Thursday, December 16, 2010

If You Don't Like The Proposed Maryville Plan... Here's What You Can Do

click to enlarge
A reader writes:

"The potential developer of the Maryville property has hired a PR firm, Culloton Strategies, to help them push this project through. The PR firm tactic seems to be to hold small meetings with individual buildings to win the residents over. They have not scheduled meetings with the neighborhood groups about their plans.

Many of the neighborhood residents feel the project is far too big and dense for the area. They propose 3 towers to sit on and directly across from Clarendon Park. The twin towers at the main site are 498' and 404' high and the third new tower at the corner of the park is 230' high. The most effective thing residents opposed to this project can do is contact the City of Chicago Zoning & Planning Department at:

Sarah A. Sheehan
Department of Zoning and Land Use Planning
City of Chicago
City Hall, Room 703
121 N. LaSalle Street
Chicago, Illinois 60602

We do find it odd that the developers, who have been asked several times to hold a large, community-wide meeting, are still reluctant to meet with the community as a whole.


  1. Really...ON Clarendon Park? Talk about deception.

  2. I don't really see a huge reason to not support this. As long as the building are not low-income housing, I don't see why this wouldn't be a good thing for the neighborhood.

    If you feel it won't be beneficial, feel free to try to convince me. I could use some more information.

  3. Why are you against developments such as this?
    Do you want Uptown to say in the "dark ages"?
    At least without Heir Alderbeast these will not be tuned into the new Cabrini.

  4. I love how the creator of this document added these big looming omminous shadows!!!

    Personally, the only problem i see with this project is the competition it will cause when i try to sell my condo. I live across the street in the existing high rise and the values are SO depressed in my building i want to open the window and jump out. Units are selling for 40% less than 3 years ago, its horrible.

  5. One very good reason not to support this is that there is no guarantee the final phases will be built.

    Unless I am completely wrong...are their any guaranteed timelines?

    Its very likely the last 2 or 3 "phases" won't happen with the market climate and the fact that whoever the new Mayor and Alderman is TIFs are going to be under some new scrutiny and or conditions.

    If there has been an implied, written or otherwise made guarantee on completing this please correct me somebody.

    Why do it in phases in the 1st place....its sketchy and a RED flag.

  6. First off, Shiller is still in office and has some say about zoning. So, don't think she doesn't exert any influence on the makeup of the housing units until the last second of her term.

    @Swisshammer. How do you think condos are selling right now? Do you know anyone who is having trouble trying to sell? Now add 400 more empty units into the neighborhood. It's simple economics. Too much supply, not enough demand = plunging sales prices *OR* more units available to be used to cram more subsidized housing into the area.

  7. What I see are developers desperate to get this thing approved while Shiller is still alderman, and that makes me very suspicious.

    Remember, they can promise anything, but they can build anything they want. Remember that TIFs are without oversight.

    If you think differently, I dare you to go shopping at the Crate and Barrel at Wilson Yard, and take in a movie at the theatres afterwards. Go visit friends at the market-rate housing there and talk about how good it is that the renters have an ownership component. Admire the terra cotta cladding that surrounds the building at the corner of Broadway.

    All that was promised to the community. None of it had to happen, and it didn't.

    If this is such a great plan, then the developers -- who don't even own the property yet -- can deal with a new alderman in May and present it to the community then.

  8. Except for the hotel, not in the first phase, they're not offering anything which isn't already here. Now I'm a good capitalist and all but I wonder what the effect of this tax subsidized influx will have on the existing businesses. Will the Jewel/World Gym become a huge vacant/decaying space in a couple of years? Why are we subsidizing luxury condos when so many are currently underwater, or worse, in forclosure?

  9. To Mal: Yes ON Clarendon Park. The 3rd tower is proposed to be on the SE corner of the park. The other 2 40 story towers will be directly across from the park
    To: Swisshammer - Many reasons to oppose this: traffic of 1100 units plus retail trucks using Montrose ave - ever noticed what the park traffic is like in the summer without this? Not to mention they need $50million in tax dollars to build this
    To: Nash - see above. If it is such a great thing why can't they get funding without a tax handout?

