Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Crain's Talks About Tonight's Meeting

Crain's interviewed residents opposed to the development, Ald. Cappleman, and the developers:
"Plans for a three-tower residential and retail complex in Uptown will get a hearing Tuesday night at a potential make-or-break community meeting for the $350-million project, which would be the biggest North Side development in decades.  The issue over the site, a former Maryville Academy facility at Clarendon and Montrose avenues, has grown increasingly tense in recent weeks as resident opposition has grown louder while the developer and nuns who own the three-acre site say their deal for the sale of the roughly three-acre property is set to expire in coming months."
Read the article here; and comment about the meeting afterwards.


  1. More than 500 people voted and not a single comment?

  2. There was not any food. I would have thought that Sedgewick Development if they were really serious about this boondoggle would have at least tried to win and dine the residents.

  3. Sure was a great turn-out! It really gave Uptown residents a chance to show how much they want to contribute to what happens in their neighborhood when given an opportunity. Thanks to other Uptown neighborhoods that came to the meeting just to show their support!

  4. Unlike most people at the meeting, I feel that this is a good investment in our neighborhood and will provide more benefit that harm. More people, more businesses, more competition, a hotel on the north side where no major hotels exist. I do with the project had a better streetscape however.

  5. Mikey: Developing these sites is a terrific idea! And necessary! We felt strongly that Sedgwick's proposal was not, after trying to work with them for the last 2 years, going to offer responsible development that would have the necessary benefits to the community.

  6. development should happen on that site. Just without hi-rises.

    The wind tunnel is bad already:


    Not to mention this is an absurd use of TIF funds.

  7. The voting is going to take a few days to tally up, but if tonight's unscientific Applause-O-Meter counts this plan was :REJECTED:

    I think the only applause the Sedgwick team got was a courtesy after introductions, after that not so much as a random solo hand-clap all night.

    Instead of hiring a Public Relations team all of the time, money and effort could have built a working relationship with the public. Can their be any doubt after the Uptown turnout, the passion and professionalism of the organizers they were welcome to try?

    So many questions and a time-line ultimatum during a time of transition for our new Alderman James(who did an awesome job tonight). And the speakers for the block clubs in opposition somehow managed to re-convince me, again, this is not the way to go.

    Let the votes be counted. Uptown is Home.

  8. Superficial observations:
    Central Casting couldn't have picked WORSE people for the developers to have sitting at the table. AS WELL as in the front few rows on their side. You're at a community meeting, at least APPEAR like you're a human being and perhaps a part of this community. At least a polo shirt instead of a tie wouldn't kill you.

    Neighborhood group should've had a power point. Minor (I voted No) but it would've been nice.

    I didn't know anything about the project before hand but seeing how the developer seemed to respond to previously voiced community concerns, having further meetings and further revisions of the development are worth having. If they respond like they appear to have this round, it seems like we'll end up with something good or they'll prove themselves full of crap.

    And yeah, it seems unfair that they can present a new development plan at the meeting while the community groups have only the previous plan to respond on.

  9. I was surprised/pleased by the extremely large turn out of residents tonight and so was James et al.

    The developers were quick to make faces when questions were brought up or when the block club rebutted so in that regard I wasn't impressed. I took a copy of their slide deck so I will try to scan it later and post it for UU if that would help.

    Interesting points: Developers couldn't answer question about LEED certification and had to defer to the architect since they didn't even know what was being asked. Block club emphasized that there are other developers lined up who would build without a TIF and that the developer's argument of "We need the TIF because we're building this whole big thing for the community" was flawed since we didn't ask for it to be so big in the first place.

    Maybe someone can comment on this: How is it that developers can give money to improve a CPD field house or to redo the road/traffic patterns on Montrose etc? I was under the impression these are CPD/city owned items so how does private development work?

    I was extremely pleased with how James handled the meeting. There was an individual who kept trying to interrupt the developers and James politely asked him to stop since he was being disruptive. The rest of the neighbors were quick to "shh" the guy which was refreshing to see and ultimately he was escorted out by the police.

    One fun point: Developer mentioned how they have held public meetings to talk to the community about the development. Block club member asked for a show of hands as to how many residents have known about a meeting and only 3 out of the over 100+ crowd raised their hands.

  10. I was also saddened when I heard a resident say 'I just found out about this meeting yesterday". I seriously wish UU was required reading for living in the neighborhood. We just need to get an UU banner in the background of one of these events.

  11. Another point (and I don't mean to seem to one sided against the developers. I appreciate that they showed up and I'll post their slides so you can decide how you feel):

    The Developers talked about how, unlike the Wilson Yard, this is a "pay as you go" TIF which requires them to build in phases and they only receive the phase-specific TIF amount after completing the project (For example, they only get the $9 million portion of the TIF for the phase 1 retail portion after it is built). The block club member countered that if they were to build phase I and then walk away, they would be getting $9 million in TIF for building a grocery store and gym...that's all. He didn't feel this was a fair trade off.

  12. Just got back from the meeting. It was heated in more ways than just the debate. This was my first time attending a public forum - and I was astounded and amazed by the debate skills of the Clarendon Park Neighborhood Association members and upset by the thick layers of rhetoric from the "opposing" Sedgwick Properties sales people sent to plead with the community and bribe us with football fields and a few parking spots.

  13. We didn't stay for the entire evening having left around 8:30. I thought James performed admirably (as I had expected). I think Sedgwick's PR firm showed their value (or rather their lack therof). The slick suits, the "no development-no parking" quid pro quo and the condescending realtor are not the approach I would advise when asking a community to fork over $50MM for no no equity. I think the PR folks should have advised them that the public at large questions the integrity of TIFs. The fact that the traffic study was done under the supervision of CDOT carries little, if any weight with taxpayers. CDOT is just as complicite in providing "data" to support the plans of their benefactors. The sales taxes, by Sedgwick's projections, will take over 100 years to payback the $50MM. For the next generation, the occupants of the development will not be contributing to city coffers. Will they be expecting city services like schools, parks, police, and fire protection? Beginning in 2034, how much RE tax will the development be contributing? If it's projected to be more than $10MM annually, (today's dollars)then I'll listen.

    I want to see how this development works with the 46th Ward's "Master Development Plan."

  14. I live a stones throw from the Maryville property and I hope Sedgewick`s plans never materialize as the effects of this complex will have a effect on everyones quality of living. For the worse. The ones I spoke to also expressed unpopular views. I sooner have a nice and peaceful senior citizens complex or center.
    That would be a nice for residents but not the pockets of Sedgewick.

  15. If this project were scaled back to half the height, half the scale--that is, twenty stories instead of forty, 400 new units instead of 900, I might not have bothered to attend the meeting.

    Density, density, density. That is the single most important issue here, not property values or threats to local businesses. I'm not opposed to development per se. But like many residents I'm opposed to turning Buena Park and Uptown into replicas of the Near North Side, with gargantuan towers and megacomplexes. The low density and intimacy of this neighborhood are its assets.

