Monday, June 6, 2011

Maryville Meeting Tuesday

A reminder that there will be a community meeting on Tuesday, June 7th, to discuss the proposed Lake View Station development on the site of the former Maryville Columbus Academy.  The meeting will be held between 7-9pm (if you want to vote, it's suggested - not required - that you get there at 6:30pm to register).  The site of the meeting is 4501 N Clarendon, in the fieldhouse.

Voting will be open to all adults living within the boundaries of the Clarendon Park Neighbors block club and Buena Park Neighbors block club.  (See boundaries to the right.)  You can be a renter or an owner, but you need to show a photo ID at the meeting proving your address if you want to vote.

The meeting will be the only opportunity for adults living within the block club boundaries to vote (no phone votes, absentee votes, late votes, etc.)  Per the alderman's site, "You may submit your questions beforehand via email:, or submit your questions on 3x5 cards provided at the meeting. Similar questions will be incorporated together to make best use of everyone's time."

After a discussion of the issue, rebuttals, questions, etc., the voting options will be:
  • Reject the current plan
  • Send the plan back for further revisions
  • Approve plan as-is
You can read the various viewpoints from the block clubs and the developers prior to the meeting to help you make up your mind:
You can also view Ald. Cappleman's website for more information about the meeting.


  1. This project will dramatically down-value all condo’s within a two mile radius.
    1. The 50 mil. TIF tax subsidy is Sedgwick’s guarantee that they can market all units at approximately 30% below current market value.
    2. So if a typical one bedroom sells for $100,000 Sedgwick can market theirs for $70,000 - If you have a neighboring unit on the market for $250,000 you’d be competing with one in the Sedgwick project for $175,000 .... and so on.
    No wonder Sedgwick’s not worried about the daunting task of trying to sell 700 units.

  2. They claim condos are not longer part of the plan and that the residential component if there is one (they aren't even firm that there will be one at this point) will be market rate rentals.

    Using TIF money to accomplish it is far from ideal, but this neighborhood needs market rate housing in the worst way, otherwise things like the Trader Joes that get talked about so much are a pipe dream.

  3. Alek - where do you get this intel? their own website claims there will be 700 residential units. it seems impossible that there wouldn't be at least a mix of condos and apartments.

  4. Alek, I suggest you walk around and see all teh For Rent signs in Uptown.. all this will do is flood the market for years to come, using my tax money to help deflate the value of my home.. that is the stupidest business proposition I have ever heard of... if it is viable, great, build it WITHOUT using TIF money. And anyone that thinks a 200 room hotel can survive there needs to get their head examined... the Cubs do not fill up hotels in Uptown...

  5. @Jon - I don't support the plan as currently laid out, notably the TIF component, but the NIMBYism surrounding market rate housing of any kind in this hood is confusing to me and people aren't willing to talk about it beyond short sided platitudes. I'm well aware of the current state of the housing market. There are about a thousand variables that go into determining your properties value, comparable inventory being just one.

    I'd argue the top 3 things bringing down your condo value are crime/safety issues (leading by a long shot), the area wide unemployment rate and lack of retail. If you want to see the 'hood resume gentrification and property values rise, improving the ratio of market rate to non-market rate housing is paramount.

  6. This is very simple. This is an inappropriate or illegal use of TIF money. All the guys that work at Sedgewick drive very nice cars. The 50 million will ultimately go into their pockets. If this is such a great opportunity for them, WHY can't they do it without TIF money? WHY aren't we having 2 more developers bid on this project?

  7. @ Alec... Please note what I said and don't infer nor put words in my mouth. If market rate housing is appropriate, then let the market pay for it, NOT my TIF money. Very smart people have made large amounts of money building in down markets anticipating the upside...if that is the case here, then let Sedgwick take that gamble and lets use the $50 million in TIF money apparently available for this project towards other things that would make Uptown more desirable. A Trader Joe's, which is a downmarket grocery store btw and owned by Aldi, would not bring up my property value. That is a false arguement.

  8. Scale it down, give us some hotel space pleas, get rid of the ridiculous & hideous 8 stories of windowless concrete gray wall, and make sure whatever you do it helps to eliminate the extreme wind tunnel thing that happens at this corner.

    We want something nice here, but not this.

