Friday, October 22, 2010

Come Hear Peter Holsten Speak Of His Success

Just $45 for lunch and a presentation on creating mixed-use developments:

"Holsten Development is recognized as a leader in affordable housing developments and completing projects with innovative financing structures. The Wilson Yard Development in the Uptown neighborhood was completed in July by Holsten Development with a new Aldi supermarket, a 180,000sf Target store, 30,000sf of retail space, and 198 units of affordable family/senior housing. The Wilson Yard Development redeveloped the former CTA facility at Wilson and Broadway and fulfilled the community desire for affordable housing and retail services."

If you go, be sure to ask this leader in affordable housing developments about how his "innovative financing structures" squeezed in
If there's time, ask how much Holsten Development made off this project, in which very few promises were kept.  A leader in his field?  Guess it all depend what definition you're using.


  1. Holsten developments has made plenty profit off us tax payers and they expect people now to pay $45 to hear what we all can see. They should be buying all of us a steak dinner with all the profits they made and I would not waste my time or money on this presentation that will just make steam blow out of my ears.

  2. Molly Phelan had better show up and ask these questions. As someone who contributed HUNDREDS of dollars to her anti-Wilson Yard project, I expect her to follow through. If she does not, she will have zero chance of my voting for will be true that she used the issue as a jumping off point to run for Alderman and nothing else IMHO

  3. Thankfully, without Helen funneling funds to Holsten, there's little chance of him developing further phases of anything in Uptown. Let him rape some other community for a change!

  4. Uptown Superhero,

    No offense, but your post is ridiculous. Showing up to Holsten's presentation to question or harrass him would be mere political theater. If Molly Phelan wants to do it, fine, but to say that her credibility rests on it? That's stupid. Grandstanding and trying to make Holsten feel uncomfortable in a public forum sounds like great entertainment, and would probably provide a lot of immediate gratification, but I'm much more concerned about what kind of changes our next alderman can make on a policy level, and what kind of influence and bureaucratic pressure they can bring to bear on the institutional bad actors in the neighborhood. Not as sexy as a public showdown with the evil Holsten, but about a thousand times more effective in the long run.

  5. Be sure to find out why residents of the neighborhood that earn in the mid 20's per year don't qualify for the apartments at a rate lower than private landlords offer. This was supposed to help the residents of the neighborhood but charging $730 for an apartment that is very cheaply constructed and tiny is not less expensive than the rest of the neighborhood.
    Their marketing materials and speeches made promises they didn't keep. It was never about helping the neighborhood, they did it for the money!
    Where's the retail they promised?? Every storefront is empty still and the building has been cleared for occupancy since March.

  6. I would be much more comfortable with private developers receiving taxpayer money if refurbishing a public space was part of the development deal. Case in point: North/Clybourn red line stop is about to become the "Apple stop," with Apple investing nearly $4 million in refurbishing the stop along with the right to put a store there.

  7. Quietlyconscious, you're right. Molly DID do a lot of grandstanding with Fix Wilson Yard in order to run for alderman, and anyone with half a brain knew that her "effort" was a day late and a dollar short--I personally was telling our community leaders way before FWY that the only way to stop WY was to sue, and the opportunity would be lost once the shovels hit the dirt. FWY got thousands of dollars from our pockets (yes, me included) and publicity for Molly, but that's all. The only way that people like Holsten are going to be stopped is if people get in his face when it counts--like questioning his "success" at speaking engagements and asking how he kept his promises to the community while he kept his mitt in our cookie jar--it's called "public education", and you may recall that we never had any real opportunity to question him directly when it mattered because the Alderbeast ensured that we couldn't. No more of this crap. If a developer wants taxpayer money for his project, he needs to be responsive AND accountable to the public footing the bill (and forced to live with his monstrosity from here on out).

  8. is good to see you ate your Passive-Agressive cereal this morning.. No offense but my post is ridiculous? LOL If you are a Molly support, that is great, but dont be an ass about it..

    I think Bear60640 has a brain and understands exactly by point of view so I will just say... Go Bear60640!

  9. I agree with quietlyconscious, Phelan would be crazy to stage a stunt like that while trying to run for alderman. And no, i'm not a Phelan supporter. But I donated to FWY, and asking Phelan to pull shenanigans for its cause at this point is unrealistic IMO.

  10. This amuses me.

    I want Molly to go to the meeting and publicly challenge Holsten to a "wrasslin" match. If she doesn't she has no credibility.


    I also contributed HUNDREDS of dollars to FWY and I have no intention of voting for Molly, but to demand she show up at the Holsten "tribute" and pay "tribute" to get in is absurd.

    Molly did a fine job with Fix Wilson Yard, but the truth is this is Cook County and some might argue the merits of the case were less important than say the interested parties.

    Realistically, FWY brought light to the darkness that is understanding of TIF's AND contributed to Shiller leaving office. That ain't everything, but it is sumtin' and Molly did play a big role in that.