    Now about those local businesses. We do not owe the owner of World Gym a thing--the man parks his red Bentley in the fire zone like the King of Prussia. No tears for him. And yes, we could use an upscale restaurant or two--there's a need and a market for that. Grocery store? A real alternative like Whole Foods or Trader Joe's would be better, but most of us like having more, not fewer, grocers to choose from.

    One last point: If this project is approved, traffic and congestion at Clarendon and Montrose will increase no matter what. Longer lights and dedicated lanes tend to increase congestion, not alleviate it. The intersection will be busier and more difficult for pedestrians, especially children going to and from Brenneman. And by the way, any traffic study should be done at rush hour, not on Saturday.

    One last question: Sheffield says it has a signed lease with Mariano's. How so, if the project is not yet approved?

  16. Regardless of what ever is developed on this site, it is past due time to raze the existing structures. The existing buildings look like garbage, the weeds and plants are taking over the property including the parking lots and it is a bums paradise of hidden nooks and crannies to live/hide/do drugs/drink/prostitute themselves/etc. It just all looks depressing and gross. Id sooner see the place leveled and turned into a grassy field than leave the ever-worsening eyesores that are there now.

  17. Correction: I meant Sedgwick, of course, not Sheffield. Apologies.

  18. Sedgewick has been developing this plan for 2 years. They've had plenty of time to make sure they know the ins and outs of the project. But they expect the residents of Uptown to make a major decision about the Maryville property in a very short-- very forced-- amount of time. It's really not our problem that their deal with the nuns is expiring shortly. It really makes them look bad. Also they said the project is going to take 5 years. Really? A project of that magnitude is only going to take 5 years? How often do projects get delayed? What's to say they won't have delays in the middle of construction? We'll all have to live with the fall out of construction for 5 or more years. My fiance and I live at 834 Montrose, right next door to Maryville. We spoke with one of Sedgewick's reps last night after the meeting regarding the construction and dust. He really didn't seem to care much about the dirt, the dust or the noise that will be bombarding our building once the project begins and he really didn't seem to care that much about the inconvenience of having the delivery trucks coming in and out of our alley. According to this guy, sacrifices have to be made.

  19. I honestly don't understand all of the outrage regarding this project. Do you not want the neighborhood to move forward, to gentrify, to have positive residential growth, to be rid of the gang violence, etc? None of this can happen without building. Is the primary opposition because it is using TIF dollars?

    @Clarendon Park Neighborhood Association-"Developing these sites is a terrific idea! And necessary! We felt strongly that Sedgwick's proposal was not, after trying to work with them for the last 2 years, going to offer responsible development that would have the necessary benefits to the community."

    What exactly did you do over the past two years to work with the proposal? Pleaes express WHAT you define as responsible development, and what about the proposal is not responsible? Please be specific. Please keep in mind that this project does not have the high concentration of lower income, like the Wilson TIF. This project seems almost the opposite of that hotly contested project, and still people aren't happy.....

    So far I am hearing a bunch of whining and complaining and no clear answers about why this is bad for the neighborhood? Is it the height, density, what? Neither of which I see as a bad thing either.

    Please don't tell me I should have attended last night if I wanted answers, etc. Work kept me from doing so. Also please be civilized as I am seeking honest, and real answers. Thanks!

  20. My fiance and I went to the meeting last night and what struck me is that the developers stated that they've been working on this project for 2 years. They made sure they had enough time to think about this project, discuss it, and make informed decisions. Yet they are forcing the residents in the neighborhood to make a hurried decision on a development that many people don't know that much about in a very short amount of time simply because their arrangement with the nuns is expiring soon. Truly that is not our problem. Why should we be forced to make a snap decision on such a HUGE project that will affect the lives and well being of everyone in the neighborhood? I think it just shows what little respect (if they have any at all) the developers have for the residents of Uptown.

  21. I attended the meeting last night and voted no based on the fact that the developer could not demonstrate tangible evidence of how the $50 mil Montrose/Clarendon TIF money would be used for this project. Sedgewick representatives said $6 mil would be directed toward renovation of the Clarendon Park field house and other park improvements which “might include” improved softball fields, a football field and a running track.

    First of all, $6 million alone wouldn’t be enough to restore the field house and make it a modern facility, not to mention the cost for related park improvements. That leaves $44 mil unaccounted for which according to the terms of the TIF the developer can access for assorted development costs including plan surveys, architectural and engineering fees, marketing costs, land acquisition costs, demolition costs, environmental remediation costs and on and on.

    Yes I want to see renderings of what the final project will look like and how it will impact the surrounding neighborhood. But I also want to see renderings of what I’m actually getting for my TIF money. Show me a completely restored and renovated Clarendon field house with new modern facilities that everyone can use. Or show me a new Uptown Arts Center in the restored and repurposed mid-century building that currently exists on the northeast corner of Montrose and Clarendon.

    This is prime lakefront property. The good sisters of Maryvale will eventually sell to someone. The TIF is in place and someone will utilize it. Hopefully when that does happen the new developer will be able to show specific tangible benefits to our community.

  22. I see your points Kris but while we don't owe Jewel or World Gym anything, is it fair to subsidize their competition with taxes (for the next 24 years)? Will we be replacing vacant property at Montrose/Clarendon with vacant property at Montrose/Boadway?

  23. There are two assumptions I'd like to see challenged and/or rationally supported. First, just because there is a TIF at present does it necessarily have to exist tommorrow? Second, this property which is not being used for religeous, charitable, or educational purposes is tax exempt.

  24. Craig, where do you live? What part of Uptown? I think anyone who lives close to the prjoject like my fiance and I do (We live right next door at 834 Montrose where our alley will have to not only share the delivery entrance but we will also have to face the 5 storey parking garage and deal with the dust and messiness of contstruction for 5 years, not to mention losing all hope of every seeing the sunlight come through into our condo again) will be concerned about the size and magnitude of the project. I don't think the lot should sit vacant. I think something needs to go there. I just don't agree that this is the right project. I think it's too big, too intrusive and I think the way the developers have gone about planning this thing without including the neighborhood conistantly in their planning process is really awful. I think everyone would agree that having a development of the right size and scope would be welcomed.

  25. The "nuns" are representative of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The Catholic Church is the largest land owner in the world. The Church has been inheriting and developing land for hundreds, thousands of years.

    I think they know what they are doing. If Jesus wants this development, no man should stand in the way of the Lord.

    Jesus is working through the "nuns" to develop this land.

    Those of you who oppose this development, oppose the work of the Lord and will probably lose your homes as a result.

  26. And yes Craig, my primary objection is the TIF. It would be convenient to have a nice full service market so close but not if I'm subsidizing it to close down Jewel. James hasn't been in office long enough to have developed the ward master plan. I'd like to see that before committing to such a huge development which may hinder more than help the ward as a whole.