  9. Hm.

    The voting options are:

    - Reject the current plan
    - Send the plan back for further revisions
    - Approve plan as-is

    The first two options appear somewhat similar. IE - if the plan is sent "back for further revisions", isn't that a form of rejection of the plan?

    So, if - say - 55% of the people vote for either option #1, or option #2, options #3 (accept) could win based on it receiving a majority (45%) of the three votes.

    Considering the historic behavior of the developer (and their PR firm), forgive my sensitivity to the concept that there might be some curious rigging involved.

    Prior to any vote being taken, it needs to be made perfectly clear how the tally will be counted, and the result confirmed.

    If the winner is the one which receives the most votes, the options need to be limited to 2, not 3.

  10. I agree with Alek and have been to 2 other meetings already about this development.I agree somewhat about TIF $$$$ being used to supplement this project,I think any project of this size would be rejected by this neighborhood.Im currently working on the 2525 Lakeview job that has been in the works for 6 yrs.The neighbors dint want it ,they tried to fight it and guess what, a 40 strory multimillion dollar high rise is going up.what do you people want on that site , more senior housing??more section 8 housing??what??And I walk by the park all the time with my dog and dont see any of you peole at the park just gang bangers and bums,I will be there tomorrow and cant wait to hear some alternatives!!

  11. More retail, more development, improved infrastructure, MORE JOBS, and a more desirable neighborhood will maintain and eventually drive property values up. Keeping this property vacant will continue to cast an ugly image and drive values down.

    Also - throughout the duration of this proposed project - I've heard a lot of individuals speaking out against the project, but offering no alternative.

    We have an Alderman and a developer that are willing to listen - finally.

    Rather than going into attack mode and accomplishing nothing - why not be productive? Generate alternatives. Come armed with a list of "wants" and "needs" for the development.

    It sounds crazy - but I'm sure someone within the noted boundary might have either a design, planning, or architecture background. Be bold. Go out on a limb and propose an alternative.

    What's the worst thing that could happen?

  12. Another poster who calls his or her neighbors "you people. " Great sense of community from yet another first time poster. Funny how they all seem to surface on this topic.

  13. Anyone who thinks they can protect their property values by restricting this is crazy. We live in a large city... There is always going to be a newer... Cheaper condo then yours. This development will add foot traffic to the neighborhood... It will help our current businesses and bring in new businesses. If anything will make our neighborhood more desirable, this development will do it.

  14. @GG

    Virgins (first-time posters) are always welcome on Uptown Update. ;-)

    That's how we can build up our community and strengthen our communication.

    I watched Uptown Update like a hawk before I moved into the neighborhood. Seeing everyone have a voice is one of the things that attracted me to the area. Plus, everyone seems to watch out for one another - even though there's the occasional squabble here and there.

  15. The 3 part vote is set up to screw the naysayers, can't believe they set it up like that!

  16. 1. This reminds me of the election. New posters appear and then disappear from the site.

    2. Fifty million dollars. Shit.

    3. I believe in the free market system. Giving a 50 million dollar subsidy, and that's what it is, to a private business who compete with other private businesses ain't "free market".

    4. I suspect there is not much of a market now for the retail they want to build WITHOUT the subsidy. Paying 50 million to see a new grocery store and gym put Jewel and World Gym out of business doesn't strike me as being a good use of taxpayer moola.

    5. I have no problem with a tall high density residential development there be it condo or rental. As long as it's market rate.

    We need the additional people in the neighborhood. We don't need to pay tens of millions of to see it happen.

    The only use of TIF money I want to see in this ward revolves around redoing the EL stations with a possibility of some TIF money used for other projects that won't compete with other local businesses. Such as some moola to renovate the Uptown Theater. That will bring in outsiders and their lovely money.

    A new grocery and gym would largely just be used by people in the neighborhood. We don't lack either groceries or gyms now and if Sedgewick wants to bring more in fine. Use your own damn money.

  17. Passive Reflex, I see where you're coming from, but I have no tolerance for people who come on UU and refer to their neighbors as "you people."

    This subject, in particular, seems to attract a lot of people who've never surfaced before, and never surface again, who post about "you people" and are wildly supportive of Sedgwick's plan.

    When Lorraine Swanson had Lake Effect News, she noticed a lot of pro-Sedgwick commenters all were posting from the same IP address under different names, which just happened to belong to a marketing firm. Maybe I just have a suspicious nature.

