Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Talk Is Cheap (And So's The "Upgrade")

So here's what we learned today:
With all this, remember what Peter Holsten promised?

In the Sun-Times on May 11, 2007: "Holsten, the Wilson Yard developer, says plans are under way to remove the blight from the L stop. The architecturally significant structure will be completely restored on the outside and completely new on the inside. "It will be brand, spanking new, so more people will use it," Holsten said. "The more people, the lesser the crime." That project is expected to be completed by early next year. he said."

So where's that top-to-bottom rehab?  It's been three and a half years; you promised a $180-million upgrade, we're getting a $3-million upgrade, and even that money hasn't been approved yet.  And eau de Wilson is still pretty pungent, according to the daily riders.

This is exactly why we laughed so hard at Helen's promise to Business Partners that she's planning to put in a chic French marketplace there.  Talk is cheap, indeed.  Oui, oui.


  1. why are you complaining? People got free $400,000.00 condos! Those evil condo owners!

    Oh, wait.

  2. You know what?! I think they are planning to close that station. Just a thought.

  3. French Market, or 'Merde Market'?

    I can't even imagine, considering the current state of this place.

    On another note, 'Clam Chouder' struck again, on our garage door.
    (it's just too stupid for words).

  4. Tim is right. The original plan was to close Wilson and open a station at Montrose. The gap between Lawrence and Wilson is very short, but from Wilson to Sheridan is too long. Montrose would be a mid point. Perhaps they are going to implement that now.

  5. There is no room for a Montrose stop (is there?!).

  6. Not any more Buena Boy, there's expensive low income housing there now.

  7. At a news conference Wednesday at the future site of the CTA’s $38 million Morgan Street station, .... In all, the aging CTA system needs $10 billion worth of upgrades, but has lined up funding for only $3 billion worth of those projects.


  8. $180mm for the Wilson El renovation? That has to be a misprint in the original article. You can build a sky scraper for that much money.

  9. Good link, thanks Yo.

    Especially regarding the headline....'use your cellphone to pay for rides...'

    The irony is, there was a 'warning' about cellphones being SNATCHED/STOLEN from riders stopped at the Wilson L.
    If only there was an iPhone Ap that would alert me of the latest criminal hotspot, so I could zig-zag my way around the streets.

  10. Re: Montrose CTA Red Line station - I think there was some discussion of this BEFORE the Wilson project got underway, and was nixed because, among other issues, they'd have to relocate some of the Graceland Cemetery graves in order to build the station.

    This is serious stuff folks - one of many reasons that the O'Hare expansion has been so controversial is that it would displace two small cemeteries that existed long before airplanes were invented.

  11. @Local Lassie:

    There is plenty of room to build a new station at Montrose. There's an old gangway with at least forty to fifty feet of space on either side of the tracks for expansion and building of a station. Rehabbing the Wilson L stop will probably be as expensive as restoring the Uptown Theatre.

  12. No one got free condos in Wilson Yard- they are rentals. It's a numbers game, each apartment did not cost $400k to construct nor would it sell for $400k if it were a condo on the market. There are other "extras" (and we'll probably never know what that extra $$ was really used for) added into the per unit price to give it $400k constructions costs as has been reported. I have been in the building and in the apartments- they are made of cheap materials (bath & kitchen floors, carpets, cabinets are all lowest builder grade materials available). The HVAC pipes are not even enclosed/consealed in the hallways. That's trendy in a converted loft building but it looks terrible in a newly build building as WY.
    I know it's always a topic of discussion on UU and please understand these units are not high end with granite counter tops and plush carpet. There is no nap on the carpets and the flooring is industrial-like as what is used in public buildings. It's not a warm cozy apartment. Every door in the unit is a grey metal fire door,(closet doors, bathroom & bedroom doors- maybe b/c of building codes???) not at all what someone would choose to put in their own place.
    I just wanted to clarify this so everyone can stop thinking people that live there have high end posh places. That is not the case at all.
    No, I am not pro-Shiller, I can't wait until her term is up also but I think we should focus our energy on what can be done to make improvements in the neighborhood now instead of bitching about what cannot be changed and what Shiller has done to the ward.

  13. Thanks liliki for the visual tour.
    I've always wondered what the units were like.

    Regarding the observation: "I know it's always a topic of discussion on UU and please understand these units are not high end"

    The issue for me was, that this was a perverse, unneeded waste of tax payer's money. shrouded in an opaque fog.

  14. Is there a quick and easy way that we can see pictures of the rooms via the web? Or do we have to pose as potential tenants and go to the office itself?