  27. Craig,

    The question is not whether the site should be developed--even the trogledytes among us accept that new businesses and even new condos can benefit the neighborhood. It is the scale of the project, the number of units, the height of the towers, the ensuing traffic congestion--yes, there's a garage, but those cars will be on the streets--and the pressure by Sedgwick to approve the deal before their contract expires. To many that sounds like a threat.

    You don't want to see winos on the street. Neither do I. But gentrification on this scale tends to result in mass homogenization. Young, white, affluent urban professionals remaking the world in their image. Clybourn, Bucktown, Southport. To resist the drastic transformation of a neighborhood based on what has happened to other neighborhoods may sound like whining to you. Very well. Your quality of life and mine are different. I would be delighted if this development could accommodate yours without ruining mine.

  28. I agree, Bradley, that no one wants to drive Jewel out of business, but the store is just as crowded today as ever, even with the new Target and Aldi. Plus there will be hundreds of new residents in the towers, who must eat something, God bless them.

    As to the TIF, I don't see why any developer should require one at this site, but the nuances of TIF financing are way beyond my expertise. I wish we could get Ben Javorsky to weigh in here!

  29. Fair enough, Jon--perhaps I should have said "socially advantaged" or just "mainstream." No racial put-down was intended, however,just a sober recognition of class and demographic realities.

  30. I think the neighborhood groups should more clearly and very specifically propose alterations to the plan. It is really the most productive way forward. Otherwise, its just generalized griping.

    I still have not heard anything that is solidly a negative to the neighborhood. Congestion, yes, congestion means people, people means activity and businesses. We live in a city not a suburb. Scale, it is big, yes, but it is not realistic to expect a small development on that site with that TIF. Competition to Jewel and World Gym: is that a bad thing? Some more competition will help the consumer.

    Individuals with competing units or directly adjacent units certainly have a point and can voice opinions against it but as a close by neighbor, I don't feel it hurts me, so I'm still for it.

    Try to convince me otherwise.

  31. And Jon, I agree with you. It was a backhanded nasty sort of comment.

  32. There are no "nuances" to TIF; there's political obfuscation. TIfs are to relieve blighted neighborhoods. Uptown (or as Sedwick prefers to call it, "Lakeview") is not a blighted neighborhood. It's a very simple concept. Instead of paying property taxes to the city for 24 years, the development pays a second mortgage to the city for 24 years to finance the development. (I'd like to have my property taxes diverted to improvements on my property for the next 24 years please.)

  33. Kris, since you opened up the race card, why not look at both sides of the fence, shall we?

    I dont think there is a soul on here or in the community willing to say they would rather have black and hispanic gang members and general hoodlums running our neighborhood, breaking into our cars, selling drugs, shooting eachother (and innocent bystanders occasionally), robbing people, assaulting women, pissing on the streets, loitering and panhandling constantly as opposed to "young, white, affluent" people remaking the neighborhood so as to minimize the destructive problems brought forth by (predominatly) black and hispanic teenagers and adults. Have you not seen or heard of the south and far west sides of the city? This is what remains when the vast majority of the "young white affluent" people abandon the area in fear of ther personal safety and in search of a better quality of life. In case you havent noticed, "young white affluent" people are PART of the diversity in this neighborhood and not the enemy. If you are telling me that "young white affluent" people are a negative element to this neighborhood, be careful what you wish for. If things dont improve here soon, i assure you more and more will abandon the area and move to areas that our fellow "young white affluent" freinds have already made safer and cleaner for us (or as you put it, "in our image").

    Now of course, there are plenty of white bums and drug addicts in the neighborhood causing problems as well, so this is NOT meant to be a condemning statement but seriously...you played the race card, is the alternative more attractive to you? Look around our neighborhood, read this blog, read the police reports...what is so bad about "young white affluent" people settling here and helping to push the community to a safer, cleaner, freindlier point in its history?

    God help us if "young white affluent people" who are driven to improve their neighborhood are looked at as a negative. God help us all!

  34. So Mikey you're OK with using taxpayer money to fund the competition? You don't believe in a level business playing field?

  35. Kris, celebrate the diversity, including the white folks...that is what will mark Uptowns success.... we have just gone through over 20 years of an "Us vs. Them" mentality... everyone can bring something good, different and insightful to the Uptown Party.. dont be a hater Kris, be about the inclusion ...

  36. If the TIF exists and cannot realistically be changed in a reasonable timeframe then move forward. Its a sunk cost and, yes, proceed. Tax breaks are given to various businesses throughout the city, state, country. We don't live in a purely capitalistic country.

    If the TIF can be changed then remove it and then let the project proceed (if it is still economically acceptable to the developer) without the TIF.

    I don't know the process, timeline, status, politcal will to remove this TIF.

    On a side note, it seems the operating margins at least for the gym seem quite healthy. The owner enjoys a new Bentley, vintage Rolls Royce, and massive house on a quadruple sized city lot. That is all fine, but this talk about them shutting down because of this seems silly.

  37. kris - i didn't realise uptown was a low-density neighborhood ... with over 27k people per-square-mile, it has a higher density than lincoln park (20k) & just below the near north side (29k). you seem to be mistaken on this point, among others (not all gentrification is bad).

  38. For some of you the megacomplex with tall towers is quintessentially urban. For me the urban character of this neighborhood is defined by its residential comfort level--walkable streets, minimum traffic and congestion, mostly low-rise architecture. Because of its size, the proposed plan will radically change that character. So We disagree.

    However, if this project can help lower crime, eliminate gangs, stop the shootings, enhance rather than detract from the diversity of the Ward, and preserve the affordability and intimacy of the surrounding blocks without morphing Buena Park into another North and Halsted--then you will have been right I will have been wrong.

  39. This comment has been removed by the author.

  40. I'm so glad to see such a passionate turnout for Uptown and Buena Park.

    I've heard rumblings that some of the pro-development posts are by a PR company hired by the developer so caveat emptor.

    I love development.. smart, good development.. but this is simply a monstrosity. I'd love to see them rehab the beautiful Uptown theater or take some of the EXISTING buildings that need it the most and invest in them... but that's probably not going to make Sedgewick execs rich.

    I did love how ridiculous they looked last night.. in their suits ... sweating.. looking like they were so annoyed that they had to mix with the "commoners"

  41. "I've heard rumblings that some of the pro-development posts are by a PR company hired by the developer so caveat emptor."

    I'm still waiting for my check.

  42. Ok

    So I have to say at first I was strongly against this project due to all the negative publicity Clarendon Park District put out etc.

    However after attending last nights meeting and looking at Sedgwick’s presentation I am in big time favor of this project.

    I also think the 3 people who spoke last night had no real solution. John Wyman only said he thought it would bring down home values. Which again is a really wrong approach? I strongly believe it will increase values. He as a realtor should understand why, but for everyone else here is my reasoning.

    We have 3 people who look at high-rises.
    1) People who only want to live in them
    2) People who don’t want to live in one
    3) people who are in the middle and not sure.

    This brings a whole new group of people to the area.