  10. Let's see, remove the eyesore that sits there now and put up big shiny buildings with housing, hotel, retail . . .
    OK by me.
    @ Jeffrey, what project of this scope has not been built in phases?

  11. To simplify, OK over simplify...

    The developers want to build $500K condos; they want to sell them for $400K; they'll get the rest through 24 years of property taxes which won't go to the city, or schools, parks, etc.

  12. this project feels out of touch, out of scale, and like a giant TIF money grab. why soooo big?

  13. @Jeffrey Littleton, doing large projects like this in phases is the norm, so no, it's not a red flag. A developer with his own money to put up for an entire project of this magnitude is very rare. Secondly, these developers aren't stupid or naive enough to believe they could push this through before Helen leaves office. The thought that that could be done is ludicrous. They haven't even gotten the zoning change they are seeking, let alone getting site plan approvals, etc, all of which have not even been submitted to the city yet. It's at least a year or two away from being approved, if it ever is. [And on a sidenote, if what TrumanSqreNabr says is correct, that Sedgwick doesn't actually own the property yet, then everyone should stop complaining about Sedgewick not clearing the snow and litter.] The pro's out weigh the cons for this project, in my opinion. No risk, no reward. Even if the final phases are never built, I'd rather have some retail and an operational parking garage in addition to an upgraded Clarendon park, than have Maryville continue to sit and rot. Besides, isn't that what most opponents want, no big towers taking up the sunlight and 'bringing down your property values'?

  14. Wake up folks and smell your property tax money going up in smoke.

    This TIF, which is really the bastard-child of the Wilson Yard TIF, will mean you'll be paying for it in higher property taxes to make up for the millions it will suck out of the city's budget and into the developer's pocket.

    $50 Milion is just the starting price they want on TIF money.

    The Wilson Yard TIF boundaries included Maryville and the parking lot north of it. So why was a new TIF carved out of Wilson Yard?

    Wilson Yard was supposed to "Fix the blighted conditions" for $24 Million--so far our property tax commitment has grown to $59 million spent, another
    $54 million waiting to be spent, and the blight hasn't been fixed according to the Maryville TIF study.

    In this economy are 800 condos, a mega-parking garage and another grocery store, underwritten with our tax money, the answer to fixing our blight?

  15. if they can secure retail (not social agencies) and get commitments to buy (prob not within the next five - six years) then LET THEM BUILD IT. We live in a city people. A city. Don't want congestion, MOVE TO THE BURBS.

    Can't have your cake and eat it to.

  16. like the economy will never improve? Come on of course it will. Condo and retail markets won't stay depressed forever lol.

    This proposed development would be a buying point for me to be near something especially as oppossed to vacant land and vacant buildings.

    look how ugly and desolute it is now.

    congestion? really? Lakeview is way more congested than Uptown. Look at which neighborhood has more retail, restaurants, etc. You think people will drive or take transit to Uptown to eat or hangout? Yeah a few some but you need your own market of people. Uptown doesn't have that now.

  17. A's comments from the other thread are, as they say, "right on the money" so I am pasting them in here in case anyone missed them. BTW the very name "Lakeview Station" is an affront to me. Yo, yo this is UPTOWN!!!

    I knew the Spire would never get built because the numbers just didn't work.

    The numbers don't work on this development either as proposed in this economy and with the inventory. THIS WILL NOT LOOK ANYTHING LIKE THE DRAWINGS OR BE WHAT THEY ARE SELLING.

    Let's not forget about all the fancy drawings and community meetings of other proposed developments that didn't get built.(Kenetic Playground, behind and across the street and on the parking lot for the Aragon. Remember how that never happened either?)

    I would rather see this site sit empty until a honest well though out plan comes around from a reputable development company.

    Just because we have empty space doesn't mean we need to have a building on it today or plans in the works.

