Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Conversation With Maryville Project's Builder

A reader sent this in after her conversation with the builder of the proposed Maryville development:

I just got off the phone with the builder. Overall their intentions sound good. He did say "upscale development" multiple times.

Residential - There are plans to build multiple low rise buildings, all of these condos will be near Agatite and Clarendon. 1bed priced below $200K, 2bed around $250K, 3bed around $300K. There will also be multiple towers at the NW and NE corner of Montrose and Clarendon. There are no plans to have any section 8 housing. There are, however, plans to have some senior citizen living; this is a requirement from the city to include "affordable housing".

Retail - On the NW corner of Montrose and Clarendon there will be multiple retail stores. They are planning for an upscale grocery store (I asked if it was a Whole Foods or Trader Joes, and he said something at that level.) They are also planning for a large health club, restaurant and there will be other retail spaces for rent.

Park - $6M is to go to park improvements including renovating the park district facility. This includes new tennis courts, a new track and field area.

Hotel - There will be about 200 hotel units at the lower level of one of the condo towers. They have already talked to the Marriott, Hilton, Sheraton. They are talking about their lower chains, like The Doubletree for example. The hotel aspect would be complete in about 3 years after they begin construction.

They are planning on starting construction before the end of 2010. The first phase would be the retail space on the NW corner and the low rise residential condos. The entire plan is over a 6 year period.

I asked them to create a new press release with these details because I explained that many Uptown residents are cautious of the development. He said he will see what he can do to clear any rumors.


  1. "They are planning on starting construction before the end of 2010."

    meaning demo, maybe, and re-classification as vacant for tax purposes

  2. "...a new press release with these details..."

    what might be useful would be a restrictive covenant; zoning changes, press releases, and planned developments are not binding

  3. "1bed priced below $200K, 2bed around $250K, 3bed around $300K."

    wow! prices for condos 6 years from now! these guys are good

    you asked for details & they gave 'em to ya

    god help anyone who believes any of this

  4. Thanks for following this up. However, every developer who wants to build a large project in Uptown taunts us with talk of including a Trader's Joe or movie theatre complex. The saying "Hope for the best, expect the worst" comes to mind. Similar promises were made about Wilson Yard and look what we ended up with. LSD, Marine and Montrose can get very congested when good weather draws people to the lakefront and parks. This is already a high-density, heavily trafficked area with very little public parking.

  5. Wyndham O'Hare hotel to close

    "...hotels are suffering everywhere due to a drop in business and leisure travel..."

  6. He said he will see what he can do to clear any rumors.

    Immediate fail.

    You don't investigate options per information when begging for public money, you deliver comprehensive information upon request, to whomever requests it.

    Not trying to besmirch the information, and fully understanding that details are fluid (although, if construction is slated to begin within the year, I'd expect to see less fluidity in the details and something a bit more concrete); but, there are too many moving pieces in this information and that just ain't gonna cut it.

    The developer should be aware that concerns of residents are due to the numerous occurrences of baiting and switching we've suffered through, historically - and the "something of that level" schtick doesn't quite cut it - especially if he wants our money to assist in getting this going.

    What strikes me as odd (beyond the seeming non-concern over traffic) is that within a three block radius (ie - right down the street), we've got Aldi, and Jewel - as well as a World Gym.

    Do we need another grocery store and health club?

    Not that we don't - but I'm not convinced that we do, and I question the authenticity of this exchange based on what appears to be ignorance of the surrounding area.

    I'm also curious as to what the stakeholders at Aldi, Jewel and World Gym think about this cuz, apparently, the message the alderman is sending to businesses is that you simply won't get any support once your political usefulness has been exhausted.

    I'm quite willing to allow these folks to prove me wrong; but, right now - I smell a rat.

    Two rats, actually. The park upgrade scenario sounds all lovey-dovey, but something simply doesn't click.

    Based on how things are run around here, I wouldn't put it past the alderman to suggest that the developer dangle a park-upgrade carrot in front of everyone to get support, knowing full well that carrot can be retracted for any number of reasons which we'll not be made aware of until it happens.

    I hate to be such a pessimist, but, this is the environmental result of the alderman's nefariousness and underhanded tactics.

    If the developers are worth their salt, they'll be sensitive to that and go out of their way to address the concerns of the residents.

    Oh, and I'm curious as to where the outrage is from those fearful of condo owners and gentrification (to the point of gluing Starbuck's locks shut)?

    Gyms, upscale condos, hotels, more retail ... this is all stuff that should have some peoples' heads exploding.

    Something simply ain't right, here.

    My over-riding question: What does the alderman stand to gain from this?

    Still - thanks to the person who shared the info.

  7. I am simply amazed that a private upscale development is being built down the street from a "blighted" Wilson Yard.

  8. do those condo prices sound upscale?

  9. Since it appears the developer is looking for a zoning change (I didn't see anything about using public money, but maybe I missed it), there should be a series of public hearings and some sort of presentation to neighborhood groups. While I understand folks feeling burned about WY, I do think a little less negativity could go a long way toward getting a developer to invest in a project that might actually benefit the neighborhood.

  10. > I'm also curious as to what the stakeholders at Aldi, Jewel and World Gym think about this...

