Saturday, December 11, 2010

Sedgwick Trying Again For Maryville Development

Wow. We thought Sedgwick's plan to build a super-sized development on the Maryville site had been put on hiatus until discrepancies in the plan were ironed out and a public hearing had been held. At least that's what Ald. Shiller said in a letter last June.

But wait! What's this? A reader sent in a photo of a flyer that appeared in her building about a Q&A session to be held at 4322 N Clarendon on Monday regarding the development, which has now apparently been product-branded as "Connecting Clarendon Park."

Is this what passes for "public hearings" these days? Notification by taped-up flyers and meetings in laundry rooms?
Update: Thanks to commenter "Ben," we now know what the proposed development will look like via the "Connecting Clarendon Park" website. Two more renderings are posted on the site.


  1. This really sucks the way things are done by these crooks. I have not seen anything like this in my buildings by this Maryville Developement but I would suggest neighbors go before it is too late to fight it.

  2. WISEGUY: This really sucks the way things are done by these crooks.

    Irony is ironic.

  3. well at least they have a website now...

  4. Personally, I think this is an absolutely stunning development, and just from the architectural standpoint alone - it would do Uptown great justice, and provide an enhanced perception of the community.

    Would you rather see a building continue to stand and rot?

    You don't come across real estate like this every day.

    Let something like this get built before a fast food joint or gas station blights the space...

  5. If anyone seriously thinks any lender is going to pony up major amounts of cash to finance this at best risky venture......hook me up with said lender stat....

  6. In order to stay in the loop, I personally invited Sedgwick to our building. If you should like to hear about this development, please join us on Monday night. However, Sedgwick has volunteered to be our guest: heckling will not be tolerated so please be professional.

    Sedgwick will be hosting public forums regarding this proposed development in the near future but I am sure you can all understand that they do not want to be ambushed with residents that are sore about the Wilson Yard project. With the changing political climate this spring, I don't know that anyone can say if this deal has legs.

    This is not the same developer, so please give them the benefit of the doubt and LEARN what is going on before jumping to conclusions. Also, sometimes it is better to be proactive and get involved, instead of lamenting that information isn't dumped in your lap and assuming all developers are "crooks."

    I am of the school of thought that if something will directly effect my community, I take an active role. I read this website regularly and can't get on board with the cynicism. I also use my real name on this board, feel free to contact me as a neighbor if you would like for a summary of what was presented on Monday. They will be sharing handouts with us so it should be quite informative.

    Susan Heersema

  7. While I certainly approach this with a healthy level of skepticism, I am impressed by their "engaging the community" and "FAQ" tabs. I suggest everyone read it. Also I say make some screen grabs so we at least have these ideas documented.

  8. If one looks closely at the "Montrose Streetscape" rendering it would appear that pedestrians will be pushed to share the street with cars.

  9. The FAQ is good though a lie.
    TIFs invariably, if indirectly, raise property taxes for everyone. The "bonus" is that for 24 years the buyers Sedgewick will be paying themselves instead of the city.

  10. While I'm not thrilled about the TIF component, there may be a couple of bright spots. If these are the developers of 828 West Grace (I think they are), they did a great job on that building. If there is not an affordable housing tower, but the affordable housing set asides are intergrated into each market rate floor as they are at 828 West Grace, it avoids the concentration of poverty that may become a problem with Wilson Yard. I'm also happy if the first phase is development of the retail and luxury component, which would change the fabric of the neighborhood right away. As always, the devil is in the details, but if this isn't a Helen/Holstein hog at the trough special, it might work out . . . with constant community vigilance.

  11. Is this meeting for 4322 residents only, or can other interested people attend? I promise to behave.

  12. That's purdy much exactly what is needed there.

    Market rate, high density housing and some retail.

    I'm not expecting to see it anytime soon. Perhaps in 5-10 years?

  13. here here SusanHeersema. I get your words and applaud your perspective. This development could be great or controversial. We have a role in making it great. Lets be constructive, open and involved.