    Also keep in mind that there was a development proposed next to the New York Tower that never got built.

    If American Invesco isn't building in this economy that tells you there is no market right now for anything new.

    We have plenty of retail space and market rate condos in Uptown that needs filled more inventory will only add to the problem.

    Also if they are worried people are going to call the Architect that tells you this is one horse operation and has something to hide.

  18. Better to build in phases.
    Why is that bad?
    It was building all at once
    that got us into the real estate trouble of late.

    I would welcome the traffic,
    good traffic to help outweigh the gangbanger traffic. Plus alot of people live in the city SO THEY DONT have to drive, this is pretty close to an EL stop so not sure about that argument.

    Its smart to build the retail first and then slowly build up the area.

    Just because the building next to the NewYork Tower didnt get built doesnt mean that this one wont.
    And a building probably will be built by the newyork tower eventually but it just didnt make sense at that time.
    There were all kinds of crazy projects that werent done.....

    Something will be built there,
    and this is a good thing to contemplate.

  19. Its good to know nothing is getting pushed through and the people got their ears on.

    Their are far more questions then answers at this point and I hope whoever the next Alderman is will be following closely.

    The new Alderman will have a BIG say in this and may have to hit the ground running.

    Very good comments all-round.

    Daniel Burnham once said "Make no small plans...."

    Whatever is built there will be there for a long while...lets make it something we can all be proud of.

    @Sassy....hell yea whats up with the Lakeview name. We can improve Uptown without changing the name.......damm-nammit!

  20. Residents in support of this project should write to Sarah Sheehan as well. Here is an excerpt of my letter to her:

    Property adjacent to the lake is a precious commodity, and many people want to live, work and stay close to all the fabulous amenities the lakefront has to offer. The area adjacent to Montrose Harbor also suffers from a lack of retail space, which would be supported by residents and visitors alike.

    I have 13 years experience as an Architect for firms that plan and execute projects similar to this, and can't say enough about the forward-thinking zoning that permits miles of successful highrise developments along our lakefront. Anything less dense would be a wasted opportunity, and irresponsible urban planning.

    I commend Sedgwick Properties for their thoughtful approach to phasing, traffic patterns, open space, setbacks and the inclusion of discrete but sufficient parking in the podium of the project. Their successful developments throughout the City show a dedication to context, scale, scope and aesthetics.

  21. I'm no Real Estate expert, but I somehow don't think lake front property needs TIF money.

    It seems a bit large for the space?

    Although it's a case of apples and oranges, the MUCH touted 2520 Lincoln Park (L. LaGrange) development didn't have a TIF advantage?

    It just looks too big.....too sketchy.....and too vague.

  22. There is an existing building on he NE corner of Clarendon and Montrose, or as one called it 'the SW corner of the park'. So, no they are not planning to tear up park land, just an existing piece of old Maryville campus.

  23. Agreed, Starck Mad.

    They would meet much less opposition if they didn't take TIF funds. If you can't make a project with unobstructed lakefront views work without gub'ment money then so be it.

    Anyone else here find it interesting that there are a lot of pro comments from people who have never before commented on this blog? Whats with you folks? This is the first Uptown topic that really incited you to comment on the local neighborhood blog? Its bizarre by any category of Uptowner I know. And, while I am at it, where's the anti-gentrification crowd? Will Marc Kaplan be passing around flyers encouraging people not to purchase properties?

  24. While I think there are a lot of valid concerns about the development I think ranting about the size is not convincing. Developments are almost always drawn big and brassy, and then are built smaller.

    Pick one of the other concerns and focus on that.

  25. *sigh*

    Sassy pegged it.

    Interesting mix of newbies bouncing into the fray, all in support.

    And very few have shown any logical concern into how this is being financed. Especially disconcerting considering that while the city can't pay for basic services and the infrastructure crumbles (check out those viaducts if you need an example), somehow there's money to give to private developers.

    Maybe we'll give Sedgwick the $50M out of the $75M that's left over from the $1.15B parking meter lease deal.