    The next issue is height. Yes it is tall and yes a few people will have to deal with the construction noise etc. However isn’t it worth it to have new tax dollars into the area? As for the height eliminating your view; really nobody in this area has an amazing view so how can this be an issue.

    Yes I will agree that the traffic is a concern and no matter what is developed here. We are going to have this problem. The only real time there is a big problem with traffic is on the weekend with all the beach goers. Which the city is already discussing on ways to fix!!

    As for the Tif money yes they get 50 million, however they don’t get it until the phases are completed. A lot of people on here complained that the Target was going to be a terrible project, but look that has turned out wonderful.

    The other concerns here are competition. I know a lot of people don’t use world gym or the jewel. I personally use the jewel at Addison and Broadway. I find the products are better quality. As for a fresh market it would be wonderful to have the first one here in our back door.

    It was also mentioned that Sedgwick was a terrible developer. The only proof given was from rip-off report from over a year ago. Did anyone check the BBB or other true ways to find out?

    To the alderman, Clarendon Park and whomever is against this project. Please step back and look at what other projects kike this has done for other areas of the city. They have all done great things and brought new people to the area,

  43. I can tell everyone I am not hired by the developer

  44. David: I can assure you that I am for this development and have nothing to do with the developer or any pr firm. There are actually people in the area who feel differently than you.

    And now after several comments about the developer's employees wearing suits: Really? You care about that? Nobody wears business attire anymore? They are not some faceless mocheries of people that are all wealthy beyond compare? Lets calm down about them. They presented their case calmly and, I believe, as factually accurately as possible in front of a hostile crowd.

  45. Pretty interesting that all the Pro-Development commentators on here never commented below and just opened up their blogging accounts.. in the past week!

    Just click on their name and you can see Chambo, Mikey, etc just opened up their accounts this month...

    So, frankly, if you dont work for the developer, I am betting you are associated with the PR firm, or the Sister of the Mary Lake or Walsh Construction or the banks that will write the bonds or something like that...

    Nice try though.. and IMHO, it is a crappy oversized development that should be downsized, rethought and given No TIF money... how about trying to build something without sucking up money from the taxpayers for a change...

  46. Keep in mind that we were sold a bill of goods on the Holsten - Wilson Yard development. They fed us a few too many lies, so now very few of us will trust anything that comes out of a developer's mouth or documentation. All sorts of changes were made with little to no input from the community. All I'm saying is that we have good reason for skepticism. I like the idea of dividing up the property into smaller lots for smaller developments.

  47. I think we see here the consequenses of our increasingly self interested, immediate gratification culture. "Build it! Development good! Consequences? What are those? Planning? who needs planning? Build it! Building good."

    Just curious though...
    By what math Tom is Sedwick's 800-900 units less than 240?

  48. Bradley, right you are. I misread, my mistake.

  49. Clarity:

    in front of a hostile crowd.

    Skeptical, yes. Hostile? Not really. One guy was a bit unruly, and he was removed.

    John Wyman only said he thought it would bring down home values

    Wyman said a lot more than that. I recall him stating that other developers were looking at this parcel.

    A lot of people on here complained that the Target was going to be a terrible project,

    A lot of people thought that using TIF money for the project was a terrible idea.

    Actually, I don't recall many thinking the Target was an issue.

    The next issue is height. Yes it is tall and yes a few people will have to deal with the construction noise etc. However isn’t it worth it to have new tax dollars into the area? As for the height eliminating your view; really nobody in this area has an amazing view so how can this be an issue.

    Depends on who you ask. The people who would be immediately impacted by this may not agree with you.

    As for a fresh market it would be wonderful to have the first one here in our back door.

    Hell yeah! However ..., my concern on this is that Fresh Market was mentioned as having signed a lease. This information was not posted or published. This means that it could change.

    Please step back and look at what other projects kike [oops] this has done for other areas of the city.

    Wyman did that, and you could certainly sense the air leave the room when he'd mentioned the resell values of some of the projects to which you may be referring.

    My take is that if Sedgwick wants this, they're more than welcome to pay for it themselves.

  50. Its unfortunate that some try to discredit the people who have different views than your own rather than sticking to topic.

    Carl Rove would be proud of you!

    BTW - I heard than everybody posting here against the development is from a pr firm hired by a CPNA and started blogging on here long ago so that nobody questioned who they were when the time arose for discussion on Lakeview Station. Uh huh, thats what I heard.

  51. Once more into the fray.....

    First, if someone wants to build a new grocery and gym at that location that's fine with me. Just don't use tax money to do it. Now I doubt that the economics work for a new gym and grocery there without the 50 million dollar bribe, but some developer can prove me wrong.

    Second, those of you who want to see it as parkland or low rise development should buy it yourself. Otherwise shut the pirate up.

    Third, I suspect the economics work for a large scale market rate rental development with or without a small hotel component. The rental market is very strong right now and the cranes are beginning to reappear in downtown Chicago.

    Concerns about windtunnels, negative effects on housing values, increased traffic etc are largely overblown. Develop this project correctly and we get a thousand or more new neighbors who utilize our local businesses. Uptown lost about 10 percent of our population over the last decade and the infrastructure can handle some lovely new residents.

    Fourth, hire a different architect to design the new 80, make that 100, story tower. I can think of three names for the new behemoth:

    1. Trumptown---if we can get the Donald to sell his name. If not we can get Paris Hilton to sell her name and we can insist something very phallic be built.

    2. "Uptown Rising"

    3. Lakeview Station. Wait, that's lame.

    To paraphrase Walt Disney:

    There is more treasure in great architecture than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island.

    I suggest Jeanne Gang.http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif

  52. Its unfortunate that some try to discredit the people who have different views than your own rather than sticking to topic.

    Not a comment on you, personally - what you're seeing is backlash towards some prior nefariousness when the validity of comments posted, and those posting them, appeared to be born of highly suspicious sources.

    Oddly, those commenters - supposed residents of the area who care very deeply for the future of Uptown - haven't been heard from, recently.

  53. I've only lived in this neighborhood for two years, but I've grown to love it already. It's one of the few places I could see myself settling down in Chicago. What makes this area great is not it's abundance of chain restaurants and grocery stores - it's everything else! I shop at Food Town, I drink at The Spot, I eat at The Best Steak House, and I play football at Clarendon Park.

    Of all the things Uptown has to offer, I really don't think that many of it's offerings would require a hotel. A hotel? For all the tourists to stay at while they visit the abandoned Uptown Theatre? Or maybe so they can rest in between trips to different hair salons?

    I love this neighborhood, but there is nothing for tourists to come here for. Everything is accessible by trains and even by foot. If they want to visit Chicago, they can stay in a hotel downtown and if visit Uptown by train.

  54. I think we should take all the TIF Money and create a fish farm in the middle of the city. Just kidding.

    The TIF exists and the money should be spent for development in Uptown. This is a great thing. If we don't spend the money on this development which will further diversify the income range in Uptown and also provide jobs for current local residents, then what should we spend the money on?

