Friday, December 17, 2010

The Full Court Press From Lake View Station/ Sedgwick

From a reader:  "I'm not exactly sure how they got my email address, but here is an email I just received.  Thought you might want to know that it looks like the developers' PR effort includes direct emails."


  1. Sedgwick is unwilling to meet the city’s request for lower project density.

    The city’s review of the developers PD application the Planning and Zoning department made requests for changes to the developer including a substantial reduction in the density. Sedgwick said in a meeting to a few local residents brokered by Senator Cullerton and held at his law offices that they were not willing to not make the level of changes that the city wants.

    Instead Sedgwick submitted a revised plan that has substantially higher density than the city asked for. To affect public opinion and presumably pressure the city to change its recommendations the developer has hired a politically connected marketing firm and put out a slick PR campaign to get Uptown residents focused on the pretty building pictures and rosy scenarios rather than the reality of the negative effects of cramming in too much density for the site.

    This is a massive downtown-scale development with big box retail base shoehorned into a small site adjacent to a park -- without the needed major street scale to handle traffic. It would be like putting Target or the new Dominick’s at the corner of Montrose and Clarendon, then adding a downtown sized parking lot on top then adding two high-rise towers 400’ and 498’ on top of that and another high-rise tower across the street in the corner of the park. This is massively larger than Target/Wilson Yard.

    At very least, before any approvals are given or decisions made, there needs to be open community meetings to fully understand and review all aspects of the plan including the negative as well as positive impacts.

    Timing is critical; the city confirmed that the owner has plans in the works to demolish the existing Maryville buildings in the spring.

  2. I am really beginning to find the overwhelming negativity toward this project amusing. The ONLY thing I object to about this project is the inclusion of TIF funds. I beleive Irish Pirate said in another thread here something to the effect of "if the real estate climate is right, the condos priced appropriately, this development should sell itself". I agree with this 100%. If the real estate market recovers (or at least starts), given the prime location of this development along the lake, units in this project should have no problem selling at market rate. The current problem (or one of them anyway) is that current market rate does not equal cost of construction. Id gladly sell anyone my 1 bedroom condo with underground parking directly across the street in the existing high rise for 150k. Can "Lakeview Station" compete with that?? Hell NO!

    Some people keep saying this thing is "out of scale". Out of scale compared to what? Look at the towering behemoth of a building at Irving Park and Lake Shore Drive, that thing is at least a dozen stories taller than anything within 6 blocks! Is that not out of scale? Its funny, theres like this little pocket of Chicago Lakefront without substantial highrises. It goes from Irving Park Road to about Foster. South of Irving Park and north of Foster (all the way to Evanston!) you have one huge tower after another. Are they "out of scale"? I can safely assume at one point some of them may have been, according to the definition proposed in these threads. If anything, Lakeview Station is filling in the blanks that are left on the lakefront!

    I am skeptical, sure, but I guess I am more willing to take an open mind and offer the benefit of the doubt than most people here. I dont know about you guys but my condo value has been absolutely destroyed by the recession. Units in the existing high rise across the street from "Lakeview Station" are selling for pennies on the dollar from 3 years ago. Its frustrating and depressing and I (along with many others i presume) feel trapped. My point is in 18 months since this recession supposedly ended, things have done nothing but get worse in our neighborhood (with exception to our shiny new Target!). Gang violence is out of control, property values continue to plummet, CTA infrastructure is left crumbling, more vacant storefronts exist than I've ever seen, and the list goes on.

    I say if theres a real, legitemate possibility for a MARKET RATE condo/apartment complex with some DESIREABLE retail attached to it (no more friggin nail salons/liquor stores/urban clothing stores/hair braiding, etc!!!!) then I welcome this project with open arms. Ominous photoshopped shadows and all!!!!

  3. Let's see...developers say they want what they want no matter what the CIty says.....AND they want the City and taxpayers to subsidize their plans with TIF money? Who else could get away with this B.S.???

  4. Larry, In the interest of full disclosure, I am in the design/construction industry (with absolutely no affiliation to any project or any party related to any project in Uptown) so I feel as though i have a bit of a better sense of whats going on with the building department and planning/zoning.

    You are right, this developer is sort of putting their foot down but I think they have more leverage that you are realizing. Take TIF funds out of the equation for a second and look at whats going on in Chicago in regards to the building/construction industry. Thousands of workers are sidelined due to lack of work. New development in our beautiful city known for its architecture is at a standstill. This developer is bringing to the table a MAJOR multi-year/multi-phase construction project that will employ an awful lot of people for several years (not to mention whatever permenant job creation it causes). Additionally, this project, if you can put your fear of shadows and high rises aside, looks to have a pretty decent design and could be a beautiful addition to the lakefront! Certainly better than the eyesore that is the building i mentioned in my previous post at Irving Park Road and Lake Shore drive. YUCK!! I think its a requirement that everyone in that building have different color and style window treatments!! OR how about the high rise on Halsted, south of Sheridan thats had a burned out hole in the side of it for years!! Talk about ugly!!

    This city has a responsibility to encourage progress, job growth, not to mention furthering the culture and reputation of this city as a world class city and an architectural gem. Im not saying "Lakeview Station" is the next Hancock Tower but considering this deep recession, ANY progress of this scale would be a giant leap in the right direction for the neighborhood and the city.