    But, I guess when you're $650M in the hole ($550M of that a result of 2009 TIFs), $50M doesn't look so bad, right?

    Put aside the fact that if the same people who would approve this project hadn't dug us into such a deep financial hole, we wouldn't have needed to lease the parking meters in the first place.

    Or raise a slew of fees to live in the city.

    And yes .. where is the anti-gentrification crew? Too busy slapping stickers on Stop signs?

    As to the PR tactics ... let's just say there's a scent in the air, and it's more than a bit rat-like.

    For the record - if Sedgwick can afford to build this without public funding, I'm all for it.

    "irresponsible urban planning", indeed.

    Funding schools and police is part of urban planning too, y'know?

  26. My 2 cents:

    By the time the project is built, I would expect that the housing bubble/crash will have ended. Yes, owners will struggle with values for several years, but eventually, it will rebound.

    I personnally don't have trouble with the density. City's should be dense with people, it adds vibrancy. My question is why you would want to put a major grocery store on lakefront property? It's not like there is a darth of grocery stores in the area, and hey, this ain't the Clybourn corridor.

    Take Sheridan Road north of Foster and the majority of the traffic is people driving through the neighborhood to get to Lakeshore Drive from outside the area. The people who actually live in the highrises on North Sheridan are not causing the traffic headaches as there is ample and easy public transport and they use it.

    TIF money is a taxpayer subsidy. As a taxpayer, I feel my money could be better spent elsewhere. Why should I subsidize $400,000 condos?

    Take some TIF money, level the building, plant grass over the rubble and let it sit vacant until the housing market recovers. Then build nice high-end non-governemnt subsidized condos packed with people who have money to spend in the neighborhood, supporting the shops, restaurants and theatre. This in turn will give jobs to people who need them.

    I'd say in a few years we need this building. But if it can't be built with out subidized money, we don't need it right now.

  27. The image on the flyer is obviously photoshopped to make it look worse than it is... those shadows were not there before.

    Anyway - why are so many people against new towers in Chicago!? I love (sarcasm) that people who live in these dense neighborhoods in existing tall buildings gripe about new ones coming in. It's called progress and if people 40 years ago threw as much of a fit as some of you are now - then the building you are LIVING in never would have been built either!!

    As far as density is concerned. Um... we do realize we live in the third largest city in the country right? Move to the burbs if you want less traffic/noise/buildings.

    A couple people above seemed offended that it would be built ON the park. This is not the case. The only section to be built on the park side of the street will be replacing an existing building in that location. There will be no park land that will be taken. (see here:,-87.649355&spn=0.002226,0.004587&t=h&z=18 )

    What's sad is so many of these projects get cancelled and hated on cause of people blindly believing these scare tactics that these small groups put out (as in the flyer). It's truly sad and I hope someday uptown realizes what potential it has if we just let some progress HAPPEN.

  28. Chris, I laughed so hard at your post, its not even funny. I am now more convinced than ever that the name "Lakeview Station" says much more than ever.

    Here's a little Uptown History in response to your comment below. You say:

    It's called progress and if people 40 years ago threw as much of a fit as some of you are now - then the building you are LIVING in never would have been built either!!

    Well, people did throw a fit 40 years ago and they were lead by Helen Shiller at the Heart of Uptown Coalition. At that time, however, they were opposing aggressive "slum clearance" tactics which included arson. The entire community was getting uprooted with no plans for where they might go. These were people who had already been uprooted by the effects of new practices in coal mining (ie progress!) and by bad decisions being made at the Bureau of Indian Affairs, for example. These were very poor people who faced yet another move away from their kin all on the name of "progress". During that time, one developer amazingly lost 10-15 buildings to fire. What a string of bad luck, wouldn't you say? I think there was even a little girl who died in one of the fires.

    (to be continued...running out of space)

  29. (continued)...

