Friday, July 1, 2011

From Ald. Cappleman Regarding Lakeview Wal-mart

The aldermanic newsletters continue to come out every Friday from all three Chicago aldermen... all this information is still amazing to us. Here's what 46th Ward Ald. Cappleman has to say about the Wal-mart proposed for 3636 N Broadway (sales flyer here):
"Wednesday afternoon I met with four Wal-mart representatives to finally discuss their plans for the property they have leased at 3636 N. Broadway. This meeting was not about me welcoming Wal-mart with open arms, but working with a business that signed a lease in our community to make sure they know we will be holding them to a high standard.

I asked for and expect to get more green space in and around the building, keeping the fa├žade intact, entrances that face the street and not the parking lot, bicycle racks and a farmers market that they sponsor for the surrounding community. Community input is vital to any new business coming into a neighborhood, which is why I let them know that, before they do anything else, they need to hold a public meeting where they can hear from residents about what is expected of them. I will hold new businesses and development to higher standards. This is our home and we will protect it. Together, we can make sure that businesses in our community support our values."

15 comments:

  1. Has James forgotten about Maryville? I've written him twice regarding the status of the project, no reply. Such strong words for Wal-mart. When we overwhelmingly voted down Sedgwick, they were able to come back to the table. Has anybody heard anything?
    What will he do if Wal-mart says no?

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  2. I've seen this happen with of all things, an Arby's. The neighborhood held high standards for the appearance of the building and it possibly could have been the fanciest Arby's ever built, it was in compliance with how other buildings were supposed to look.
    In smaller towns Wal-Mart does help destroy Mom and Pop businesses, and they do (allegedly) treat their workers poorly.
    However I think that Chicago can endure another Wal-Mart or two.

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  3. My guess is that James doesn't have anything to update regarding the Maryville status because Sedgwick is probably either a) weighing the costs/benefits of re-doing their plan or walking away from it; or b) re-doing the plan. In either case, it isn't like comparing paint chips and getting a gallon a paint with a slightly different tint than the last gallon you tried out. Architectural renderings and engineering plans are more complex and costly, and take more than two people and more than five minutes to do.

    I'm no supporter of Sedgwick's Maryville proposals, but I think that we need to take a deep breath, trust James, and let the process on Maryville take its course. It seems pretty evident that James is prioritizing the community and the community's needs and desires ahead of the developers, whether it be the Maryville site or the Walmart project.

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  4. This meeting was not about me welcoming Wal-mart with open arms, but working with a business that signed a lease in our community to make sure they know we will be holding them to a high standard.

    Exactly.

    It is not the role of an alderman to pick winners and/or otherwise inject their opinions/beliefs into the market.

    If a business is operating within the parameters of the law/ordinances, the best I'd expect from an alderman is that s/he engage with that business and ensure that there is a productive environment inwhich that business can operate that is also acceptable to the surrounding commmunity.

    This site does not immediately affect me, so my pro/con opinion on Walmart is irrelevent, but I do appreciate breathing in all of this fresh air.

    Keep it up, Cap.

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  5. There should be a reply because yesterday was the alleged due date imposed by the Sisters of the TIF. I was wondering if there was some last minute goings on that the community should know about.

    "It is not the role of an alderman to pick winners and/or otherwise inject their opinions/beliefs into the market."

    True, but when the overwhelming opinion of the effected community rejects the developer, not development, the alderman has the responsibility to support his constituents that voted for him. Imagine Molly Phelan coming to his office, saying I want to change my stance on the issues and now I'm alderman. Double set of standards I think.

    And yes, I've had a few 4th of July cocktails, so go easy on the follow ups.

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  6. I am also having no luck in the Aldermans staff getting back to me with my emails.. and I understand from 2 others in my immediate area they are having the same issue... James..James staff.. are you paying attention over there? Hello?