  5. Lake View Station a real liberals dream. I hope it never gets going as I rather see the park grass then more concrete and glass.

  6. Atleast the TIF dollars would be going to something that would improve the neigborhood.

    Yeah and I dont understand the fear of density argument either.

    The only thing I can see people being up in arms about is
    density of low income occuring.
    Which doesnt look to be the case.

    I am alarmed at the apparent nimbyism faction to a good looking project that will help Uptown climb out of its burden of the preponderance highrise semiprojects/section 8 hellholes

  7. interesting

    ... especially the comments.

    Anyone else detect a developing trend?

  8. I try to imagine the nightmare scenario that the fearmongers have in their head of hellish density.

    Unless they are packing the place with section 8 families with their gangbangers I dont see the problem.
    Is Belmont a horrible area by the Lake? Or for that matter the Lakefront from downtown all the way up to this point is pretty dense, and we dont have a nightmare dystopia of autowrecks and people screaming in hysteria with their hair on fire because they feel so boxed in that they feel that the world is coming to an end.

    The bigbox retailer with parking is really the only thing I would worry about. In this part of the city maybe there shouldnt be any parking for it, since really its such a dense area people will walk there instead of drive.

    Think about the clybourne area, alot of bigbox type retailers and parking around there, and yes it does get congested, but I dont think this will cause congestion of that sort.

    IMHO I would rather have congestion like that if that area was nicer like the clybourne area.

  9. You can't just say "take TIF funds out of the equation for a second.."
    TIF funds ARE the equation. By all appearances the developer has tried to cram through a shoddy, poorly thought out plan to put the biggest possible buildings they can, in a residential neighborhood across from park land and do it with a tax subsidy.
    Let's see the plan without TIF money then we can discuss.

  10. The only thing I can see people being up in arms about is
    density of low income occuring.

    That's the ONLY thing you can see?

    If you're going to try to frame the narrative, at least pay attention and be comprehensive, wouldja'?

    (Again) I, and many others, have no issue with the density, and aren't afraid of low-income housing.

    My concern, and the concern of many others, is how will this thing be financed? And why is there a need for TIF money?

    Sedgwick needs to make an honest and compelling argument, and that's simply not happening.

  11. Or - better yet, let's put aside all of this fussin' and afeudin', and take advantage of the democratic system.

    If Kaplan can put an issue on a ballot pertaining to the use of TIFs, let's put the fate of this development into the hands of those immediately affected by it (not just those who stand to profit from it, their friends, or retiring political figures).

    Come February, let's see this issue on the ballot.

  12. What some folks who are posting here need to realize is the legacy of lies Shiller is leaving behind her.

    People here are jaded and distrustful because of the BS she shoveled around for the last 24 years.

    Now I welcome a high density development there that DOESN'T use any TIF funds. Hell, I'd build high density on main streets all over Uptown if the market would support it and no taxpayer money was used.

    The city and Uptown desperately need middle income people to live, work and play here and throughout the fine urban garden we call Chicago.

    Sorry to disappoint Wiseguy, but I think that is the conservative argument.

    I really enjoy reading comments from someone,Wiseguy, who worships organized criminals and changes his Avatar photo fairly frequently to whichever gangster he is currently enamored with. Hell at one point using a different nom de guerre he had the infamous John Wayne Gacy "Pogo the Clown" photo as his pic.

    Classy guy.

    In reality, because of the legacy of deceit Shiller leaves behind this issue should wait until next summer to be addressed. I just hope we get an alderman who is tough enough to do what's right over the inevitable opposition, because no matter what happens here some people will oppose it.

    My parole is almost up so if we don't get such an alderman and I can finagle both Federal and State pardons I'll run for aldercritter in 2015!

    IrishPirate for Alderman! You can trust him, he's already been to jail and doesn't want to go back!

    Now something to ponder Shiller by from the Monkees.

  13. One more thang.

    This is Uptown.

    Not Lake View.

    The name has to be changed.

    Personally I like "Uptown Rising" as the name.

    Sorry to the poster who uses that nom de guerre.

  14. I am also employed in construction, and opposed to the current plan.

    To my knowledge the developer does not yet even own the land. They plan for a TIF, and Phase 1 is retail, so I will also start there:

    They specifically mention a grocery store and health club, which all but guarantees that the business plan is to offer attractive leases to Jewel and Worlds Gym. Both vacate Pensacola, and move to newer, shinier, more attractive digs one block east. They get a tax break to do this, or a cheaper rent, but either way, the 'blight' moves from 800 block Montrose to 900 block Montrose. Zero-sum to the neighboorhood, less-than-zero to the taxpayer. It's lazy, unimaginative, and indicates a level of effort far less than WY, where at least the Alderman and developer took the time to lie to you. Here, you should accept the status quo.

    If you have ever lived in a suburb, you already know this. The Best Buy on LaGrange Road won't leave LaGrange Rd, but it will cross the street from time to time, as neighboring villages undercut each other, 'blighting' vacancies and offering new TIF's as older ones expire.

    If you are impressed with the archicture of Lakeview Station, you are a rube. You haven't seen the architecure. Nothing that you have seen should give you any impression, positive or negative, except the footprint and scale.

