Monday, January 11, 2010

Super Size Me! (Maryville Site Proposal)

So many questions.... (click to enlarge each page)


  1. or, using lessons learned from Wilson Yard to get in super early and prevent it from being Wilson Yard #2.

    Until we have more information, lets not start the rumor mill - which as much as I love this forum - has cause some problems on here.

    Let's not hand over the neighborhood out of defeat. Done right, this could be very good for the neighborhood. Lets just ensure that it happens that way.

  2. I received this letter this weekend and emailed the builder and lawyer with very specific questions regarding section 8 housing, or whatever the plans may be. When I hear back I will post an update.

  3. I wonder why they forgot to mention that we're talking about 800 units of housing on this spot?

  4. From what I've heard, this is designed as straight up market value housing (save the required percentage of "affordable housing" for each new development, of course - which isn't a bad thing).

    The main problem that I have with this is traffic.

    With the alderman's vote farm and a Target nestled a bit west of this development, Montrose is going to be a parking lot (think Belmont/LSD off ramp).

    Toss in a few hundred new cars and ... well ... wtf?

    Of course, the WY redux concern is in full effect considering how hard the alderman is working to buy up block club support (think: dog park).

    For a woman who so publicly loathes all things Lincoln Park, she sure is putting her shoulder into bringing the worst parts of it to her own lil' island of insane civic planning.

  5. Good 'ole "Mixed" Development.

    Can she be stopped before she is voted out next year?

    Sorry Helen.... people just don't believe you anymore (not that they did much before though).

  6. No one noticed HOTEL in the proposal? There is NO way on Gods Green earth that this area can support a hotel except for an SRO type situation. Again, there is NO WAY this part of the city can support a hotel.

    A few nights a year for Cubs games do NOT pay the bills for the year...

  7. yo- my concern exactly. If you bring in 800 more residents and have commercial at that site as well it will be an absolute nightmare on that corner. I live 1/2 block from that corner and traffic in the summer is already horendous there because of the softball and soccer games at Clarendon Park and access to the lakefront. If they take away our one saving grace (use of the Columbus-Maryville lot) we will be parking 6-8 blocks from our residences. I understand they say parking will be offered to residents in the evening, however, for the 5 years it takes them to build this,we will be without that parking help when the lot is under construction.
    Not everyone received that notice, apparently only homeowners, not renters.
    Can anyone the procedures for this? When they petition will this automatically be approved or how does that work? It seems late to be mailing these when this happens on the 13th, Wednesday.
    It's great that someone wants to develop that land because the city will let it go into disrepair as has already started happening, however, is this the best project for that corner?
    One positive regarding this project is that the law firm handling this is very good. I used to work there and they do many many high profile cases in real estate so that's definately a good thing to have their experience & expertise.

  8. This is a write-up from Lake Effect News awhile back on it.

  9. This is what I don't get... where are all the retail clients to fill up these storefronts going to come from?

    There's tons of existing storefronts all over Uptown. Just walk down Broadway or Wilson or Clark or Sheridan and start counting the for rent signs.

    Wilson Yard's "retail that's going to save Uptown from economic disaster" includes an adult daycare, a nail salon and a Subway that's moving from somewhere else in Uptown. Not to mention the Aldi that was already existing, but got a nice new building.

    My BS meter is going off big-time. Why are we paying into another TIF to create retail spots when there are so many already that are going unused?

    Wait, just wait, next we'll hear about (a) a gourmet grocer, (b) movie theatres, and (c) high-end retail, like Crate & Barrel.

    Play me that old familiar song...

  10. Yeahhhhhhhhh,

    we're gonna get a gourmet grocer, movie theaters, and a Trader Joe's.

    Not Crate and Barrel. Get it right.

    Start the false rumors now.

    Look at the upside though.

    This will galvanize the voters near there to vote against Shiller. If she runs.

    You think those folks at 4300 Clarendon look forward to Wilson Yard Part Deux: The Return of the TIF.

    Expect some heavy voter turnout from those precincts.

  11. "there is NO WAY this part of the city can support a hotel."

    That's not true. This area is very underserved in hotel space. There is nothing between the Best Western Hawthorne Suites and Evanston, other than the Lincoln Ave motel strip, which serves a very different market.*

    The Andersonville Development Corporation supported the Boutique hotel that was planned for Carmen last year for exactly that reason. Unfortunately, that didn't work out due to permitting/zoning issues requiring adequate parking.