    Should be interesting tomorrow night when the votes are measured by actual participants who must prove they live in the surrounding area.

  18. A third way... The TIF is in place, which means the money is available... According to a number of studies ( ) Chicago has some of the lowest levels of parkland per person and should be acquiring more. Here is what I think is a great idea.. Alderman Cappleman moves forward with an an eminent domain process and make this parkland? It would be for the greater good of the community (, take care of the blight that is there, give the Sisters their money and avoid a horrible addition to Uptown. And, it would show bold leadership, allow infill to continue in Uptown and be a green alternative.... just my thoughts from my little corner of Uptown....

  19. How does the eminent domain process work? In the end do you just give the current owner market rate for that land? I think it would be great if everything on the east side of the street was merged with the park. Then maybe a small building on the west side could be built with some first for retail and a limited number of market rate condos above it.

  20. PassiveReflex said:
    Also - throughout the duration of this proposed project - I've heard a lot of individuals speaking out against the project, but offering no alternative.

    You obviously haven't been reading these posts at all. Many, including myself, have offered alternatives to this project. And I will say this again, I, and the people against this, are AGAINST SEDGWICK, not development in general. This is not what TIF money is for. This is not a blighted area.As many have said, again you must have missed this, the buildings are valid and can be used for many things. This will just go to pay for more gas to Lexus driving developers.

    I challenge them to say "We will build this project without the use of TIF money". They told me that this project will increase the value of my condo. I challenged them at that time to buy my condo if they felt so strongly about it. It would be easy money if they believed the BS they were feeding me.

  21. Jim, I hope you can make it to the meeting tonight in the air conditioned comfort of the field house and ask more questions on the eminent domain process. If not, please call Alderman Capplemans office and let them know your questions/thoughts...thanks!

  22. Eminent Domain for this property would be very tricky, most notably the fair market value issue, you can imagine the lawyers salivating already.

    Also hte property would have to be for public use, which means judicial review and likely no potential for any private or market rate development.

    Even though, Eminent Domain is most often used for public utilities and transportation issues, establishing parks is not unheard of. One final issue is that although Chicago as a whole is short changed on the park front, Uptown in particular has quite a lot.

  23. Alek, it is clear from your previous posts you want this developed.. many other of us do not. That is the point of making it a park.. not setting it aside for future monstrosities... Of course eminent domain will take time.. and the market value is going to be a lot less than $50 million... so lets get our facts straight, be honest on where we stand, and not try to confuse the issue, including that Uptown has a lot of parkland.. if you look at the demographics vs. park, we do not have a lot.

    Particularly when you are having an honest discussion and pretend that half of Chicago does not travel to the parks in Uptown.. and thus, puts total strain on it... it is not just Uptown residents that use the parks, it is all of Chicago.. so you cannot separate one from the other...


  24. I will most definitely try to attend tonight. This sort of interest in development is important for Uptown. Unfortunately, I think we can pass on this particular plan. Others will come, eventually. I'm all for more foot traffic, store fronts, heck put up high density living, but for heaven's sake do NOT use $50,000,000 in tax payer money to do it! That money could be use to optimize what we already have (el stations, parks, safety, schools?, decorative planter boxes :) ), improving what exisits is better for current residents at this point. These improvements will drive demand for Uptown real estate, and in turn these developments can happen WITHOUT a $50M TIF subsidy to lure residents and businesses that don't want to pay market rate. Optimize first, expand capacity second. We are in the first stage.

    Oh, I wanted to reach out and give a big, warm welcome to the new UU posters...

  25. Parkland?

    It's across from a park and less than two blocks west of Lincoln Park.

    If you want to turn it into a park then buy it yourself, donate it to the Park District, and then pay the difference in property taxes for the next 50 years.

    The property should be developed PRIVATELY. No TIF money and it should be zoned for high density housing.

    We desperately need more market rate residents in this community. We don't desperately need more park space........across from a park.

    I was waiting for that "argument" to be made.

    I feel bad for Cappleman. He has to try to balance the competing agendas of various groups of idiots. Possibly to include me as a leading idiot.