    Beyond this, the developer shows no comprehension of the neighboorhood or its history. He instead wished to market this as Lakeview, and in doing so blocks the lake view from Montrose to Sunnyside.

    As many (or a few, posting as many) have pointed out, this is what the Lake looks like in Edgewater, Lakeview, and the rest of the North Side neighboorhoods.

    Must we settle for that? This neighboorhood has a signature architectural gateway, in Montrose Harbor.

    If you answered yes, at least insist that your developer exhibit competence. I haven't seen that - the PR bungle, the way they've hidden information, it all tells me that at some point mid-way, the cranes stop, the money runs out, and this overly ambitious but ill-conceived project dies.

    The "anything is better than an empty building" crowd will be surprised to learn that an ill-conceived, half-constructed or vacant new bldg is in fact worse. Book a night at the Shangri-La at LaSalle and Lake, and do some shopping at Block 37. Then try to sightsee atop the Spire.

    No time to think! Don't plan! Empty lakefront property! Measure once, cut twice! Forget the measuring, just build! Measure later, and don't use plans, just use the rendering!!

  15. To jimcls260:

    I also work in the industry and I hear what you are saying.

    I feel it would be great to have a part in a project like this and it would be even better for others to be working at some level.

    However, as much as I want to make money, I cannot be a 100% supporter for this project. Not because of the scale; let's get serious, 'scale' is the laypersons word for "I hate it". The TIF dollars are a problem for me but they aren't the crux of the real issue either. Simply because this project is a huge gamble. The condo market is still 5-8 years off. Uptown will NOT be the first neighborhood to become condo-desirable when the market DOES turn so why build a speculative building here, why now?? We are too soon in recovery for a project of this scope and frankly, the finance number probably don't compute without the infusion of public dollars. This is a whale being pushed for money and nothing more. I give it a 20% chance of being a success as-is and a 1% chance of not changing to something much smaller with a much greater TIF component.

    I hate that I sound like a pessimist but... there it is.

  16. How about this Sedgewick. We're paying for this. We'll tell you what we want in our neighborhood, not vice versa.

  17. They are trying to rush it through while the "TIF Fairy" is still able to waive her golden wand. That's why Uptown is the spot for "Lakeview" Station.

  18. Lets face it they are pushing this through before the next Mayor is elected as well because I could see some serious TIF reforms coming even if Rahm gets elected.

    We all know this money is needed to balance the budget and put toward other things like hiring Police.

    Chicago can't raise property tax anymore because the values are not going up and more at the 1999 value but still assessing at 2010 rate.

    If this project is so great then it shouldn't need TIF money.

    And the name Lakeview Station is just stupid. This is Uptown not Lakeview.

  19. Wouldn't it be wonderful if there was a profession dedicated to something like urban planning? You which would would study a community; conduct surveys; do analysis; present evidence of what would offer the best chance of success; which would contribute to an area. If such a discipline extisteed, then Sedgewick would just be able to present solid numbers which would clearly show that yet another grocery and health club would bring new, let me repeat that...NEW business to the community.

  20. I notice a few people stating they are in "the industry",well Im an Ironworker in "the industry " ,and many many construction workers are out of work right now and have been for a long time.I was at the last meeting and stated I would rather starve than build more low income garbage in this neighborhood.

    I live a half a block from this project and have seen over the last 6 years bums and druggies hanging around that junkpit the Maryville Academy,by the way didnt pay taxes cuz it not for profit.The time is now to take advantage of the economy to start building a project that can enhance the area around us. The combination a new Wilson El stop and a project of this size can be GREAT for this area.
    I talked to my union reps and they said they are planning to spend lots of money on this project and on the park. I hope for the benefit of Uptown that this project happens

  21. it's a lakeront high-rise development ... nobody can say with any credibility that the development is too high-density for the area. just look up & down the lakefront at the other high-rise buildings.

    the timing is right for getting this project started, it will be a number of years before they come to market & the current glut will have abated by then.

    i don't think a lakefront high-rise needs TIF financing though ... also the retail portion may not be good idea for this either (though people should welcome the addition of new modern retail sites to the area completely - another grocery or gym creates competition & keeps the price you pay in check).

  22. If this project could sell itself it wouldn't need a PR firm.

    Nope.....I don't like it.....

  23.  @jimcls260 Having just read your first comment. Here's my problem with building it here. 
    Have you been on Irving Park where that ridiculously out of place building is? Have you tried to walk down it?  I have to visit a friend who lived in that building and it is a horrible place to walk along.  You can't do it without nearly being blown away

    Saying that, have you tried to walk around the corner of Montrose and Clarendon?  I have, a lot, since I live near this corner and experience the effects of the one building that is already too tall for this area. It's horrible to walk along. Even on a calm day, the wind rips through there nearly blowing people away, on a bad day, well, it'll knock you right off your feet.  One time the wind was so bad I was unable to continue riding my bike north up Clarendon toward Montrose. I had to dismount and walk, when I got to Montrose to cross, the wind actually picked my bike up off the ground and it flipped into the air. I was pulled across the street, holding onto my bike, in the air like a kite.  As soon as I crossed Montrose and was passed Maryville, my bike came back down.  My concern is that if you add another set of giant towers right here it's going to render this wind tunnel  unbearable to walk anywhere in that vicinity.  And unlike Irving Park, Montrose is a major pathway to the lake for pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles year-round.  Irving Park is, for the most part, a dead-end at LSD.

