Tuesday, September 8, 2009

LEN: Holsten Says WY Is Waiting For Grandmaw

In an interview last week with the Lake Effect News, Peter Holsten's ready to say "Welcome!" to Grandmaw and Grandpappy at the lovely Wilson Yard housing.

He claims that the housing will be well-supervised mix of $20K, $30K, $40K and $50K incomes. Uh-huh.

Then he expresses a lot of shock that it's a rough market out there for filling retail space. (Has he driven around Uptown and counted the empty storefronts lately? I mean, c'mon.)

As for the retail he does have: Good news! Uptown will be saved by a 3,000sf adult daycare facility, a nail salon, a Subway, a phone store, and a game store.

For THIS, we've paid in excess of $50 million. FIFTY MILLION DOLLARS. For this, Helen's going before the City Council asking for more money to waste on her bizarre ideas of progress and urban planning.

Object as loudly as you can. Read the article. Go to the hearing. Sign the petition. Daycare and nail salons are the best they can come up with?


  1. It's far from "lovely".

    More chincy, inferior grade brick facing all over a weak architectural design.

    And here I thought Chicago was to be famous for its architecture.

  2. Game Stop....Nail Salon...Cricket....sounds about right.

    Game over Helen.

  3. Xsport has a page for upcoming locations. http://www.xsportfitness.com/findagym/upcominggyms.htm

    One is a Wrigleyville location at Clark and Addison(yea right, where would it go?).

    World's Gym is right down the street. It gets pretty awful reviews. http://is.gd/32vOE

  4. One note about Xsport. That upcoming location for Wrigleyville has been there since at least November 2007. It used to say Wrigleyville with no cross streets.

  5. If that building is actually filled with a Panera, Chilli's and XSport fitness, with folks making $40k/year and has regular checks re: overcrowding, etc. I will gladly eat my hat. Actually, I would probably c**p my pants. I don't believe it for a second.

  6. Man, I'm sick of chain stores and restaurants. I avoid them like the plague. Why must we conform to that? Why can't we get something more unique??? Why don't we as tax-paying citizens get a say in what is considered for that space???

    I realize that there's a horrible economic climate for building, let alone filling, this monster of a retail space, but why resort to looking like everything else???

    If a Chili's appears on that scene, you can be sure that I'll never step foot in it.

  7. They must be counting as Target as a draw for better retailers. I hope whoever comes will be able to leave their doors unlocked so patrons can visit their store!
    There hasn't been much success for that on that stretch of Broadway thus far.

  8. Betty, I agree totally. Maybe the tenants can go to the theatre and the Crate and Barrel that were previously promised by the fools Helen and Peter.

  9. I WOULD step foot in Chilis at the Wilson Projects provided it was safe.

  10. Get real. There won't be a Chili's. There won't be an Xsport.

    There'll be adult daycare, a nail salon, and a Subway.

    They promise everything. They deliver the least they can.

  11. Its amazing Helen's boyfriend, Sam Toia - owner of Leona's, won't put a restaurant in Wilson Yard. Then again, even he has to know its a disaster.

  12. I am LOL'ing at Holsten's comment that nobody is expanding now...is that an out for the Target Commitment??

  13. There may be room for the Xsport in a few years.

    I herd a while back that the south side of addison from clark to sheridan got the 'green light' to be developed into several larger multi-use buildings. Typical first floor retail/restaurant spaces with potentially a hotel and condos/apartments.

    However it seems a bit early for new location announcements.

  14. I'mWatchingToo,

    What is so bad about a Chili's and Panera? Clearly we'd rather have local unique places, but I'll take anything that isn't a currency exchange or methadone clinic.

  15. There isn't anything wrong with Chili's or Panera.

    I'd prefer something unique. That's all.

    I wish that Uptown could be able sustain the uniqueness it once had, and that which made it famous.

    Now we're becoming just like so many other areas of Chicago.

  16. I agree wtih I'mWatchingToo.

    Why are the chooses a methadone clinic and local retail space. Retails space should be avialable for people that live in Chicago and better yet UPtown to be entrepaneurs. That benefits the community, not some retail taht benefits CEO X from Chilis who might not have any local interests.

    The reason why coporate retailers are coming in is because they can pay higher rents and taxes to Holstien and the Alderman.

    While tax income is good, it shouldn't come at the expense of local business opportunities.

  17. No matter what type businesses or what type residents will be living in the Wilson Yard Projects, its seems its a done deal and all we can do is live with it no matter how bad we all feel about it....

  18. No matter what goes in there (I think it will be a wig store with "real Human Hair!") Uptowners should support it.
    Just about anything is better than another vacant store front.

  19. How many thriving, vibrant retail corriders cam you name that are anchored by the failed housing model that even HUD didn't approve?

  20. Are those windows bricked in? Ugh.

  21. I would kill for Uptown to be "just like all of the other areas of Chicago", rather than what it is becoming. Bring in the chain retail stores and restaurants to attract more people to the neighborhood. Then, once the retail market is thriving in the area, there will be plenty of other vacant spaces for more boutique stores to come in.

    You've got to start somewhere.

  22. Isn't this just rehashing the article that was previously written months ago in the Chicago Journal and subsequently covered by UU? I'm trying to understand what information is current and what was from Dec 08.


    How much of this is true "news" from the Lake Effect interview? Misspelling of words like "Panara" make me question the source.

  23. What is so bad about a Chili's and Panera?

    Personally speaking I'd shy away from a place that could potentially turn into a hangout place for the homeless, gangbangers, etc. I'm almost positive that any middle-level restaurant type place (Panera, Chili's) would turn into an all-day hangout for bangers on that corner, particulary in the wintertime when holding their meetings on the corner. Even a nail salon, while it might not be the upscale type of business people may want there, provides less of a chance for that Panera or Chili's to turn into another Popeye's like the one at Wilson. People should push for more in-and-out businesses (look, shop, get out) and not places where you can nurse a coffee for four hours and just sit there. But I could be wrong and probably am.

  24. Actually, MOS, national chain restaurants are usually extra-diligent about controlling the clientele because they have a high-profile reputation to uphold.