  26. IrishPirate is 100% on the money.

  27. There's a lot of people who want the NE corner of Clarendon & Motrose, where the vacant DCSF building sits, turned back back into parkland

    This land once was part of the park and should be returned to Clarendon Park. There are 1000s of residents who live around Clarendon Park and if we make our park a priorty, it can once again be beautiful place for people to enjoy.

  28. "it is obvious to me at least, that he is in cahoots with the developer. "

    I wish I made Sedgewick money.

  29. I've been debating about whether to comment on this or not (I'm not within the voting area). You are never going to get everyone to agree on a project, an architect's rendering, or what should go there.

    One thing we can all agree on is that TIF money should not be used to develop this site. Since this was already made into a TIF though, thanks Helen, it will be eligible for TIF funds. One thing Cappleman can do is specify that the TIF funds only be used for the public good - streetscaping, Clarendon Park building, etc... The rest is up to Sedgwick - or whoever ends up developing this site.

    And sorry folks, but I agree with Pirate on this one. We need more market rate housing in this neighborhood - preferrably by a private developer. Its a bit unrealistic for someone to buy this valuable land only to turn it over to the Park District. Just won't happen.

  30. A couple of things to mention in advance of the meeting...

    Sedgewick will likely mention that the TIF money goes to the developer after the property is built, from the revenue from the property. So, its kind of like a "rebate." Some people might think this scenario makes a difference (as opposed to the developer getting an advance check.) The bottom line is that this is a valuable piece of lakefront property. Someone will develop it and will be happy to do so with all of their own financing when the time is right. The time is not right today but Sedgewick is making it right by leveraging the "rebate" and thereby closing out competing developers. If the purchase price were not inflated by the opportunity for the TIF rebate, a less dense use might be possible.

    The current proposal is a lousy bargain for Uptown. I am not swayed *at all* by the supposed dearth of market-rate residents. We just experienced a 10 year influx of market rate residents scattered throughout the ward and have we witnessed comparable rises in amenities, better schools, better infrastructure and a lower crime rate? No. All these things should go hand in hand with demographic change but as we have seen, you can build 400k condos all over the place but until you reach critical mass on block-by-block transformations of public space the change in demographics fails to make the impact that should otherwise be expected. You simply cannot get that kind of change by plopping in a few large developments either. Surely, they are a piece of the puzzle but in the end it all comes down to how you leverage your quality of life assets. This is where all of our time, money and effort should go. Any project that doesn't feed symbiotically into these overarching needs is a diversion at best and a liability at worst.

    People also need to remember that this is a development immediately adjacent to LakeShore Drive. There will be no need for new residents to walk westward to get the things they need (and little incentive to as long as the streets are perceived as unsafe). Its called Lakeview Station for goodness sake! The entire development is southwardly focused. Ask your neighbors in the Buena Park highrises about their daily routines. I'll bet you a soy latte that a very small fraction of their time and money is spent in Uptown. They are in Lakeview, downtown, Lincoln Park, Southport and Andersonville. While you are at it, ask your "market rate" friends in Ravenswood and Lincoln Square how often they choose Uptown over other options for shopping and dining. We *are* surrounded by people with money to spend but they seldom choose to come here. Why should we expect these new residents' behaviors to be any different?

    There is never any accountability with the indirect benefits suggested in these kinds of negotiations. I say: Quantify it, baby!

  31. Unfortunately, I cannot stay until 9pm tonight. Does anyone know when the voting will take place? I can stay until about 8p, but I want to make sure my vote is cast.

  32. How can Sedgwick not see the obvious - it's too damn big! And a hotel? Really? What hotel would come all this way from downtown? If Sedgwick got rid of an additional 100 residential/condo units and got rid of the 200 unit hotel, and built it with their own money, I think they'd get more support from the community. They would at least have me thinking about supporting them - which is more than I'm doing now.

  33. More NO/LOW INCOME HOUSING = TIF money used... remember, if TIF money is used, a percentage of units MUST include low income housing.... do we really need more low income housing in Uptown? Just asking..

  34. new2uptown: You can vote beginning at 6:30pm when the vote check-in begins. The meeting starts at 7pm. For more info about voting, you can check the Clarendon Park Neighborhood Association Facebook page.

  35. Given the heat emergency we're experiencing I have a question.

    Is this a pants optional event?

  36. Pants off, dance off. How're your moves?