    Add to it the amount of parking problems in this area due to the Park District now charging for parking, I can guarantee you that the area cannot support parking for something of that scale.  Not to mention the fact that I actually like to see the sun in this area, which will all but cease if that structure goes in. 

    My other two concerns are very much related. There is so much retail space sitting around unused, I just can't believe something is going to go in there.  All the new space at Wilson Yard, go north on Sheridan, in every new mixed-use building that's been built in the last 5-10 years, most of it is empty. Look on Broadway, that beautiful rehabbed space is mostly empty.  Look at Rainbo Village, it's not just empty, it's unfinished (here's where it becomes 2 concerns). That developer went broke and look what the residents are left with - one building not even started, promises given to people when they bought left unfulfilled, their building under control of a bank because not enough has even sold (at least it was for a while) and currently no way to get issues dealt with.  Frankly, I don't want another instance of Rainbo Village ending up in Uptown and more specifically not a block away from where I am raising my family in my rental. (I say that because most people think renters don't care and that's not true, some of us do. Some of us are invested in our community even if we can't afford to own.)

    Would I mind something going in that was mixed-use? No, but it needs to be on a more realistic scale, not using TIF funds and it should take into consideration the community it will be a part of.

  24. One note about people saying, "What's wrong with Lakeview? It's a great place to live..." No, it's not! It's too crowded. I can't see the sun. I can't get take my child on a bus, heck, I can't get on a bus without letting a few go by.  Most importantly, I can't afford to live in Lakeview even if I did want to in spite of having a job that well excludes me from ever even thinking of walking into the office where you apply for a place in Wilson Yard. That's why I don't live there.  I live in Uptown so that I can get on the bus in the morning without needing to wait for 3 to go by.  I live in Uptown (specifically Clarendon Park) because I *like* being able to see greenery and the sky when I look up.  I live up here for a lot of reasons and not one of them involve giant high-rises stuck along the lakeshore. What I don't get is if Shiller hates Lakeview so much, (if you don't like it, move!) why is she welcoming it into her beloved low-income land?  Is this her final way of saying F*ck you to Uptown and all of its residents?

  25. Bottom line is if this is a good development it wouldn't need TIF money.

    The Maryville property is probably one of the most valuable properties on the the north side of Chicago that can/will be developed.

    Let a reputable developer like The Related Companies buy it on their own without Government/TIF money.

    Wake up people your property tax and mine are buying this piece of land.

    Who knows what they really will do with it once we finance it for them?

    What happens if we buy it with our TIF financing and it sits like it is for 10 more years?

    Why not just leave it as it is until a reputable company comes along with a real plan and they don't ask for TIF funds?

  26. Anditron, you raise a good point that leaves me with more questions. Why would Sedgewick, or any other developer for that matter, consider a new project when Uptown is FULL of unfinished developments and empty storefronts, including in the newest developments? How are we as residents of Uptown supposed to believe that this "Lakeview" station will be any different? That it will be this thriving retail/ housing development that will help pump some Money and jobs into the community? Hmmmmm.

  27. All they have is some pretty drawings and a piece of property they want TIF financing for at this point.

    They don't have any retail.

    Because if you have a major retail tenant say a Walmart, Home Depot etc. they would be able to get private financing.

    Here is how it works I take an option on this property or an exclusive negotiation period with Maryville, I sign a lease with Walmart stating we will built the store to your specs etc. Then I go to banks and private financing sources and they say ok the numbers work you have a 99 year lease with Walgreens, Walmart or Home Depot we will loan you the money based on the Letter of Intent/Lease you have with those major retailers.

    And Bank of America would structure the loan in phases. 1) retail portion for the major national retailer 2) other phases as they become sold or leased.

    Sedgewick is just trying to get the last piece of very valuable property with TIF financing because all they have is nice drawings. Hence they haven't spend money with the likes of SOM or Solomon Cordwell Buenz.

    Same reason the City is not on board with them. Chicago doesn't need another hole in the ground like the Spire or a half completed cement shell like the Waterview on Wacker.

    There currently is no market for anything Sedgewick has proposed with the pretty drawings on the North Side of Chicago.

    And their won't be for some time.

    Walmart is the only National Retailer looking to expand in Chicago right now. Any retailers that aren't here that want in aren't picking Uptown. They would be on Mag Miler, River North or Block 37.

    Sedgewick is just trying to buy the property with our financing because they know it's a win/win to buy hold and flip down the road.

    I challenge Mr. Paris and Sedgewick finance it on your own with private non TIF funds and I will believe you have a real plan.

  28. Phew! Tough Crowd.

    I guess you guys arent that concerned with bringing in more decent people to help outweight the overwhelming preponderance of blight and gangs.

    This isnt something is better than nothing. And Im not sure how you guys who couldnt stop Wilson Yard can stop this. Wilson Yard was well worth stopping for many reasons but it looks like it may not be as bad as everyone thinks.

    Now we have market rate housing coming in and everyone is up in arms? What gives?

    The pessimissim here is ridiculous.