    * Though Heart 'o' Chicago gets AMAZING reviews on, strangely enough.

  12. I spoke with the builder on the phone today and emailed the conversation to UU. They are going to post it to the blog tomorrow.

    As for the parking, they said it wouldnt be taken away during the construction. Also this project is planned to take 6 years to complete. And he said yes to an upscale grocer, gym, and some other retail. Also that there would be no low income property. All market priced "upscale" condos.

  13. Harry Feeley? I think I used to date him.

    Seriously though folks, ask that any developer post a performance bond before getting a variance that big. In other words, if the promises made do not live up to the reality, make them agree to forfeit a sizeable (i.e. millions) amount of money.

    You just watch what happens. Since it will be a PUD (Planned Unit Development) once it goes down to the city all sort of fancy changes happen without any public approval.

    Take for instance that purple and yellow monstrosity in Mary Ann Smith's ward.

    We were promised "sound absorbing" tile to prevent noise from the elevated track echoing back into the neighborhood. Gone.

    We were promised beautiful landscapping and greening. Gone.

    We were promised 135 public parking spaces. Gone.

    Lots of promised are made to the public and as soon as it goes down to the city planning department the developer pleads it costs too much and that the developer won't make any profit and the city (with the alderman's agreement) changes the plans with NO public announcements or hearings.

    So make sure what ever promises are made are backed up with $$$$ or you're screwed.

  14. You are so dead on Toto. The simple fact is there is NO credibility in our Ward office and no accountability in the planned development process.

    d, you said it best. Don't start rumors cause even if an insider said it, intentions doesn't mean s*#$. We as a community must perform our due diligence if we intend on steering the outcome of this project.

    This could be great for Uptown; let's think positive, respond to the negative and not get suckered.

  15. "I spoke with the builder on the phone today ... they said it ..."

    Note well how stunningly uninformative the developer was when they had an opportunity to put some claims IN WRITING to neighbors.

    A phone conversation is not worth the paper it's printed on.

  16. well, anyway, thanks for calling, i guess

  17. "...this project is planned to take 6 years to complete."

    Dear neighbors, the thing to be concerned about is, not when this project will be completed, but when it will START. We have what, a year and a half's worth of condos on the market?

    I could easily see nothing happening at this location for 2-3 years.

    If ANYONE including a bunch of nuns comes up to you with a development proposal for a new construction mixed-use condos-hotel project in Q1 2010 the only sane response is to put this zoning change on hold until a plan is plausible let alone realistic.

    What few details they have put in writing read like left-over ideas from a by-gone boom era. This is a plan that took so long in baking it's currently valuable mostly as nostalgia. Someone who loves them should tell the good sisters the boat has been missed, because their architects and developers are on autopilot.

    Be careful folks: the letter asks for approval of a zoning change, not for approval of a project. Developers come & go, zoning changes abide. don't give away the farm for a promise of a few parking spots and a new swing set. (I am reminded that WY came with a free swing set offer.)

    Hotel Burnham faces foreclosure

  18. The only shortage of housing or mixed use developments in Chicago are low income section 8 public subsidized.

    Any one knows we don't need more property on the market at market rate so in my opinion this will be another public housing project.

    Also why does every piece of property in this city need to be developed?

  19. Hugh, I appreciate your posting and you raise a strong argument. However, you may be overlooking one large issue: cost of idle assets. If Segwick does own the property then they are paying for it and developers aren't in the business of holding property like a land baron. They are a developer and their interest is to receive a return as quickly and lucratively as possible. They don't want to shell out taxes for 3 years if they don't have to. They may be betting on an aggressive stance for the future and a low entry cost in the now.

  20. Lots of developers that are good ones buy land and sit on it.

    But they can't because they are trying to finance it with TIF money.

  21. I agree that developers may continue to own the property after it is developed. However, the current economic environment is not conducive to buying and holding. Property values are down and taxes are up. Inflation is just around the corner and tenants are dropping like flys in a Raid plant. Unless Segwick is very liquid, or has some big-time investors backing up the development there is little incentive to plan an ambitious project like this and wait around till the market recovers to break ground. Why wouldn't they use the low cost of construction and professional fees to their advantage?