Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Zoning Notice For Clarendon/Lakeside Facility

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It seems the never-occupied residential medical building at Clarendon and Lakeside, built back in 2000, finally may have a tenant.  Readers are reporting that zoning signs are up and letters have gone out (see below).

This is how we understand it, although we welcome any further details and facts:
  • This is part of the very small Lakeside/Clarendon TIF area, established in 2004, which runs along one block on Clarendon (between Lakeside and and Leland), extends about half a block west on Leland from Sheridan, and includes a small part of Lakeside Place.  (See a map here.)
  • Charter Barclay psychiatric hospital was there until it closed in 1996.  Heritage Care of Chicago built the building that's on the corner of Lakeside and Clarendon (4720 Clarendon), intending to use it as an Alzheimer's care facility, but ran out of money before it was fully completed.  The building never opened and has stood empty for over ten years.
  • The TIF was created to help get someone to buy the site and set up business.  Between 2000 and 2004, three different entities tried to buy and the develop the site, but couldn't swing it financially.
  • The empty lot at Leland and Clarendon (4700 Clarendon) is also part of the TIF and was supposed to be part of the Pure 2.0 high-rise, which went belly-up when Sunrise Equities' CEO disappeared with the money.
  • Chicago Lakeshore Hospital, a psychiatric and rehab hospital which has been operating at 4840 N Marine for about ten years, wants to purchase the empty lot and the empty building and relocate some of their patient beds there from their current facility.  That's what all the rezoning notices are about.
  • Chicago Lakeshore Hospital met with UCC and with neighbors from LANA (Lakeside Area Neighborhood Association) in November and presented its plans.
  • The interior of the empty building would be completed to fit the requirements of Chicago Lakeshore Hospital, and the empty lot would become a fenced-in garden for the use of its patients.  There would also be a parking structure on the site.
  • Residents who live near Chicago Lakeshore on Marine Drive say it's been a good neighbor and seems to be a well-run facility.
  • Because it is a for-profit business, the property would be added to the tax rolls.
That's all we know... please add any additional information to the comments.

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  1. More eyes on the street is > vacant property that is vulnerable to "tagging"

  2. While it will be "added to the tax rolls"... it will be paying itself, not the schools, parks, city for the next 18 years.

  3. Bradley, I get what you're saying, but at least it's a for-profit... a non-profit could have gone in there and it would have NEVER paid taxes or put anything back into Uptown's economy post-construction. At least this fulfills the aim of the TIF, which is to get that vacant building and overgrown lot occupied.

    You and I are old warhorses around here, so you know I'm not a fan of TIFs, but this one is getting the result it was created for. The people who live in this TIF area have put some percentage of their property taxes into the TIF since 2004, and all they've had to show for it so far is an empty building and an empty lot.

    I'm happy to see it finally getting occupied, and after the TIF expires, there'll be something there that's adding to the city's coffers (which it already has been, at its facility down the street). The fact that it has a history of being well-run is another plus. So, yeah, I don't like the overall concept of TIFs, but this could have been much worse.