    It is not economically feasible to make all the land into a senior center. You need to have a large number of condo units to justify the purchase price the nuns want. If you get the nuns to donate the land to the city, if the city would take it, maybe something more charitable would happen with the land.

    It is a false statement to say Sedgewick is asking us to make a quick decision. There have been drawings of this project around for months. I have seen them. It is not Sedgewick's fault that the previous Alderman did not want to have meetings with the community to discuss this.

    I am a supporter of the project, an 8 year resident of Uptown, own my own business in Chicago, for a couple of years I was involved in Buena Park Neighbors.

  55. The density argument for housing is junk. Other than rush hour, Sheridan Road north of Foster is a clear path. Most of the traffic on Sheridan is when there is a back up is from drivers coming into the area from northern suburbs (or going home). However, density/traffic conjestion in terms of traffic for large retail on narrow Montrose is right on.

    Uptown/Edgewater is rapid transit rich. We should have more housing density.

    For those who dislike Halsted Street, Southport, etc., I can remember when Southport was so dead, dogs slept in the middle of the street. If you could get a little bit of Halsted St going in Uptown, I'd love it.

    Perhaps the members of the Carmen/Winona block club can weigh in over how they worked with the developers of the New Admiral. The block club worked long and hard to change the developers original plan. In the end, they worked out a plan whereby the developers got to build higher! My understanding is they did this to create one single tall tower, rather than three smaller buildings. Lots of renditions, lots of meetings and a very satisfactory outcome for the developers and the block club neighbors.

    Do you need significant large retail on the lakefront? If the premise of the TIF is to generate economic development, spread it around to small businesses with micro loans. And these will be jobs that will stay with the neighborhood, not pack up and leave when the building is completed.

    And does large retail need TIF subsidy? Remember the original Target plan included movie theaters and lots of other goodies. Well, we got a pretty nice Target store, but the rest? Just empty promises. Where did the TIF money for the proposed theaters go? Just sucked up somewhere else I guess.

    So Yes, TIF money for large retail can be a draw, but Montrose is a narrow street, and Broadway is nearly three times as wide and can accomodate traffic for large retail.

  56. Oh yeah, one more comment. Small retail creates foot traffic. Large retail creates car traffic. So go with a plan that creates the kind of walkability this neighborhood wants and needs.

  57. CJ,

    what to do with that TIF money?

    Well it could be given back to the taxing bodies it came from.

    It could be leapfrogged over to the Wilson Yard TIF and the Wilson EL station could be renovated or moved.

    Or we can give it to a private entity unwilling to accept the risk of using private money for a private venture.

    About the only thing the vast majority of people in Uptown who are paying attention to this project agree on is that NO TIF money should be used.

    Now some of the "turn it into a park" people might like to see the property bought and given to the Park District, but that ain't gonna happen.

    If Cappleman is smart he will listen to ME and kill the use of TIF money for this. As for the good sisters they can either sell the property for what it's worth now or sit on it. Pound sand so to speak.

    If TIF money is used for this he can expect a rebellion from a good number of his voters.

    Also I have a fairly good BS detector/ear for writing and a whole lot of you "new" folks posting here are hacks and sock puppets.

    When it's this blatant it isn't helping your cause.

    Let's see something tall and dramatic built with private moola.

    Use the tax money for the EL.

  58. IrishPirate, giving TIF money back does not create any new jobs in Uptown, neither does redoing the EL station at Wilson (which is planned anyway). A park doesn't add jobs. Why do we want a new park to boarder the current park.

    Although, I would like mixed income housing at Wilson Yard, the addition of the Target and the other businesses added jobs to Uptown. The only way we are going to fight violence in Uptown is by increasing the level of employment among all citizens of Uptown.

    Incentives like TIFs work to attract the development and businesses we need. Take a little from everyone to create a greater good. If the TIFs did not already exist I don't think I would support them, but since they are already a fact of life we should use the funds effectively.

  59. It's like Yellow Dog Democrat all over again...

  60. @CJ Your way off in your estimation of what this project will do for Uptown. Even the projected increases of foot-traffic I believe are overblown. The future residents will have a grocery, health club. cleaners, climate-controlled parking, to these future residents Uptown will just be the scary area behind the building.

    Looking at the aerial projection of this image it just amazes me. It is massively out of scale. This vertical gated community will also not provide a significant number of permanent jobs for Uptown residents...lets be realistic.

    Not only will this increase automobile traffic it will change the type of traffic in the area. You don't see too many 18 wheelers east of Sheridan right now...why change that?

    Unlike lakefront neighborhoods to our south we have a quieter and more residential character adjoining the park space. We shouldn't give it up so easily....

  61. Where did CJ come from?

    Never heard of him till this thread.

  62. CJ,

    I don't want a new park.

    Now if you're not a paid flack then you've missed your calling.

    If Sedgwick and the good sisters think that 50 Million in TIF money is going to be used for this I suspect they're sadly delusional.

    Working on getting the property upzoned for a large market rate development would be a better use of time.

    The chances of Cappleman supporting TIF money being used here is very slight. The support for that is virtually nil except among people who have a direct interest in the development.

    Also the way to fight violence in Uptown has little to do with creating more jobs. It has much to do with aggressive property management done at the behest of the community and the government.

    Your flackatood is unworthy of my time or a link, but take a gander at this.


    Now like McGruff the crime dog I believe in taking a bite out of crime and to use TIF money for that property strikes me as a crime against the taxpayer.

  63. "Of all the things Uptown has to offer, I really don't think that many of it's offerings would require a hotel. A hotel? For all the tourists to stay at while they visit the abandoned Uptown Theatre? Or maybe so they can rest in between trips to different hair salons?"

    The Cubs, just a little over a mile from Uptown, are the second biggest tourist attraction in Chicago. Where do those people stay? Can you think of any nice hotels north of Addison? Neither can I. Maybe a nice hotel with a view of the lake just a couple miles from Wrigley Field would draw them in. Easily tapped market, there for the taking.

    There are bands that play the Aragon and Riviera. Where do they stay? Downtown, or on Diversey, or in the 'burbs. Ditto for the fans who follow the bands to Chicago. Ditto the people who come to Chicago to see the Cubs.

    Used to be that part of the problem with Uptown's economy was that we had people come here for shows, but had nowhere for them to go afterwards. The Kinetic Playground, Fat Cat and to some extent Crew are all new businesses that serve those post-concert crowds. Uptown's economy benefits from those people sticking around and spending some cash. All they needed were some places to accommodate them.

    Seriously, put a nice, well-run, secure hotel by the lake, and someone will make a mint. There's no competition. Think of the hotels that are located north of the Hawthorne Terrace on Broadway: there's the Chateau, Sheffield House, Wilson Men's Club, Heart 'O Chicago, and all the Lincoln Avenue hot sheet motels. There are a few small B&Bs. That's it. Not a single reputable large hotel north of Addison, all the way to Rogers Park.

    Charge less than the Michigan Avenue hotels, make sure people know they'll be paying lower taxes, make sure the place is secure and clean, and it's a great idea.

