Friday, January 7, 2011

"Does It Matter If I Live No Where Near There?"

A reader pointed out to us a message board that gave us a good laugh, something we needed to end a bad week 'round these parts.

On a message board called "Skyscraper City" (on the "North American Skyscraper Forum"), someone is trying to drum up support for Lake View Station. Of course, he doesn't live here, but fully supports the plan. "I for one did sign up for it because I have to pickup my son every week in Uptown."

Other favorite lines:
  • "Some people are just up in arms with TIFS for some reason."
  • "Does it matter if I live no where near there? If so, I'll sign up."
  • "I dont think it matters, it helps ofcourse, but I think every signature helps."
Between meetings that were allegedly announced on UU (but weren't, and certainly weren't submitted to UU, either), a website that doesn't connect (ironically called "Connecting Clarendon Park"), and people who "live no where near there" being encouraged to support Lake View Station, this has all the makings of a snow job that puts the Blizzards of '67 and '79 to shame.

For the record, we're neither for nor against Lake View Station at this point.  We just think it's really, really funny to see all the attempts to convince Uptowners that this is really, really good for us when the PR machine behind it is so really, really terrible at its job.  Looking for a gullible community to believe that TIFs and pretty drawings and promises will deliver us from evil?  You're barking up the wrong tree, pal.  As someone soon to be a distant memory once said, "This ain't your college campus, sweetie."

Don't try to strongarm us.  Don't tell us not to worry our pretty little heads about it, because big strong you will take care of everything.  Don't tell us that people from outside the area have a greater say than people who've lived here for years and have seen projects like this come and go.  Don't answer requests for community meetings by taping up posters and using a laundry room as your soapbox.  Above all, don't use our TIF money and do any of the above.

When you can be honest and open with us, maybe then we can listen.

16 comments:

  1. This statement:

    Between meetings that were allegedly announced on UU (but weren't, and certainly weren't submitted to UU, either)

    ... conflicts with Susan's statement:

    Sedgwick held a public forum at the library branch on Buena, where they shared their latest news with us on December 28. The notice was posted on this site, so I don't understand why they are being accused of not holding public forums.

    January 6, 2011 10:07 PM



    Additionally, Susan also stated:

    This is not the same developer

    December 11, 2010 2:53 PM


    ... when in fact, it is the same developer.

    In fact, it's darn-near the same exact plan presented in May - traffic study and all.

    I'm sure there's explanation for these inconsistencies, and I look forward to seeing them posted on this site in short order so that we can all clear out the smell of rat which is starting to waft about this issue.

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  2. It will be very interesting once all of the financial contribution listings have been released, to do a little digging on both the the developer side AND the public relations company and see who they are supporting.. both here and outside of the 46th Ward... that, my friends, is how one tells who Shiller is really backing ... (eg)

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  3. I have no major problem with some form of the physical aspects of this plan coming into being. The size and scale is appropriate for that location.

    We need more people in Uptown and once the real estate market improves that location should sell itself. Don't ask me when the market will improve.

    I'm unsure of the need for more medium size or larger retail space.

    I'm sure I don't want to see TIF funds used for his project.

    Let me lather rinse and repeat:

    I'm sure I don't want to see TIF funds used for his project.

    Yes on the overall concept.

    No on TIF money being used.

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  4. IP, I agree and my reading of the comments, most do too.. this is not a NIMBY issue..it is an issue of not using our property taxes for this insane TIF.. where the majority will be wasted .. and saying they will build a hotel, which would never fill, another grocery store, gym, etc etc.. the residences are fine.. but , damn, this is not China.. use private money NOT tax money to build it!

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  5. I was in the same boat as IP, ie - no TIFs and we're good; however, at this stage, and seeing Sedgwick's strategy for public support unfold, I'm not sure I have a whole lot of faith in them, at this stage.

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  6. Exactly right, UU, but I think you arrived at the "above all" part a little too soon!

    Don't try to strongarm us.

    Don't tell us not to worry our pretty little heads about it

    Don't tell us that people from outside the area have a greater say

    Don't answer requests for community meetings by taping up posters and using a laundry room as your soapbox

    Don't use our TIF money and do any of the above

    And, ABOVE ALL, don't call the friggin' thing Lakeview Station when it is in Uptown!

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  7. Hey Lakeview Station....obviously you read this blog (or the really bad PR firm you hired does at the very least). You can see from the responses your welcome to build in this neighborhood. Just do it like a real company, with a real investment in the community, and real money OF YOUR OWN!

    Move along to another neighborhood if you can't build it without the tax payers help. Go ahead and thank Helen for our reluctance to believe anything you say.

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  8. To credit our longstanding Alderman, nothing this large has been allowed to be built in the 46th Ward, has it?

    Not that development is bad, but this type of development, with large skyscrapers that wall of the lake exists to the S and N of Lakeview. If we need to live with that, a competent builder can be found, I'd hope.

    If built with private funds, I can hate it all I want, for its half-occupied status, and that it poaches residents from 4300 block Clarendon, and retail from 900 block Montrose, but built with TIF funds?

    I would hope that a qualified developer can be found.