    Its called Lakeview station because it has views of the Lake.
    Lakeviews sell. Looks at One Museum Park and One Museum Park West. Those developments are doing surprisingly well, WHY?
    Because they have lakeviews that wont become obstructed ever.

    There is a need for retail at that exact location, I think finding someone like a walmart wouldnt be that hard.

    You have a pretty similar thing going on at Foster,
    its not as large a development but thats because the piece of land involved here is different.
    There you have a reconfigured Dominicks and marketrate SENIOR housing going up as the new Admiral.

    That took awhile to come to fruition. And I think that whatever goes on this piece of land will take awhile as well.

    Having it sit vacant however for years upon years isnt going to help anyone. And I agree we dont have to push something through just to push it through.
    But I really dont see great arguments against this development.

    There is no evidence that this is Shillers last hurrah. No evidence that the "staggering" density is going to cause mass havoc and suicide. Its the windy city, Im glad those that came before us didnt just give up on inventing the skyscraper because of a little wind.

    Are we really sure that all they have is pretty pictures? Are we saying they dont have architectual plans? Do we think that the rendering is unbuildable? Wow, talk about not having a can do spirit.

    It needs a PR firm because the people of Uptown are proving to be just as able and nimbistic as those in Lincoln Park.

    TIF may sound evil but I happen to believe its not.
    You take taxpayer money and invest it in infrastructure or building that will enhance an area and the taxes that the new residents that move in and the taxes that are raised as the area improves pays the city back for their investment. Sounds Pretty Evil to Me. But Im just a capitalist pig I guess.

    Also after something like this development is built as an anchor for montrose and the lake.
    More developers and people with money will take notice of Uptown and you have a domino effect.

    Its going to have anyways whether its this development or someother.

  29. I am not a big believer in online petitions normally.

    However if you are opposed to this project in its current form please check it out.

    Also keep in mind the prerogative of the next Alderman who will make or break this project as no deal is going to get inked in before May. At least I sure hope not..that would constitute a rush job put mildly.

    On that note read down the list of signatures of those already signed...its enlightening and gives me some hope.

    Uptown is our home.

  30. It looks like that slick PR campaign that Sedgwick paid for includes bloggers who comment on pages like this.

    I'm talking about you, geofredo.

    To clarify, tax $ in TIF's does NOT go back to the city- it goes into the developer's pocket. The only $ the city wold get is the sales tax from any retail in the project. There's a big difference between being pessimistic and being realistic. And the reality is this project is WRONG for the neighborhood. It's too much in too small a space- all at the taxpayers' expense. It's ridiculous to think that this will revitalize Uptown. Who is going to buy all these units? Why won't Sedgwick ever answer how many of these units will be filled by Section 8? More importantly, why isn't Sedgwick holding real public hearings on this and not little meetings in some laundry room?

    What else are they hiding from us?

  31. I think the line that has resonated most with me from this entire discussion is "Let's not use TIF money designated for blighted areas to enrich developers who want to build on prime lakefront property."

    If it's such a great project, private investors should be lining up to get a crack at it. Period.

    As it stands, $50 million MORE dollars are scheduled to be taken away from city services by the formation of this new TIF.

    It needs to be disbanded. Seriously, what does Uptown need more, 800 more units of housing or more cops?

  32. I am all for projects that are 100% privately funded that don't use TIF money.

    TIFS were originally for blighted areas.

    That property is not blighted and is the single most valuable piece of land available on the North Side.

    If Mr. Paris had the money to put the deal together and backing he won't need TIF money.

    A seasoned liquid developer wouldn't want TIF money because they wouldn't want to have the leverage over them on the mix of low, super low income they can build there.

  33. Sedgewick is a developer; it is not a public service; it is not a 501(c)3. Their mission is to get the money and run. There is nothing wrong with that. They don't give a fig if the people to whom they sell go belly up (see Waveland Ave). They don't give a f*&$% what impact their development has on the community; that's not their job. They really couldn't possibly care less if their development reates blight a block and a half away. They'll get their money back and a lot of it will be public money. Period.

  34. I apologize for neglecting to leave a link the the aforementioned petition.

    You are also allowed to leave a brief comment.

    I seems to me the P.R firm has a tough sell on their hands, while this project has some support I am impressed that the objections seem to be coming from the full spectrum of opinion.

    Trumansqnbr made a damn good comment. "what do we need more, 800 addition units or more cops?

    We have more units than we need considering vacancies and the flooded market. Also think of how many people are holding off selling once the market does improve, and it will.

    I think we need more cops, the police need and deserve more resources period. Among other city services as well.

    But I will expand on TSN's fine comment with a question because I can't quantify it myself. It may help put it perspective the "real" cost if someone "in the know" can answer:

    How many cops does $50,000,000 buy?

  35. I want this development as long as there is NO CHA/section 8 housing.

    I like Lakeview. I lived there for my first 5 years in Chicago and only moved to Uptown because I got a great deal on a condo. I thought Uptown was like Lakeveiw, just a bit further north. I was sad to find that wasn't true. We thought Wilson Yard was a new condo development. We almost didn't close when we found out the truth. I hope this development makes this area more like Lakeview.

  36. it's my blog and I'll cry if I want to...

  37. Well FYI im not a developer stooge.
    Just a concerned citizen at large.

    Im concerned about the paranoia that pervades this site and towards a decent development of the maryville property.