    Here is a quote from Slim Coleman back in 1982 when Heart of Uptown Coalition fought a legal case against the Pensacola Place development, “The real estate companies just want to raze each block and build condos. But as long as we can keep public housing on the block, they won’t be able to do that.” (Chicago Tribune, 8/5/1982)

    I've got my criticisms of Coleman and Shiller but they were very successful in their tactics. And that is why a developer in 2010 even has the possibility of developing prime lakefront property with TIF money in 2010.

    People died over this! "Lakeview Station," and comments such as yours, are an affront to the history and people of this great neighborhood. I can't believe that I might even see the day when Helen Shiller ushers in a zoning change and TIF money for you.

    Build your towers. But don't take TIF money designed to improve our "blighted" neighborhood (ie the legacy of being a place where crime, degraded infrastructure, broken down parks and bad schools were ok) and then even have the gall to turn around and call your monument to progress "Lakeview Station."

    Uptown is here and it will not be white-washed away.

  30. Susan, if you are going to use your expertise as an Architect in your letter for support, please be sure to mention you are now on your third job in the past year (amazing what one can find online)so not sure how much of an expert you would be. please be upfront and honest about where you are coming from...thanks!

    Chris, where have you and Toto and everyone else that 'suddenly' popped up on this blog been up to now? Good to know that the Lakeview Station PR team has their people up and running and trying to get control of the situation..LOL.. adn btw, the WHOLE PICTURE is photoshopped silly.. the buildings in the photo do NOT EXIST either..LOL If it is good enough for the developers to add the buildings it is good enough for the neighbors to start showing what the shadows would be ..and you are correct, they would be pretty ominous... =)

  31. And Chris... your observation of the photoshopped shadows, since they weren't in the original, is most astute. Some might actually be misled into believing the sun shines in Uptown and these translucent buildings would ever cast a shadow. The original renderings are much more accurate with the pedestrian promenade which is now Montrose.

  32. just a note: toto has posted here before on other topics

  33. Sassy, I stand corrected..thank you..Toto, I apologizee for being snarky about your misguided and ill-advised comments ;-)

  34. Sassy and Rob--THANK YOU. I'm pleased to see that I'm far from the first to notice that we suddenly have a truckload of "newbies" being rabidly supportive of "Lake View" Station, and other "P.R." that can't make it past the smell test. I think that certain developers don't understand (along with their "P.R." people) that Uptown has been screwed so much and so often by a variety of developers, interest groups, and government officials that we are wise to their tactics--and because of our recent experiences with Wilson Yard, we aren't going to roll over and we're not going away. It's OUR tax dollars they want--fool us once, shame on you...fool us twice, shame on us.

    It may also be valuable to remind people that Shiller herself led the charge to down-zone the stretch of LSD north of Addison because of all the high-rise condo owners raising a stink about losing their views if other high-rises were built around them. Take a close look at the New York, on LSD at Waveland--note the large expanse of "open land" and the blank wall of the parking deck there. The developers planned to build a second tower until community outcry about the density, blocked views, etc. from another tower shut it down and chopped the development off to where it is. Shiller locked that in by down-zoning to prevent any more taller buildings being constructed through there. Maybe the same thing needs to be done along Clarendon Park, no?

  35. The shadows even make the buildings look EVIL.

    The darkness is taking over!!!
    Its the tower of Sauron!!
    Where is the Evil Eye?

    Again antigentrification crowd?
    With almost daily shootings, that is ludicrous. If there is an antigentrification crowd are they Pro Bullets then?

    Realistically more gentrification for Uptown is good and as it continues it should displace the bad people (gang guys) and decrease the amount of bullets flying.

  36. So I admit I am new here. I moved to Uptown this past summer, but read UU daily for a few months prior to that in order to get a feel for the area. In spite of all the idiocy that happens on the streets I still feel Uptown has a promising future, and am proud to tell coworkers and friends that is where I live. The looks I get are pretty funny.

    Anyhow, I always read allusions to the Wilson Yard TIFF and how there was supposed to be a movie theater (awesome), and a bunch of other anchor-type businesses moving in, but never any explanation as to why that never came to fruition. Can someone please explain what exactly happened with that?