  14. Um, I notice there does not seem to be a shadow study done... does anyone have a real concept on how in the Summer, these massive buildings will be blocking the sun from the parks the entire afternoon? In addition, the other buildings surrounding it will also be cast in deep shadow.. just a thought...

    and finally, does anyone really buy that a hotel can be successful in Uptown? I can assure you from a professional point of view the answer is absolutely no, so I have no idea what they are trying to sell with that idea.. maybe it is their version of "movie theatres" that were supposed to go up in Wilson Yard...

  15. Uptown Super hero:

    Part of me believes it would do alright if only because persons coming into town might be looking for a cheaper alternative to downtown and won't exactly know about our fisticuffs when booking. The hotel might put a spin on the description like how you're right by Wrigley field and Lakeview etc. I would expect it to do quite well.

  16. Just want to remind everyone that every dime of present and future tax revenues diverted by a TIF or RIF or any other direct or indirect subsidy, from the public till to a private developer, will be that much less Chicago has to spend on essential municipal services that keep this city safe and sanitary.

    Sure, this is a nice development. Would it be that we could rebuild every shabby building and fill the city with beautiful, sparkling new buildings. Unfortunately, we as a country and a city pretty much shot the next 20 or 30 years worth of capital on thousands of housing units for which the demand consisted only of loans made to unqualified buyers.

    We have to consider what we can afford, and whether we can afford another major diversion of future tax revenues, which is what a TIF is, at a time when fossil fuel supplies are peaking worldwide and we are looking at a future in which we will have to pay three times as much for everything we need to buy and do to maintain essential municipal services and critical infrastructure.

    If we can't fund our police department adequately now, what will we do when gasoline costs $6 a gallon, and how will we make the repairs and improvements to our critical road, water, and sewer infrastructure when the components have multiplied in cost and tax revenues are falling because of general economic deterioration across the board?

    Any more major diversions of tax money to private purposes could very well be putting the safety, health, and very lives of all 2.9 million Chicago residents at extreme risk, as well as those of suburban denizens who depend upon our water and sewer infrastructure. Chicago's systems are still very aged and need substantial upgrades in order to keep the city safe and sanitary, and failure to do this would mean cascading systems failures, resulting in disease epidemics, boil-water days, and a steep loss of comfort and amenity in general.

    Can we really risk this?

    There has risen considerable opposition up here in Rogers Park to a proposed RIF (Rental Improvement Fund), a variation on the traditional TIF that would cover all of the 49th Ward not already in a TIF district. Other wards would quickly follow suit. If this TIF in the 46th goes throug, other wards will follow with diversions of their own. All in all, we could be looking at up to $2.5 Billion or more diverted from the city coffers and into private developments, to the detriment of the welfare of the city and its 2.9 million residents, and vastly increased costs for individuals and businesses.

    Let's get some sense and start reversing the nasty trend, and start safeguarding public money for public purposes.

  17. If it can be built without any TIF or RIF or any other type of taxpayer funding then go for it and build it. If they are dependent upon the taxpayers to build this then forget it. We need to use TIF money for schools, police, fire department, public transportation updates first. Once the infastructure is fully funded and developed then we can consider providing private developers with TIF funding.

    With as many different phases this development has, I forsee that the project expenses will spiral out of control and many of the phases will never be completed.

  18. I plan to attend and heckle Sedgewick as much as I possibly can. These guys try to keep the community quiet so they can shove their BS down our throats. I have no Wilson Yard baggage. They are worried that there are many of us that are against this development and they are right. They have NO regard for the negative effect it will have on the buildings adjacent to the property. They want us to believe we need another grocery store. Why, aren't Whole Foods, Jewel, Dominicks, Aldi, Fresh Market,and others enough? They think we need another gym. Isn't Quads, World Gym, and the others in the neighborhood enough. They think we need 825 more condos when so many around here can't sell. If they think that traffic won't be appreciably effected, try moving on this street on a Saturday or Sunday in the summer and guess again. I plan to stand up and make this meeting as much of a circus as the one they're putting on for us.

