestingly, this same woman had been blocking the vestibule of the building earlier in the day with the unpacked and overflowing piles of clothing, toys, etc.

When questioned by a suspicious resident as to whether she was moving in or out, she appeared confused and incohesive, barely able to answer the question, claiming she was moving in to the second floor. The resident responded with the fact that -- the second floor of the building is the parking garage.

Additionally, while there is no concrete evidence (yet) that certain individuals who have taken up residence in the building are squatting, all reasonable signs suggest that indeed, they are... and are letting others into the condo building from the "inside." It's clearly an issue that somehow is being overlooked, or at least that's my humble opinion.

Uptown residents... please be mindful of your surroundings at all times. And if something doesn't seem right, chances are it probably isn't. Fortunately this potential intruder was removed by our responsive police force prior to gaining entry into the unit, which may have subsequently resulted in even greater problems within this otherwise quiet, beautiful new residential building.


  1. As winter is coming around the corner there will a big movement of squatters from the parks by the lake they are living in now. They are already starting to look for a winter home such as a nice empty building. I would call the police ASAP if you see them in a empty building as they will place the surrounding residents in unsafe and unhealthy conditions. I seen a few buildings that had unwanted squatters last winter and they turned the bathtubs and sinks into fire places not to mention logs burning in the toilets too. Be on the watch for activity in vacant buildings and dial 911 for everyones protection......

  2. If you report squatters to the police, they will respond. Our building was relatively unsecured when we moved in because it was being renovated, and we had an ongoing problem with squatters in empty units. We had to call the police quite a few times as the squatters would come right back or move to another unit once the police kicked them out.

  3. Off topic, but do any of the readers of Uptown Update know if there are any sites/blogs like this for Ravenswood/Lincoln Square? I read this site every day because I live just a few blocks away from everything that is mentioned here, but just wondered if there were any for my home 'hood. Any help is appreciated. Thanks!

  4. I live in the building and I received an email from the property manager. He said the lady was in the lobby. New Century Bank that owns all the unsold units was requested to do an frequent walk through of all units that are not sold.

    I have taken it upon myself to walk down all fire escapes inside the building and garages to ensure that there are no individuals lurking in unseen portions of this condo building.

  5. Uh....this was an isolated incident and I can assure you that residents of the building are not letting random people move into to vacant units. I live in the building in question. No one in the building has access to unsold units and the building is quite secure. In addition, most of the residents of the building know each other and would immediately recognize any suspicious people in the building.

  6. Squatting is NOT a problem that is unique to Uptown in 2009, but it IS something we can control by acting as a community and being proactive. KNOW YOUR SURROUNDINGS and neighbors. If something isn't right, report it and follow up. Unfortunately, the economic crisis in the US has not helped in mitigating this problem, but squating is NOT the solution and isn't good for any of us.

  7. http://chicago.timeout.com/articles/museums-culture/78405/positive-loitering

    Anyone else see this in Time Out? Interesting!

  8. Uptownism, join UU's Facebook page. We announced the TimeOut article there last week. There are plenty of other items and reader-submitted stories there as well.