  37. Here's the definitive pirate take on this controversy.

    Some of you NIMBYS should change your names to "Uptown Frankenstein": Density Bad, Height Bad, Traffic Bad, Fire Bad, Fire Scare Frankenstein......aaaagh

    1. We need more market rate housing around here. Be it condo or rental. By the time this gets developed the real estate market will be different than today. Take a look at the population estimates for the USA over the next few decades. All those folks gotta live somewhere and it ain't gonna be Kansas, Dorothy.

    2. Density is good. Density means people and shoppers. I'm sorry the real estate market tanked before the KFC lot and the lot across from the Sheridan El stop got developed.

    3. No TIF money should be used to developed this. If the zoning is correct and the market is right that is a great location.

    4. I'm rather suspicious that the developers are trying to do it now. I mean we just pushed the handle down on the Shiller/toilet and as she is nearing the bottom of the bowl and the new Alderman(Tidy Bowl Person) is about to take over this suddenly becomes an issue? Shit, something is up.

    5. Thppppt!

  38. I think that certain developers don't understand (along with their "P.R." people) that Uptown has been screwed so much and so often by a variety of developers, interest groups, and government officials that we are wise to their tactics.

    Hallelujah, Amen.

    No matter where you stand on the Uptown political spectrum there is no denying that Uptown has been screwed so much so often by a variety of characters. What we are left with is political divisiveness, and a crumbling neighborhood infrastucture (both civic and physical). People who desire "progress" in the form of new people moving into the neighborhood and more amenities will get it in the coming years but that does not mean we have to jump on this crap deal because we're being asked to. Let's keep our money, take a look at what we really need, get a good plan in place and then proceed. 40 years of reactionary behavior, rather than thoughtful planning, have gotten us where we are now.

  39. I'm no newbie to this site, and I am pro "Uptown/Lakeview Station". And Rob, what does it matter that Susan has had three jobs in the past year? Maybe you aren't aware of the massive economic collapse and the fact that the construction industry was hit harder than most? I say ten years as an architect makes her more than qualified. And if she isn't qualified, what does that make you?

  40. I just find it annoying that the new commenters keep glossing over our TIF arguments. If you look at a majority of the "regulars'" opinions, it's that in concept this building isn't bad, but it shouldn't be funded by TIFs.

    PR people: Tell me why this needs our tax payer dollars??

  41. Perspective:

    1 - Shadows.

    Yes, the shadows in that image are extended - ala, how they would look in the late afternoon. The converse of course is that the original image opt'd to demonstrate the shadows as they would fall in the early(ish) summer afternoon.

    Point: so what? Tall buildings cast shadows. The developers decided to show the short shadows, and the opponents decided to show how those short shadows would look later in the day.

    Neither is technically incorrect.

    Let's move this argument to the side, shall we?

    2 - a bunch of other anchor-type businesses moving in, but never any explanation as to why that never came to fruition.

    Actually, reasoning was provided: bad economy.

    Which is fair, albeit unpopular - and to an extent, disappointing.

    Also fair is to say that a lot of people on both sides of the argument would be happier if those store fronts were filled.

    The issue which stands unaddressed: will we see a repeat in this development?

    3 - Yes. Added density in that area could lead to positive growth, which may very well lead to a pushing out of the violence plaguing the area.

    The underlying issue, as Sassy put it, is the assumed political flip-flop.

    How could an alderman whose political platform is corner-stoned with fighting gentrification, and has fought such developments in the past, possibly support this project?

    Dunno. And it's that inconsistency which has people scratching their heads.

    Around here: head scratching leads to expensive disappointment.

    3 - It's truly sad and I hope someday uptown realizes what potential it has if we just let some progress HAPPEN.

    People do realize the potential of the area; but there are ways to do things and ways to do things.

    And the way things have been done in the past, coupled with some less than stellar results, is what has peoples' dander up.

    To ignore that is to do a disservice to the people who are most immediately affected.