    Have you guys thought about what the demolition will cost? Sure its not a superfund site but putting some money towards development in the city would be best spent here in Uptown IMHO.

    If you guys havent noticed I didnt just arrive yesterday with this site and Im not a secret developer super cell infiltrating the site.
    Check out Broken Heart of Rogers Park to see all comments there.

  38. David, I lived on the border of Uptown and Lake View for 4 years, then in Lake View itself for one year--I bought my condo in Uptown because I was suddenly priced out of the rental market in Lake View, and wanted to have my own place. I've now lived in Uptown for nearly 15 years in a nice building. Each neighborhood has its own character, and it's defined by its buildings, its businesses, its organizations, and its people. I remember very clearly that I told my parents on the day I moved in, "This is Uptown, not Lake View--the neighborhood isn't exactly 'perky'." It's far better than it was, in some respects, but the gang activity has become more brazen, more pervasive, and more violent--in "bursts"--than it was. There are things I'd like to change about Uptown, like the gang violence, but I'm *happy* that this isn't Lake View.

    The most intense disagreements in this neighborhood have come from changes that have been imposed upon it, whether it be people booted from low-cost rental buildings being converted into condos, or local property taxes being used for private developments that were jammed through with fabricated (e.g. "made-up") "consensus" that never existed--like Wilson Yard. The lesson we all should learn is that change can't be imposed upon a neighborhood--change has to come from within, by consensus, with the acceptance of a real majority of those directly impacted by it, otherwise the "change" is mere lip-service that turns into an albatross left to hang from the neighborhood's neck. It doesn't last and it won't work if the foundation isn't laid solidly and if the neighborhood pays more for it--financially, socially, and otherwise--than it gets in return. I have a very strong feeling that Sedgwick is tossing out a few bones but has no intention of giving Uptown a development that will be better than an albatross around our necks.

  39. Hey wake up! The density is in place to balance the losses incurred on the affordable units they will be required to include. This is the main reason neighbors should be very concerned about the use of TIF funds for Lake View Station. Why else is Marc Kaplan pushing these ballot measures? Wilson Yard is tapped dry. Once the Maryville TIF is established he’ll have boatloads of new funding to leverage more “affordable” housing.

    Marc’s ballot measure:
    TIF Funds Wd 46 Sel Pcts
    Should the City of Chicago allocate a minimum of 20% of TIF (Tax Increment Financing) funds on a yearly basis to be used to preserve and produce housing affordable to persons at or below the community median income; return all tax dollars that have been taken from the public schools for the TIF Districts and be prohibited from taking any tax dollars from the public schools in TIF Districts in the future. Yes or No

  40. But, geofredo, it rankles to be told by people like you and Chris, who live in other communities, about what will improve OUR neighborhood and what OUR taxes will be paying for.

    Being repeatedly called a NIMBY, a fearmonger and paranoid isn't nice, especially when it's in repeated posts by someone who doesn't have any skin in the game. Your money isn't going for this. You won't be affected by it. So why is it so important to you to convince those of us who do live in the area and who will be paying for it to accept this boondoogle? It's very odd -- either it's paternalism (I know what's best for you, don't worry your little heads about it) or the developer has somehow convinced you to support this, or ??? In any case, I for one appreciate that you read this board and contribute, but this really isn't your issue, and it's very strange to have you call us names for having a different opinion about what happens in OUR neighborhood than you do from up North.

  41. *APPLAUSE!!* Thank you, GG! You nailed it. It's nice that geofredo has an interest in our neighborhood (as do others), and it's nice that he feels good enough about Uptown that he comes along to pick up trash off a street. But I could still walk along the Lake View street I once lived on and pick up trash...and I'm still interested in what's going on there...however, I don't *LIVE* there anymore and don't work there either. I've been pissed-off when a new condo building went up next to a long-established gay dance bar and some of the new owners tried to get the bar shut down because of the noise (although why someone would buy a home in the middle of the Halsted Strip, next to a bar, and expect to hear crickets chirping at night is something I don't understand)...I go past Wrigley twice a day on the Red Line, and I'm not happy that a wall of concrete block and steel blocks almost all views of Wrigley now...but as you put it so well, I don't have any skin in the game there now. It's the business of that neighborhood's businesses and residents about how they deal with the shape and form of their neighborhood--not mine. It's one of the reasons why I'm angry about how Wilson Yard took shape--Shiller packed the "planning charettes" with people without skin in the game, including U of C students, ONE representatives, developers, and many others who didn't live within the TIF district. Sure, we have a bright shiney new Target, a strange Aldi, and a wall of uninspired subsidized rental housing for people mostly from outside of Uptown...but it isn't what the people who are paying the bills wanted, it was imposed upon us by outsiders with their own agendas, and it isn't doing much for us except rob Peter to pay Paul.

    Before geofredo and others feel the need to tell us any more about what THEY think is good for US (and that they think WE should pay for it, too), they need to stop and consider whether they'd like it if Uptown got together and decided that we want the Gill Park Co-op reconstructed next to their home, along with building a Home Depot, a warehouse, and a big parking lot across the street from them--without them having the ability to say "NO." If aren't from the neighborhood, don't already have plans to plunk down cash to buy a condo in "Lake View Station", don't plan to shop in the grocery store or work out in the gym that Sedgwick claims to have lined up, and think that the people who will have to live with whatever goes in there are wrong for questioning something as permanent as concrete and steel...then BUTT OUT and tend to the affairs of where you live and work yourself. We have decades of experience that lead us to question what happens in the neighborhood we live in.