  19. Just Asking, should we stop all development because it would inconvenience you on one summer day while moving? Most people only move once in a great while so I think we're okay in that regard. I happen to live on Agatite near this site, and I am tired of the same old building being left to ruin. And why not use TIF funds? Its not like the CTA or city will use our tax money for anything we actually need (like a new Wilson CTA Station) so we may as well use it to rid ourselves of one more blight on this community. You make alot of assumptions about the developers but have not spoken or heard their side yet, so do us all a favor, don't come to the meeting and act like a jackass.

  20. I agree with Just asking... not so much about the heckling, but that the proposed amenities are redundant with those in the immediate vicinity... There are plenty of available condos, senior housing, low income housing, grocery stores, gyms. Got 'em all covered. Why would we want our tax dollars to go to building more of these things, at such a grossly disproportionate scale?

  21. "Let's get some sense and start reversing the nasty trend, and start safeguarding public money for public purposes."

    Amen. Let's see these guys build without the benefit of TIF dollars. Uptown needs safe walkable streets, good schools and updated infrastructure---in other words, public goods for all people. This plan doesn't give us those things but it sure will make them a hell of a lot of money. Until we can get the things we really need, we must stop any siphoning off of public monies.

  22. This site should not be built up with TIF funds - period. Prime lakefront land needing taxpayer money to develop? Com'on.

    I think the only reason Shiller wanted this TIF'ed was so that 1) she'd be able to put in a portion of low-income housing (which TIF's allow) and 2) to fatten some developers pocketbook so she could get some other type of favor(s).

    Enough is enough. The creature isn't running again and we need to go a different direction. Develop it but find other sources of funding - and we don't need more low income housing.

    Also, if you have strong feelings about how development should occur in Uptown, please do your reseach on the candidates running for alderman - and vote.

  23. chitownfilly

    not only have I been to all of the community meetings, I have been to the sedgewick offices twice to meet with the developers. you couldn't have known this but I am surprised at the ease at which you call me a jackass. if you read the sentiments off all the rest of the posters you will see that we are against this particular development not all development. if there is the demand for what they are proposing.then why do they need the TIF? As a matter of fact they could not build this development without the TIF.
    I don't know where you got the idea that I was inconvenienced by moving. I have lived here for years and don't plan to move. I do however drive on saturdays and sundays and am keenly aware of the existing triaffic just to get home.

  24. I'm not totally against the proposal, I just think it needs to be adjusted to a more humane scale.

    I would call Sedgwick a developer of "McCondos" (the condo equivalent of "McMansions" - oversized postmodern structures which overwhelm exisiting neighborhood conditions).

    The Lake View Station proposal is such a development.

    Adjusting the height of the "base" (2 floors of commercial space + 4 levels of parking) by putting the parking underground would help this enormously.

    Also, slimming the towers by eliminating the cavernous oversized "balconies" would also help with massing & shade.

    For a live/local example of how these balconies fatten up and impose themselves on a building's facade, take a look at Sedgwick's Park View East development on Grace Street (

  25. Wow. It's hard to believe that there are folks leaving comments that this project is a good thing. Sure, it would be nice for something other than an abandoned building on the property, but there's a whole lot that could go there besides this outrageous, tax-funded monstrosity!

    There are so many unanswered questions. Why should a developer get tens of millions of TIF funding- one of the largest in Chicago history, in fact- for such prime lakefront real estate in the midst of such hard times when the city is tapping into reserves to balance the budget? Who is going to fill all those units in this virtually stagnant real estate market? Why won't the developer answer how many Section 8 residents will be allowed? Has Sedgwick ever explained why the drawings presented to the neighborhood were drastically different from the actual plans for the structures? Why does that same developer put down contact information for the alderman - and NOT the developer - on its website? And if they have purchased the property that they said they wouldn't buy unless they were guaranteed they'd get the TIF $- meaning that somebody has cut one helluva backroom deal - and they're so concerned about the neighborhood, they why can't they at least bother to shovel the snow? (I won't ask why so many of them were wearing diamond pinky rings)

    Start asking questions and demanding answers before the neighborhood is destroyed.

  26. I asked this on the post about the meeting, but I probably should have done it here: does anyone know who the architects on this project are? Thanks.

  27. Holly, the in house architect for this project is Mark McKinney.