    Example: a LOT of money went to Wilson Yard, while absolutely no money has gone to other projects which desperately need to be addressed.

    Many people see Maryville as a distraction from other, more pressing issues which require and qualify for public funding.

    Remove the TIF aspect from this development and people might be surprised how quickly attitudes change.

    Retaining the TIF aspect simply callously picks at an open wound.

    Additionally, the new round of tactics being used by the developer and their PR firm aren't demonstrative of an honest actor.

    The perception, fair or not, is that Sedgwick is trying to back door community support to gain approval.

    Again, there are ways to do things, and there are ways to do things.

  42. So, it does seem weird that someone (Susan) who has never, or rarely, posted here, suddenly appears as someone who's hosting meetings at her home for this new development, and no one else knew that they were reviving the Lake Vie Station towers plan until the "Laundry Room Summit"? Why was Susan chosen to be the neighborhood's conduit to unveil this plan?

    Then we find out that Susan is an architect, and there's a big PR machine in place to "enlighten" Uptown residents about the advantages of the project being built.

    Doesn't smell right, esp. with Ald. Shiller and her well-known "anything goes" lack of urban planning skill about to leave office. What's the rush, fellas?

    If this is such a great plan, why not wait five more months - a drop in the bucket! - and run it past the new alderman, who presumably will have a better way of reaching residents and getting feedback?

    Why not get a true community consensus, rather than enlisting architects, who may or may not have a vested interest in the project, to tape up flyers in buildings and hold meet and greets in laundry rooms?

    The fact that UU has become the place to argue this matter speaks, more than anything else, to the lack of leadership and community-building of Helen Shiller's Uptown.

    Wait five months, then hold real meetings, meet with a real alderman, and tell us what you'd like to do. Then I'll listen. But now, it reeks of desperation.

  43. Well I can understand the people being wary of new projects.

    I guess everyone will feel better when shiller is gone.
    And I guess alot of people think this is shillers last crap project that she is secretly trying to push through.

    Toto has been around, she is a regular on NOH blog.

  44. Phony comments are not just fun and games.

    They're serious violations of FTC rules and can result in large fines.

    At YoChicago we go out of our way to call out these fakers and trace their IP addresses back to their employers, whoever they might be.

    If you can document abuse, report it to the Federal Trade Commission.

  45. A lot of you seem extremely jaded... and I am laughing as I read some of your comments of new posters being PR spies, lol. Conspiracy theories much? I can picture you at your computers in your dark apartment looking over your shoulders at all times. lol

    The reason I am suddenly "popping up" on here is cause there has never been anything important to me to comment about. I've read this blog (along with the Edgewater Community Buzz) for quite some time.The never-ending posts of gang bangers and shottings on Uptown Update isn't that exciting for me to actually throw my 2 cents in about. Besides... you all seem to comment enough for all of us on those posts.

    I used to live in Uptown but moved to Edgewater a couple years back. I see nothing wrong with gentrification! In fact... I love it. Look at how nice Bucktown/Wickerpark has started to become! Take a look at what Boystown/lakeview was like before IT got some nice developments/gut rehabs, etc! Etc etc

    Another reason I decided to finally comment on here is cause I was already annoyed about a building up by me that got cancelled a couple years back. It was to be a very tall condo building right at Hollywood & Sheridan. I currently love across the street from where that building would have gone up. Everyone in my building threw a big ole' stink about it and how they don't want their views to go away, etc... I don't care! Make the views go away... there will be NEW views. If that attitude persisted since high rises started to go up - there would only be ONE tall building in Chicago. lol

    Anyway... as far as the Tif money goes. I personally don't care either way. Nicer developments will eventually push the negative aspects (as I see it) out of uptown. What I am reading on here though is that so many of you would hate this development even if the Tif aspect wasn't attached. You would just find another reason to hate it. "It's too tall", "It doesn't look 'uptown' enough" "It blocks my view". Etc...