    With the rumblings about the Uptown Theater possibly being rehabbed... who knows what's possible?

  64. I think CJ's point about how open and interactive Sedgwick has allegedly been with Uptown residents on this project was demolished last night when only 3 of 500+ people said they had been invited to any public meetings about this topic.

    The lack of meetings cannot be attributed entirely to the former alderman - the one meeting I know about (and I would have known if there were any others open to the public as I make it my job to know these things) was not open for questions and answers and the architects and engineers demonstrated ignorance or dishonesty even at that one presentation.

    As to the plans being around for 2 years, I think the meeting last night clearly demolished this idea, since it was clear to everyone that Sedgwick's earlier plans were misleading, purposely out-of-scale and those few that have been provided the public were contradicted (in a very dishonest attempt to fool Uptown residents) by the actual plans that Sedgwick submitted to the city.

    Further, the plan for an 8-story parking garage along Montrose is a NON-Starter. This would block access and view of the park to all who walk down Montrose. There is no way to make Montrose wide enough to accommodate this type of project and all the left turn lanes Sedgwick said they would create.

    Further, originally the developer tried to say all parking would entirely be "underground" only. When challenged by residents who were more informed than their architects seemed to be, Sedgwick finally had to admit that they could put the parking underground along Montrose because of infrastructure from the old Pumping Station that is still connected there to city water mains. Sedgwick's dishonesty was clearly revealed.

    They had hoped to promise only underground parking, and then down the road to "discover" what engineers already know - namely, that underground parking along Montrose is not possible without major city funds to redirect all of the city's water main connections there. With the flooding our ward already experiences, the prospect of Sedgwick messing around with this for the next 5 years of their promised development is beyond a nightmare.

  65. think its funny that clarendon park association or better yet John Wyman was all over this, until people started challenge the view.

    I also think its sad that people say Sedwick is putting people on here. What is any different the CPNA inviting other block clubs to the meeting.

  66. If we're going to have a "real" hotel in the Uptown area let's name it "Edgewater Beach II" and base the architecture on the still-existing plans for the legendary original, with updated "infrastructure" of course.

    Why? Ask your parents or grandparents about their memories of the EB and you'll understand.

    Yes, I'm a "vintage" freak.

  67. Chambo... oh, Chambo..

    1.You just tacitly admitted to being part of the Sedgwick group.. good job!

    2. The area block clubs were invited because, oh, I dont know.. we are the AREA block clubs.. you know.. the other folks in the area that are directly affected by this piece of crap.. Keep trying Chambo, keep trying..

  68. John Wyman was all over this, until people started challenge the view

    You might want to elaborate on this one.

    From my understanding, Wyman was supportive of the project until the inconsistencies in the plan modifications started to crop up.

    If I'm missing something, please let me know.

    As an aside - I'd really like to know if there's any truth in the rumor that I've heard where, fed up with the onslaught of inconsistencies and (alleged) lies to her, Shiller tossed Sedgwick from her office.

    I also think its sad that people say Sedwick is putting people on here. What is any different the CPNA inviting other block clubs to the meeting.

    If the (alleged) folks that Sedgwick are putting on here are residents of the area, and/or aren't having their motivations subsidized, and/or don't have some other type of vested interest in the outcome, then there may be no differnce, at all.

  69. I just love how that if you are for the development your motives suspect and you are accused of being disingenuous and paid-off by the developer.

    As an 8 year resident within two blocks of the development I haven't blogged here before because nothing rose to the occasion, for me. (My input on Wilson yard and crime has been in face-to-face meetings, not blogging.)

    Nothing says inclusion like some unfounded accusations! It sounds so childish.

    I agree with Toniacita on the hotel. There is Not a single large branded hotel north of the gold cost until evanston. I would have set out of town friends and family up there on many occasion.

  70. @ Mikey

    I can give you the benefit of the doubt but...

    The planting of opinions and "facts" is the newest wide-spread tactic of public relation firms, its very well documented.
    And Sedgwick has in fact hired a PR firm to wrap this little present up nicely with a ribbon and a bow.

    That is why people are suspicious, and why not?

    I also contest your claim there are no hotels between Addison and Evanston. We have a fine option for accommodation and here is a link to prove it.


  71. Poor Mikey,

    I'm sorry, actually I'm not, that you feel put upon.

    No reasonable person in this neighborhood is going to be for using 50 million tax dollars to subsidize this development. Now if it included low or no income housing the supporters would be coming out of the woodwork, but it thankfully doesn't.

    Personally if the property gets developed with 1000+ units, a gym, and grocery that's fine with me. Just DON't use my tax money.



  72. "I also think its sad that people say Sedwick is putting people on here. What is any different the CPNA inviting other block clubs to the meeting."

    Well the last time I checked the meeting was a face to face interaction and there was no ambiguity about where people were from (based on who voted etc). A blog on the other hand is anonymous. If the developer wants to convince us, then they should be able to do so with direct conversations rather than planting opinions from "neighborhood residents"

  73. Littleton: I'll take your word for it that it has happened before. It's just seems like the accusation is thrown around to everybody with a different view.

    Irish Pirate; Im with you on not using taxpayer funds to build this. I'm for the development based on the merits of the plan. I don't think TIF money should be used though.

    Also, maybe drop the pedantic condescending tone; You may think it cute, but it just sounds snarky, isn't very clever, and does not help your arguments.

  74. "I also think its sad that people say Sedwick is putting people on here. What is any different the CPNA inviting other block clubs to the meeting."

    I think it's sad that a whole bunch of commenters all posted on Lake Effect News last year about how great the Sedgwick project was, until editor Lorraine Swanson noticed all the comments came from the same IP address, which she traced to a marketing firm.

    I think it's sad that Sedgewick was asked to do a community meeting for years, by many community organizations, but didn't bother to until this week.

    I think it's sad that a citizen, who held a Sedgwick-sponsored meeting in her laundry room and claimed to be just an ordinary resident, couldn't answer and fell out of cyberspace when asked why she alone in the community knew all the details about the project before anyone else, and if she had any connection with Sedgwick in her capacity as an architect.

    It's all a snow job, and if Sedgwick bothered to do any research into Uptown, it would have found out:

    - "Fiercely independent" is a phrase frequently used to describe residents here
    - We attended the University of Helen Shiller for 24 years and have a healthy distrust of being herded along or trusting someone who promises the moon
    - We sued the city to stop a project we didn't like that was changed without our input or our approval
    - We've sued the City's Zoning Board when a business wanted to go in at a location that we felt was harmful to the community
    - We're immune to smoke and mirrors, and we're allergic to hype
    - If you want our TIF money, you better come up with a damn good reason you aren't reaching into your own pocket first

  75. I love how people accuse residents here of being from sedgwick. I have lived in Uptown for almost 6 years. So all of you that think otherwise get a grip. I am in favor of this project cause still nobody has given a single reason why not.