  11. Learn the definition of passive aggressive buddy. I think I was pretty upfront and straightforward in my criticism of your post. And I still stand by my assertion that heckling Holsten at this event is pretty low on the list of things that will improve this neighborhood. Will it hurt? Of course not. It could even be fun. But Uptown Superhero's post that a candidate's credibility rides on whether they attend? That's ludicrous.

  12. @quietlyconcious

    There really aren't that many community events in the 46th. Is it wrong to expect candidates to try to make all of them?

  13. It's a continuing education/networking function for real estate developers hosted by the the business school at Indiana University, and it costs $45 to get in. To call it a "community event" is preposterous.

  14. Pirate.. really, must you inject yourself into every discussion? LOL It honestly gets a bit old. You used to have really interesting things to say.. now I believe you are just bored and want to read something you wrote...

    ..and QC, I am apparently much more versed in definitions that you.. your comments were classic Passive-Aggressive...

    I stand by my statement. I truly believe that if one believes in something so strongly, it should be followed up.. particularly if using it as a platform to move to something else..

    .. and if Molly, or any other candidate shows up, I will absolutely positively give to their campaign fund the $45 fee so no one feels they are enriching will be a net/net..

  15. @quitelyconcious

    ok, fine. There aren't that many "continuing education/networking function for real estate developers hosted by the the business school at Indiana University" hosting a developer who's recent work in uptown is a source of controversy. Again, shouldn't alderman and aldermanic candidates be expected to attend these things in order to get the biggest picture of what's going on in their ward? If I were running, I'd want to attend to see how developers think and to get a better idea of how they view opportunities in my ward. Even if the candidate doesn't say anything, it's still potentially valuable. And the worst that could happen is your campaign is out $45 and you're out some time. But, as a voter, I'd want to see that a candidate is willing to participate in events even on the off chance they might prove productive. Opportunity in the least expected places and all that...

    So, to reiterate, what's the harm in attending? Maybe Molly will learn something valuable?

  16. I like Rob Ross's reference to the "Apple" stop at North and Clybourn. I would like to see perhaps Target adopt the Wilson station, it would benefit them as well since a number of customers use the Red-Line, certainly more if the stop wasn't so nasty. By adopt of course I mean "cut a check", they promote a "5% good" program all over there stores...
    If Wilson Yard is a done deal we may as well make the most of it.

  17. Yes, Jeffrey, we liked the idea a year ago, too. Too bad Target didn't take the ball and run with it.

    Of course, in Uptown, it would have to be the "Bad Apples" station!

  18. I heard that Mary Ann Smith wanted Holsten to renovate the Somerset property on Sheridan into (wait for it) affordable housing. A lot of people in the area wanted the Somerset made into a property that could help turn the neighborhood around. Instead, we'll probably get more of the same. Bleh.

  19. Thanks for the link TrumanSN, such a shame. Uptown has missed so many opportunities. Maybe its not too late to persuade Target to do its 5% good right here in Uptown, since we are.....neighbors. With a new Alderman pushing the agenda....maybe. Petitions are so easily ignored by a large corporation, however, they know better than to get on the wrong side of the city, and to Target the politicians are the city. We, the residents of Uptown are just "some" of the customers. Wilson Station in regards to improving the business climate and quality of life should be priority one for the next Alderman. More businesses equal less crime, more services, better community. Wilson Station is the ball and chain strapped to the ankle of our core business district.

    The next Alderman should let Target know:

    Uptown is Home!

  20. @trumanSquareNabr & Jeffrey

    I was thinking something more aggressive - like, perhaps, dedicated platform access for the entire complex in exchange for a couple million dollars to rehab the station. Imagine the rent of a residential building with both a parking garage and a causeway directly to a red line platform. I'd be surprised at a developer who wouldn't take such a deal.

    If only we had the political leadership to negotiate such a deal.....

  21. @ Rob Ross- That is an awesome idea! It would have to have a commercial element of course. The toughest part would be financing in this economic malaise we are in, but it could be done. As you said having direct access would be an exceptional selling point even in a market flush with vacancies. We need aggressive ideas like this and creative thinking to compete, other neighborhoods are vying for the same dollars and lets face it, the CTA has some crummy stations.
    An idea I had a while back, a bit out there even for me, would be to construct a new and modern station to the south of Wilson. This would position the station closer to Target and Truman, it could benefit both properties if more direct access is designed in. The students at Truman (where I was a student) hate the Wilson Station, more would take the El if it wasn't an above ground sewer, meaning less traffic, more parking with or without the new garage. If Target was brought in early on in the design process it would be more compelling to them from an investment perspective, as opposed to cleaning up what is already there. The current station could be restored as the historical building it is beneath the grime.
    Truman College deserves better, the school is an asset to Uptown and their support in City Hall could help.
    Granted City Hall is more up for grabs than our Alderman position.
    Moving forward we need creative solutions we can all be inspired by, no more Wilson Yard debacles, no more division. Great comments everybody...especially Rob Ross and TrumanSqNbr.
    Uptown will get better I believe it!

    As for dropping $45 to hear someone talk about their success......let me think about it.