    Better it take some time than to rush in with the wrong team on the wrong project. That seems the case here.

    Earlier today, the "connectingclarendonpark.com" website showed the godaddy web page - then a 500 error, just after uptownupdate informed them that the site was down.

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  9. Yo, go back and read my 12.11 post, I meant not the same developer as the Wilson Yard TIF. I feel you pulled that quote out of context.

    It is disturbing that I can't find the posting on UU regarding the Dec 28 public forum at the library but I swear it was on here in December and now it is not. The meeting happened, notices were distributed, and I was there, call the library if you don't believe it.

    I am sick of people blaming Sedgwick for hosting secret laundry room meetings, as I WAS THE ONE that invited them to my home. I initiated it. So if you have a beef with that, blame ME not them.

    It is ridiculous that this website claims that they are not for or against this project, yet a number of blog posts highlight efforts to stop or criticize the development. If UU was truly neutral they would invite discourse instead of linking to petitions to stop the project and posting badly photoshopped images of the proposed development.

    And it is called Lakeview Station because of the pumping station of the same name that once stood on this site. It is possible that they might end up changing the name though, as there is already another development of the same name nearby and it might cause confusion.

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  10. Oh, Susan, just get out of attack mode for a second.

    No, UU did not run anything about the December library meeting. UU was never given anything about the December library meeting. If you think we're lying, and ran it and then took it down, I invite you to search Google, because there are cached copies of everything there. You won't find a cached copy of your December meeting because we never knew about it or ran it.

    No one remembers anything about a December library meeting except you.

    No, the first we heard of the December library meeting was when you yourself brought it up. I wonder how you heard about it? just like I still wonder how you heard about Sedgwick returning to the neighborhood and offered your laundry room for them to have a meeting in?

    Do you have a connection to Sedgwick, being an architect yourself? Because it's funny you alone seem to be in the know about Sedgwick, and no one else seems to be. If so, they're certainly not speaking up.

    "If UU was truly neutral they would invite discourse instead of linking to petitions to stop the project and posting badly photoshopped images of the proposed development."

    So "neutrality," to you, means posting everything favorable to Sedgwick and nothing oppositional? Yeah, that's really neutral. (You sound like our alderman!) We posted many items about their open houses this summer. We linked to their website.

    We also post when people are oppositional, such as your block club. That's true neutrality. We've posted items both pro and con, we try to get the message out, we have lots and lots of comments (as far as the "inviting discourse" you so crave), and we put it out there so people can make up their own minds.

    Lakeview Station may happen. But they're treating us like idiots, IMHO. And we've been treated like idiots by people who only want our TIF money a little too much to be comfortable with it.

    If you're so eager to attack someone, don't say UU isn't running notices that we never received. Don't say we're unfair because we're running items that oppose this project, as well as those from the developers. How about castigating Sedgwick for not holding the large public meeting that Ald. Shiller, UCC, CPNA and many residents have been asking for? What's the big hesitation there? And by large public meeting, we mean one in an auditorium, one that's heavily publicized, and one that the entire community can attend at one time. One that's much too big for a library or a laundry room or a lobby.

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  11. Well said UU.

    This project is wrong on so many levels.

    A $50 million dollar subsidy to build a half-occupied elephant. It won't sell itself, that is fantasy. The retail will either stand vacant or draw potential tenants away from our large inventory of existing vacancies. Too many "for lease" signs now safe to say.

    Once the vacancy rate decreases and real estate climate improves plenty of developers will do back-flips to develop a property like that without a dime from tax-payers, and earn a good buck doing it.

    Instead of hiring P.R. firms to sell their scheme they will hire better architects to impress us and build something we can all be proud of for decades to come.

    The timing is bad bad bad!

    JL

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  12. NO TIF money, Sedgewick.

    Buy the property. Tear down the current buildings and run a parking lot there until the market turns around and you can develop the property on your own. In other words...make an investment here...in UPTOWN. We're talking about prime lakefront apartments. If you can't make that incredibly profitable for you in 5-8 years time (using your OWN CAPITAL) then what the heck are you in this business for?

    I am glad to hear that the project might get another name. I'll start thinking of suggestions although I'll never be able to top the sublimely named Parvenue. (No offense directed at the fine neighbors there.) I've always wondered if Helen agreed to ok that one just for the naming rights. :)

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  13. Sassy, just as an FYI... the Parvenue folks took down and changed the name of the building a couple of years ago... come by our corner sometime and take a look (smile)

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  14. Thanks for the info, sir! I didn't know that. Do you know anything more about how that happened? What is the building called now?

    Also, I would just like to reiterate that I was not trying to imply anything about the building or people living there.

    The name chosen by the developers did provide me with a little Uptown humor for quite a while though. Are you sure that it didn't arise from some back room deal? :)

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  15. Yo, go back and read my 12.11 post, I meant not the same developer as the Wilson Yard TIF. I feel you pulled that quote out of context.

    ... or, maybe the point could have been a little more clear.

    Here's the context for anyone who might be interested:

    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."



    Regardless - I'll happily cede that point to avoid it becoming a distraction in the overall discussion.

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