    1) To Tall
    Seriously not an issue, it will bring new people to the area. As for people saying it will be eye sore. Really does 498 feet compared to 250 feet a big dfference.
    2) Tif money
    They get 50 million after the project is completed. As a taxpayer I would rather have the tif money spent in our community instead of another one ne int he city

    3) traffic
    if traffic is going to increase with any project. Why dont we close montrose harbour to eliminate all traffic

    So I am still looking for a reason to not support this project, but nobody has given a single one

  76. Why are people still trying to change other people's opinions? The votes have been cast, and the alderman will make a decision, probably based on the vote totals.

    It's kind of like trying to get someone to vote for Del Valle or Moseley Braun for Mayor in March.

  77. TrumanSquareNabr - I loved the insight and historic perspective expressed in your comments!

    Whatever the outcome of this issue, I think we have made tremendous progress on ensuring that a fair and open and transparent process be followed in all similar proposals and debates.

    The conduct of our community in considering the Sedgwick plan, and the hundreds of Uptown residents who have come forward to get this issue right, has been an amazing certification of our growth as a community.

    We can think for ourselves and reach our own conclusions, rather than letting outside power brokers exploit us. Let the Ed Burkes, David Herros, Brendan Reillys, of the city know that Uptown is now closed to their exploitation.

  78. I'm a little baffled that the first comment in this string expresses discontent that no one had commented on this issue that attracted 500 people to turn out and vote on it. 79 comments and 2 days later, the same commenter seems a little miffed that people are still commenting. I guess many of us are used to our opinions not being heard in the 46th Ward and still feel the need for frequent repetition and re-phrasing of them.

    Don't mean to complain... just observing.... I love this site and think it is invaluable to our community.

  79. There are fifty million reasons Chambo yet only one reason nmatters...50 million.

  80. @Chambo, here's one for you: sunshine. Right now, on any clear day, that corner and the park and most of Montrose going east is flooded in glorious sunshine. If this hideous project were constructed, this entire area would be nothing but darkness and shadows made by the concrete towers. And if you think there's a wind tunnel now, just wait for the ones those 40-story monstrosities will create.

    And as long as we're talking about the light of day, how is it that this project went from two 40-story towers to three as if that's just some minor change in plans? It is extremely significant that Sedgwick refuses to reveal how many of the 900+ units would go to Section 8 tenants. (Shall we go down the list of the buildings in Uptown with lots of those and their problems like shootings lately?) If anyone thinks that all of those units will be purchased at market price in this economy with the current restrictions for obtaining a mortgage, I have only one question: can I have some of what you're on?

    When the developer won't disclose how these units will be filled or even be consistent about how many towers the project will have, it's difficult to trust that they've tackled other issues. They've never said how they'd deal with all the pipes and tunnels that are still beneath the property from the pumping station that the project originally was named for. They've never said what they've done to accommodate that their gigantic concrete towers would all be built on landfill. After all, the Clarendon Park field house was once a beach house with the water RIGHT THERE. They have never indicated that they have done any type of assessment whatsoever as to whether the electric grids and the sewer lines- that we ALL depend on- could handle this major increase in usage.

    A hotel? Last I checked, there's going to be one included in the development right across from Wrigley Field. Sure, they'll stay in Uptown instead and then they can walk over and catch a movie at the multi-plex at Wilson Yard. Oh, wait- that never happened. It was just something we were told to make the project sound good... Speaking of theaters, how about a $50 million dollar TIF to return the Uptown Theater to its glory rather than lining the pockets of some developer who isn't even savvy enough to provide beverages on a stifling hot evening when it's trying to sway public opinion?

    Now here's daring daring question: how many of the supposed supporters of this plan are actually paying mortgages on properties within blocks of this project? Anyone?

  81. @ Kronos

    To answer your question I pay a mortgage and taxes in Uptown and have for 6 years.

    As for the sunlight are you serious that your going to make a decision based on weather? If you need to have that much sun in your area. Get a clue you can walk 1.5 miles and be at the beach.

    As for the section 8 the city has always asked develops to put section 8 in all places. Look at Old town, it has worked at well. As for blaming the crime on Section 8 that is a reach, as most of the gangbangers are coming from southside to our area. What is needed is stiffer Judges, who put these people away. If you ask any copper their biggest complaint is they arrest the punks and few days later they are back on the street.

    are you a weather expert? How do you know this will be a wind creator? Is this speculation? Or have you done a scientific study ?

    As for the hotel the need for one here is the theaters in the area.

    Again everybody complains about the TIF, however they dont get a dime until they show stuff, they also are taking the burden on themselves. Tif money doesnt have to be allocated to us in Uptown. IT could very easly go somewhere else in the city. So all you tif bashers, do you want your tax money spent here or somewhere else?

    As for people bashing Sedgwick, if you do research and talk to people, there are the same amount of people who have good stuff to say.

    And again so nobody will say that I am from Sedgwick, I live in the 900 block of Sunnyside.

  82. Chambo, you need to read these comments again. The writing is on the wall! It is like somebody literally stood in front of you, writing all the reasons why this development is a bad idea on the wall. Then, with a dumbfounded look you say, Yeah but you still haven't given me one reason why this would be a bad thing.

    Geez buddy, stop acting like a Tea Party Patriot. Actually take in what you are reading!

  83. Chambo, I sincerely have tried to make sense of what you are saying, but I cannot.

    You say there is a need for a hotel because of the theaters in the area? Since you are demanding that everyone else produce a study, where is your study to support this rather unlikely claim?

    You say that if people want sunshine, they can walk 1.5 miles to the beach? Do you have any idea how insensitive this sounds? Not everyone who enjoys the openness and sunshine of a city park can walk 1.5 miles or whatever across/under LSD to sit on the beach. Not everyone has the time to walk 1.5 miles to find a ray of sun when they want to enjoy a stroll around the neighborhood or watch a softball game in sunshine.

    There is a long and revered history in this city that I don't think you appreciate of the public's right to enjoy its parks (check out Daniel Burnham's Plan of Chicago or Lois Wille's Forever Open, Free and Clear book on this subject), particularly lakefront parks, unfettered by private development. You might want to read up on some of the battles to preserve our parks that go back even before A. Montgomery Ward's successful drive to keep industry from taking over Grant Park, etc.

    As for "weathermen...." most of us can't fathom what you are talking about - wind problems likely at this corner are not a matter of "weather" but a matter of simple physics. I think you have the burden of proof backwards - the developer should present us with evidence and a guarantee that, contrary to every known law of physics, this type of tower will somehow not create the wind and light problems that anyone who has ever taken a basic science class can understand it likely will.

    If you somehow know a way to build towers of this size on an open and unprotected site where north, west and eastern wind systems meet at the lakefront, without affecting wind and light patterns adversely, you really should present your documentation and try get a patent on it pronto - perhaps offer to sell it to Sedgwick. Have you ever walked by the Willis Tower on a windy day? And that site is not even affected by the kind of lakefront winds we're talking about here.