  46. Is it so hard to believe that there would be people that are not planted by a PR firm that disagree with many of you on the benefits of this project? It is not a conspiracy, just a polarizing issue that has two (or more) reasonable viewpoints.
    I find it rather refreshing that there is an issue that does not suffer from group-think.

  47. Is it so hard to believe that there would be people that are not planted by a PR firm that disagree with many of you on the benefits of this project?

    No. Its not. But it has happened before on this blog with other issues. I found it interesting the number of first time posters on this issue. FWIW, I don't see pursuing the issue further as it may have the effect of quieting the neighbors who support the project. Of course there will be a difference of opinion and we should talk about it but lets not pretend that there isn't ample opportunity for disingenuousness.

    As for me, I am 100% against any public money going towards such a project. If they can't make the project work without a subsidy, then its not a good project. Public funds should go for public goods. Police officers, schools, sewers, potholes...are you willing to have your taxes raised even more to get these things properly funded whilst the tax money you are already paying subsidizes large corporations? When the money runs out and programs are cut at the park and in the schools are you going to send a check to the schools so that the 4th graders can get their music class back? The city is in dire, dire financial straits and projects like this don't need to be rushed through before the current alderman leaves office.

  48. Of course there will be legitimate resident opinions both for and against the project however last go around in the LEN there were suspicious pro comments from several different supposedly up-town residents all originating from the same IP address at a PR firm doing work for Sedgwick. Lorraine followed up to confirm the source and removed those comments. This is big business; there is a huge amount of money at stake it wouldn’t be surprising if it happens again.

    For or against it makes sense to have open community meetings for all residents and aldermanic candidates so that we can become fully understand and review all aspects of the plans both positive and negative.

  49. The reason I am suddenly "popping up" on here is cause there has never been anything important to me to comment about.

    Really, Chris?

    Anyway... as far as the Tif money goes. I personally don't care either way.

    Well, that's just awesome.

    You don't live in Uptown, so you're not directly affected, but you're happy to opine about Uptown residents and how you think their tax dollars ought to be used, huh?

    And you wonder why folks doubt the authenticity of some of these comments.

    You're a real pip.

  50. Chris I remember what building you are talking about, I forgot the name of it but I could look it up.

    Its too bad that that building didnt get built in the church parkinglot at Hollywood and Sheridan.

    Yeah, what can I say?
    Im a skyscrapercity forum type of guy. Prodevelopment. Antinimby.
    And this is something that would help out the WHOLE city. Because having on the coolest areas of the city UPTOWN being held back by large concentrations of substandard housing and density of low income doesnt help anybody out and is bad for Chicago and the northside in general.

    I predict that eventually UPTOWN will be one of the nicest neigborhoods in the City and one of its more exciting as far as nightlife goes.

    We just have to watch out for those that are against everything

  51. I felt obligated to post last week when I realized that the small private meeting I organized for Sedgwick and my building had "gone public."

    I cared enough about the content of this meeting to extend the invitation to you all, and the outcome was wonderful.

    I posted with my real name in order to establish my authenticity and earnestness. "Rob," I won't offer an explanation to your post about my employment history. If you feel that means I am not legitimate, that's your deal and I won't defend myself to an anonymous e-stalker.

  52. "...are an affront to the history and people of this great neighborhood."

    Umm, Uptown was a swanky area long before Schiller and the freeloaders took over. It doesn't 'belong' to one group over another. Was not part of Chicago before 1889.

    And, going further back in time, Uptown belonged to Native American Indians!

    But as some say, this is all speculation, like the Spire!

  53. Yes Toto pops up occasionally on this blog.

    Irish Pirate, you said what I said, but oh so elegantly.

    Let's have height. Let's have development. But please let's have good sense and judgement.

    Let's not use TIF money designated for blighted areas to enrich developers who want to build on prime lakefront property. If this development cannot stand on its own without government/taxpayer's subsidies, than it should not be built. And really, why should there be retail on the lakefront? The area is too conjested for more retail. And is there a significant market for hotel rooms on the northside outside of downtown? It's a nice looking building, but its no Trump Towers either.