  42. Geo,

    Get real... this high rise won't make 'decent people' want to move to Uptown. Thanks to the crime, the gangs, and the complete neglect of this community (for those who aren't on public assistance) by the Alderman, the 'decent' people that live here are leaving in droves, and those that can't afford to leave due to the market, will do so as soon as they can sell their condo for a fraction of what they paid for it.

    The word about Uptown is out. No one believes that its this "up and coming great neighborhood, a great investment!" anymore... and all you have to do is drive around to see all the empty storefronts and condos to know that to be true.

    Unless Sedgwick plan on selling those units dirt cheap, there is NO MARKET for this building in Uptown. If nothing is done about the crime here, and it appears that we are to lose more cops, then no one in their right mind is going to spend a penny to invest in Uptown. There are plenty of other Chicago neighborhoods with more to offer.

    I believed all the crap I was spun six years ago about Uptown being this "great, up and coming neighborhood" and that it was such a "great investment." and for the first two years, it was great, but after that, the wheels came off and the crime just continued to get worse. Then the recession hit, and its even worse. Buying in Uptown is the WORST mistake I've ever made...and while I think the neighborhood has some potential and its a shame what has happened to it, NOTHING will change until the right people are pulling the strings and are willing to do the hard work to make Uptown safe and viable for everyone, regardless of their income.

    All I can hope for now is someone will like the neighborhood enough to buy my condo for the steal its being sold for, so I can be free of that albatross. I look forward to the day that I can file Uptown as a brief moment of insanity in my life.

  43. @Thirtywhatever, bon voyage! You will not be missed. Leave now and do us all a favor, your not here to help us, so just leave now. And to all of you badgering Geofredo about not living in Uptown. Hear it from me, who lives on the 800 block of Agatite and would live only three doors down from this proposed development. I SUPPORT THE PROJECT! And so do many of my neighbors.

  44. For the inevitable use of 'decent people' is in response to Geo's use of the term. I am not saying those who are on public assistance are not decent people.

    The point that Geo made was that people with money to buy will come to Uptown. Which is not true unless things change for the better, and fast.

    Now more than ever, people are not willing to put their hard-earned money into any endeavor that is not almost 100% a sure bet. Empty promises and 'we hope it wills' aren't going to cut it anymore. With all the bad press (deserved) Uptown has received lately, the word has more than gotten around about the situation here. Why would anyone invest their money into this kind of an environment?

    And for those that will say, "good riddance then! We don't want those people with money to buy in Uptown!" keep this in mind... its "those people with money" that pay for all those public assistance programs via their property taxes. They also patronize all the stoes and restaurants that provide revenue for the town. Without those 'greedy condo owners' the whole town suffers. I personally know six people that have sold their condos in Uptown and moved out of the many do you know that have done the same? Think about all that property tax money that is now GONE. Who will make up that difference?

    Even though I moved out of Illinois entirely, (My four years in Uptown really ruined Chicago for me, and I've lived in the city since I was 19), I am interested to see what the next Alderman will do... will he/she fix these issues? Or will it be business as usual? If it is, heaven help Uptown as it will be the next South Side in 5 years, easy.

  45. ChiTownPhilly,

    No need to wish me off. I moved out of Uptown two years ago and have zero regrets. I spent the four years I lived there "trying to make a difference" by participating in block club events, going to CAPS meetings, going to town hall meetings, etc. My last year there was a complete joke with all the shootings happening in broad daylight, the murders on my block, the constant drug dealing one neighbor being battered, and another nearly shot in the head while out walking his dog, again -all in broad daylight.

    My only ties to Uptown now is my condo that is now being sold for less than 1/2 what I paid for it, and still its not getting any bites... that should tell you right there that if top notch condos aren't selling THIS cheap, its NOT just the overall housing market that is driving buyers away, its the CRIME.

    Sorry, I wasn't willing to continue working my ass off to live in a community where I might get shot and killed simply walking down the street and have to listen to a Commissioner say that the 46th ward has the "lowest crime numbers" and the Alderman state that "Crime is not her issue." No thanks.

    I voted with my pocketbook and have zero regrets. I do think Uptown has potential, the architecture is gorgeous and the location is amazing...I hope things change for all of you in the future... but I wasn't willing to raise my family on 'hope.'

  46. @Thirtysomething, its a good thing everyone in Uptown isn't as fearful as you. As much as I agree that the violence in Uptown is bad and needs to be controlled, what are the chances of you or your children being shot? How many people, innocent bystanders, have been killed in Uptown in recent years? Not that many I can assure you. We have only had two or three gang related deaths all year period! You act as if Uptown is lawndale. Maybe the different people here make you 'evil condo owners' afraid to step outside, but trust me, we don't bite. I prefer my risk-ridden Uptown over your safe suburban haven anyday.

  47. If you guys are so upset about this development, recommend the Somerset location.. we're close to a Dominicks, we'd LOVE LOVE LOVE a gym within walking distance, and some retail that isn't Asian would be much appreciated... we'll take it without a fight..