  84. Wow you people don't get it, but it doesn't matter anymore cause the vote is in and cpna twisted the point so bad that Sedgwick never had a chance.if Cappelman is going to make every decision based on what every one else wants. He is in for short run. He will need to make tough decisions and go against the grain occasionally.

    I bet if Sedgwick went to wyman and offered him to be the agent, he would be for this project. I am sure one of the other developers has a wyman connection. Ask his block group of what they do with the money for the block party and he goes silent.

    Lastly hope somebody finds some parking spots as the nu shave said they are going to stop allowing the parking.

    @ buena Parker seriously? There shouldn't be a development cause of a park? Come on this is prime rea estate

  85. Wow. Sore loser much, chambo?

    I love how much Shiller was quite rightly criticized for not consulting with the community and just doing whatever the hell she wanted to with our tax money ... including creating the Maryville TIF ... and that's one of the reasons a new alderman and a true community meeting were like a breath of fresh air to those of us who endured The Peoples Republic of Shiller for 24 years.

    And here you are, grumbling that a new alderman actually listens to the people he represents before forcing his opinion on them.

    Well, you say your neighbors are morons and you hate them, so you're just out of luck here in Uptown, aren't you? Democracy is such a drag when you know you're right, even if 89% of the people around you disagree with you.

    Just ask Helen Shiller.

  86. Yes, seriously, when one of our park's is threatened by development - "prime real estate" or not - the brakes need to be put on and serious caution exercised.

    You are not the first to discover that Montrose & Clarendon is "prime real estate" - a developer tried to develop it in 1982 and we survived just fine without that development. The world's history did not begin just because you woke up with a nutty idea in your little head.

    Chambo, I think at this point you just want attention, since you don't seem to gain anything from interacting with others. You obviously have no understanding of Chicago history or appreciation for its parks and communities, and no desire to learn from past mistakes of history - and these are basics required for valid citizen participation - I think a vote of your neighbors would likely produce at least 89% in favor of your shutting up.

    As for your slander of Wyman with unsupported allegations, if I were Wyman (whom I have never met), I'd sue you.

  87. Buena another case of you really having no clue, this is a blog and no rights to sue.

    I am never said the decision is a bad thing and yes it is great to have a new alderman, who listens to the community. As stated the vote was overwhelming, which is great but at the end of the day the vote was decided, well before the meeting.

    As I have stated several times, I was against the project before the meeting, but after hearing the Sedgwick presentation. I personally don't see an issue with the project. What I heard from Wyman and his group is?

    1) Sedgwick is bad for this project
    The had no reason behind this comment. All the produced was a rip off report from over a year ago.
    2) Height
    Yes a concern, ok so maybe it should have been presented that the project is good, but we don't want the heigh, how can we move forward with out the tall towers
    3) Traffic
    Unfortunately no matter what is developed here is going to create traffic.
    4) Tif
    It was allocated and personally of any projects that include TIF money. This really isnt bad as they dont get the TIF money until each section is completed. They dont get 50 million until each section is completed.

    My point is Sedgwick really never had a chance. CPNA twisted a lot of the issues is my point. I was at the meeting and most people weren't even paying attenting to what Sedgwick had to say.

    AS for the Schiller regin, I agree, but everyone fought the Wilson Yard project, but I would assume that most people who fought it, now see it was a great thing for the area.

    As for the TIF portion of Sedgwick, what people dont understand is our TIF tax money doesn't have to be used in our community. We could pay all that TIF money and then it goes to somewhere else. I ask the simple question would you rather have your tax dollar spent here on a development or have it go to the southside for a development? It is earmarked for this project. I hear people say that they don't want it being used to entice a business, but then people say give it to the Uptown Theater. Isnt the Theater a business also?

    I also agree that parks are a valuable piece of Chicago history, but really this high rise really isnt going to affect the area that much.

    I am not a sore loser as I have no gain either way. Yes I live in CPNA direct area and yes I think I have the right to ask, where is all the money going that they take in for donations etc. I really don't see them doing to much in the area. Yeah they have a block party, but that is about it.

    So sorry if you feel this is an attack, it really isnt just looking for the facts.

    Yes I am very impressed so far on how Capelman has worked for our area. I think he is going to do a great job. However my comment is at some point he will need to go against everyone. I am not saying he should have done this year. It will be interesting to see all the other developers proposals. Since as of right now nobody has seen,

  88. Chambo - consult your attorney (or don't - as I don't know you, I truly don't care whether you get sued or not). Your right to free speech on a blog does not protect you from the laws against slander of individual private citizens. I don't care one way or the other whether you slander private citizens or not, as it is you who must live with the consequences.

    I'm glad we agree on the importance of the parks. Your earlier comments indicated that you do NOT feel this way - telling people to walk 1 1/2 miles to find sunshine if Clarendon Park becomes unusable because of oversized development there. In fact, you seem to be abandoning your most bizarre earlier claims as they clearly failed as arguments.

    I have a great deal of difficulty following your thoughts as you write most of them in incomplete sentences, with misspellings and misuses of words and self-contradictory claims.

    Your understanding of how TIFs work, in your statements about the money simply going elsewhere, is ill-informed. You were the one demanding in all of your earlier postings that everyone else on this blog furnish YOU with documentation, yet you seem to feel that you can make wildly false statements with no evidence and with no consequence to your credibility. It doesn't work that way in the adult world, Chambo. I'm still awaiting your documentation to support your claims about wind and light that every 8th grade science student understands are ignorant.

    As for the Clarendon Park neighbors group, I am not a member of that group. Whatever grievance you have with them is your issue. Your personal issues with them do not change the fact that 89% of your neighbors (most of whom are also not affiliated with the Clarendon Park organization) reject your contradictory statements as lunacy. Just because you did not pay attention to Sedgwick's proposals at the meeting does not mean that the rest of us who think coherently and listen attentively did not.

  89. I believe when Maryville is eventually torn down. the park next to it should host an annual reinactment of last week meetings, ala Civil War reinactments held down South. Chambo can be Robert E Lee.. you can reargue and bitch all you want at this point, but the deal is dead and it makes no sense to continue to argue.... move on to the next phase and be a positive force moving forward and quit bitching about something that is already said and done..LOL Geesh

  90. Chambo, as a resident of the 800 block of agatite, and a member of the cpna, as well as a principal planner for the yearly CPNA block party, I can tell you that we keep left over money from each block party in an interest bearing account which is then used again the next year, solely on block party expenses. All of us know exactly how much money we have post-block party, and that same amount (plus some) is there at the start of our planning season the following summer. If you come out to the parties, you will see that we have done a fantastic job of fundraising each year which has allowed us to keep improving the festivities each year. We keep the money for the next year so that we can pay to have a stage with three live music acts, offer free beer and food, games, skateboarding demo's, raffles and more. If you don't know Jon Wyman, or anyone involved with the cpna, and can't substantiate your claims, please keep you mouth shut.

    Save the meritless accusations for another blog. Your tiring me out with your dribble.