    My first thought after reading this was: does one really need another huge health club down the street from World Gym?

    However, just a side note that Aldi and Trader Joe's have the same parent company. In fact, they built those two stores right next to each other on Clybourne, just north of North Ave. I can see Jewel, Aldi and Trader Joe's living side by side without too much trouble, given that they serve different market segments.

    A new health club... not so much.

  11. Park upgrade? Hmmm. I tend to remember a lot of improvements for Challenger Park that never came through. I agree with the previous skepticism. Expect another bait and switch. They'll tell us what we want to hear to keep us off their backs, until they have to start filing zoning changes.

  12. "does one really need another huge health club down the street from World Gym?"

    we had a Gold's on Rogers west of Clark until the TIF-subsidized Gateway Mall came along, now we have a Bally's in the mall and the Gold's closed

  13. There is no market for any more inventory of condos for sale today, tomorrow or for a few years.

    So I am very skeptical of this.

  14. Is this in the WY TIF district? If so, would the fact that Peter's portion is 100% low income meet the "affordability" requirement? Maybe that's why our beloved Alderman wants to carve a separate TIF? I do remember the developer saying that the TIF $ were essential to the project.

  15. "Upscale?" That's developer-speak for affordable. And at $300,000 for three-bedrooms, these will be very modest indeed. They'll undercut prices on the existing rehabbed condos on Agatite, Sunnyside and Windsor.

  16. I haven't seen any comment yet on what appears to be a MAJOR problem with this proposal.

    The plat shows that the proposed development includes a large piece of land on the north side of Montrose that is currently part of Clarendon Park. You can see the "tiny" outline of the current Maryville building within its boundary. The notice itself says they are requesting "approvals under the Lake Michigan and Chicago Lakefront Protection Ordinance"

    Adding two and two together, they apparently plan to annex this current parkland into their development, and then they intend for "the permanent dedication of public open space" which is probably part of what is already public open space. Why else would a developer agree to rehab the fieldhouse?

    So the neighborhood is supposed to support turning over lakefront parkland for development to the same officials that brought us WY?

    Montgomery Ward spent a generation fighting to protect this city and its lakefront from encroachment by crap like this. This is the Children's Museum in Millenium Park battle, the Latin School soccer field in Lincoln Park, etc. all over again.

  17. There's no way a hotel, especially a major hotel chain would come in - 1st reason: location, 2nd reason; the hospitality market is hurting bad and will for years. With the city losing conventions left and right, it's just one more reason to not open another hotel. If hotel projects are stalled downtown, you better believe the plan doesn't exist in reality here. It's sad but I've had to adopt the "i'll believe it when I see it".

    Bend - Re: you comment about "approvals under the Lake Michigan and Chicago Lakefront Protection Ordinance", my understanding is any construction this close to the lake requires special permitting. Dominick's at Foster/Sheridan had to get approvals through them too. I don't think it has anything to do with the Chicago Park District.

  18. I hate to burst your bubble, but the site is still advertised as for sale so I don't think that anything is guaranteed yet.

  19. I'm certainly not getting my hopes up. At this point, I'll just be happy if I can play tennis at the courts there without wondering if it was a homeless person's bathroom earlier in the day.

    I personally think there IS a need for an upscale health club in this neighborhood--one with a spinning studio & pilates & spa. Worlds Gym serves a different segment of the population.

  20. Yes, that address is "private lakefront". AFAIK, lakefront protection ordinance comes into play for ANY zoning change in this area. I've even run into issues with this trying to get a license for a home business a couple blocks away, and that involves zero zoning changes whatsoever...

  21. Lets not forget that the property as it stands is an eyesore, a drain on walkability and a haven for, let's call them loiters.

    There is definitely enough commerce for a little variety in grocery and health club options. There really is a lacking of both in the area. I would guess the health club might be part of the hotel, which would cater to a different segment.

    As for market value - it sounds like yours has held better than mine. These prices sound on the low end but not out of line for what things are going for around here (sadly).

    This letter is very top level, but it doesn't appear to encroach on Clarendon Park, in fact, it seems (and I know this is just publicity) to give more access to the park.

    I'm glad something is being done, though it seems whatever will happen is still a while off...post Alderman elections.

    I am nervous about TIF usage and traffic. Thanks UU for keeping us updated on all this.

  22. Look at the 3rd page of the proposal (the map). Most of what is designated as "Sub Area 2" is currently park land.

  23. dear neighbors,

    prices for condos for delivery in 2016 are just numbers pulled outta some guy's orifice, by parsing them to tease out the level of luxuriousness you have put way more thought into them in a few posts than Sedgwick did in giving them over the phone; similar the relative merits of various national gym & grocery store chains

    the only thing we can count on happening is demolition by the new, non-tax exempt owner

    it's not even clear Sedgwick will be the developer, they could get the zoning change & flip it

    the nuns obviously want to tap out for top dollar and they are getting counsel that the best way to do that is to package the property with a nice phat zoning change

    I think the only real issue is here is, why can't the zoning change wait until a plausible let alone feasible proposal is possible? why should the community give up what little leverage you have now?

  24. The only hotel project in the works on the North side is by the Rickett's that just bought The Cubs.

  25. The City should use the TIF money to buy the property tear down the buildings and make it into parkland.