  48. Its my City though.
    And my Northside.

  49. ChiTownPhilly,

    I don't consider walking away from an obvious bad investment, cutting my losses and moving some place else where my hard earned money is actually used the way its supposed to be used, a decision based on fear. Its simple logic. A decision that I, and many others have made.

    No, I don't feel it is likely that I will be shot the second I step out of my home. Obviously I would of left a lot sooner than four years if fear was my issue.

    I don't feel the need to throw my money away to prove a point. Nor do I need to put my child in sub par schools where gangs engage in "fisticuffs" outside and nothing is done about it, to prove a point.

    My original argument is that building a high rise full of condos in a market already saturated with empty condos is not going to help Uptown. Until something is done about the crime, and there is real leadership willing to address the issues Uptown faces instead of dismissing it as nothing more than "boys will be boys" then no one in their right mind is going to flock to Uptown to fill that high rise.

    I really, truly hope that Uptown gets better. It deserves to have better leaders that are willing to step up for it. I hope to be proven wrong.

  50. With all due respect to Sedgwick, groupies and former residents of Uptown, this matter will be decided by the people who actually live here.

    This is an Uptown issue.

    This plan in my opinion is yet another g
    Great Failure of the Imagination.

    The best thing that can be said about it is its better that "what's there now".

    Really? That's inspiring. Prime space that it is...we really can't do better than this? I hope so....

  51. Okay Jeff Littleton you guys can fight over whats built there, but please dont allow the violence from Uptown spillover too much to the other areas of Chicago.

    Or we could just put a forcefield around Uptown. Otherwise I will continue to voice my opinion as I do go to Uptown quite a bit for business and pleasure and once did live in andersonville terrace on winnemac.

    What do the dead people in the cemetery think? They are potential voices and voters as well.


  52. This idea to me that people that live in other neighborhoods shouldn't care and have opinion of what happens in Uptown to me is crazy.

    Last I checked we all lived in Chicago One(1)City.

    And from time to time they change the boundaries for the Alderman.

  53. Thirtywhatever said...
    I believed all the crap I was spun six years ago about Uptown being this "great, up and coming neighborhood" and that it was such a "great investment."

    Sounds like a motivational speech from a realtor (they work on commission, you know) But guess what, the demographic makeup of the neighborhood, the poverty rates, the social service agencies, etc. -- all this info has been available on the internet for more than a decade. (I know, I looked it up before I bought here 12 years ago.) Plus, it's pretty easily confirmed today, as it was back then, by a walk around the neighborhood, asking a few questions of neighbors, friends, storeowners, etc.

    That bear guy asked why someone would move next to a dance bar and then complain about the noise. Why, indeed? Me, I've always wondered why people would move into this neighborhood and then immediately start complaining about it.

    Thanks to your comment and the one on the other thread ("we thought WY was condos") I'm pretty sure why, now.

  54. Toucan,

    First of all, I didn't go by the real estate agent. Our real estate agent actually wouldn't even take us to Uptown. He was a nice racist fellow that assumed us whities wouldn't consider Uptown. I found our condo unit on my own doing an internet search. The information I got WAS from the neighbors who lived in the building long before it was turned into condos. Some of them had lived there for 12+ years and knew the neighborhood very, very well. It was their opinion that the neighborhood was on the upswing, the next hot spot and the time to buy in Uptown was a great one.

    Obviously that was an opinion held by a lot of DEVELOPERS during that time, because condos in the area sprung up like crazy...I'm pretty sure developers "did their research too" because they were building on their own dime, not TIFF funds. Typically its a good sign when developers are willing and eager to buy in a neighborhood on their own dime, unlike this "Lakeview Station" which is hoping for TIFF funds.

    If reading comprehension is not your strong suit, I'll restate it, for the first couple of years, I loved Uptown. I'm a city girl, most things don't bother me. I don't expect perfection by any means, and I'm not naive. But in the last two years I lived there, I personally witnessed shoot outs, I was woken up more than a few times by gunfire, one time semi-automatic gunfire. No one likes to wake up to go to work and find police tape that was wrapped around your alley in the garbage. My neighbor was violently assaulted, and another one nearly took a bullet to the head while out walking his dog. Oh, and he survived Vietnam, so he was pretty sure what that zinging noise past his ear was. (Real nice to survive Vietnam but get shot while out walking your dog at 4 in the afternoon).

    The theory about the sudden jump in crime during that time was that a gang task force took down some major gang leaders in a huge bust, thinking that the gangs would fall apart (cutting heads of the snakes). Instead it became worse, with members fighting amongst each other to be the next "shot caller" and then of course they were fighting other gangs for new claims of turf, and for a while, it felt like my block was the OK Corral. There was a lot of news coverage during that time speculating whether or not the gang task force's methodology was a good one or not. It was at that point that I decided I'd had enough.

    I'm not sure where you read that I said that I thought Wilson Yard was condos. I never said that. I did state the fact that the original plans for WY and Shiller's statements during the first Town Hall meeting re WY at Truman College was that the building would INCLUDE market rate units, where the rents would partially subsidize the low income housing. That is a fact, and it never happened. That is no where close to misquoting someone claiming the units would be condos, but you've already proven that reading comprehension is not your strong suit, so I guess the point is moot.