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  7. "I was wondering if there was some last minute goings on that the community should know about." Just Asking

    Just Asking,
    I'm just wondering how you've determined that Cappleman has a surprise up his sleeve that will sneak through an unwanted development. I looked all over his website and I've examined his emails and I can't seem to find any such statement. Could you show me how you came up with this idea?

    As much as you can't bear the thought, Cappleman has no legal grounds to refuse to see a developer's revised plans. I'm wondering why you think otherwise.

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  8. Just Asking--you said "...when the overwhelming opinion of the effected community rejects the developer, not development..." Let's explain it like this: someone like, say, Helen Shiller, may be well-known and greatly disliked in your block. She may make an offer on a condo in the midst of your block anyhow, and buy into where you live. Can you prevent her from doing that? No. You may hate her guts, but if she wants to buy a place and live next door to you, she has the right to do that. Too bad that you don't like her--you either live with it or you leave. Same sort of thing with Sedgwick--you may hate them, but if they put together a plan that fits within the confines of what they can legally do and what they are required do by the permits they get, then they have the right to do it.

    Condo associations have this neat little thing called "right of first refusal"--if they don't accept a particular buyer into their building (for *legal* reasons), they can prevent that buyer from coming in by buying the unit themselves for equal or greater cost than the buyer's offer. Unfortunately, Maryville is not a condo association. The Sisters have a legal contract with Sedgwick to sell them Maryville unless and until the contract either goes away under the terms of the contract or the contract is fulfilled--e.g., Sedgwick acquires the property. None of us are party to that contract, so stop spinning your wheels over Sedgwick and focus your energy on helping to make sure that WHATEVER goes on at Maryville turns out to be something that the neighborhood can live with after you and I and the rest of us here are long dead and gone! Maybe the window of opportunity has closed and Sedgwick is out in the cold--but the Sisters make that decision and they still get to decide who they sell to, not us. We will never have "right of first refusal", but we DO have the right to say that we won't accept particular plans that don't comply with legally-created restrictions.

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  9. About Cappleman's office replying to messages....

    I sent a message via the office's website shortly after it went live. I finally got a reply (yippee!!! a REPLY from the 46th Ward Alderman's office after years of being flipped off before!!) a couple of days ago. My understanding is that the office is pretty short-staffed--like 2 or 3 people besides James--so I'm willing to cut them some slack on the speed of replies unless it's something pressing (like a pending ordinance in front of the City Council) or an emergency (like a giant sinkhole opening in the street in front of my building, swallowing cars, parts of my building, and many small dogs--or Irish Pirate). May I suggest that if you have a pressing concern requiring a speedy answer...that you pick up your phone and dial the number for the 46th Ward Service Office. I imagine that the staff will be happy to answer questions with a politeness we haven't been accustomed to previously....

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  10. Bear60640, I agree with you on all counts.

    This Walmart message from James is kick butt. I love to hear this!

    Segwick has the right to try again, like it or not. We cannot force them out this deal because of an 'opinion'. It's a free country and I like it that way.

    I get around 50 emails at work per day. Now, I know this is around average and I know there are people out there that get hundreds per day (my best friend is in HR). Hard as I try to respond to each message in a timely fashion, life just isn't that 'ideal'. I recognize the importance of a response buy a publicly elected official. I do not appreciate those that feel in this work of electronic communication, their words are more important than the benefit-of-the-doubt. If you NEVER get a response, that's bad. if you have to wait for it and complain, grow up. you aren't the only person in line...

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  11. I asked you guys to go easy, jeez.

    First of all, James got back to me in under an hour each time I emailed him when he was running for office. I didn't think this was an emergency, it was just a request for information regarding a deadline I thought was in place. So stop whining about how I communicate.

    I understand that he has to listen to them but he does have power over zoning. He does have the power to stand by his word and not let any developer do anything without a market survey. What I don't understand is why the ballot had the spot to vote to completely reject the developer. If, as you say he has to listen to all business, than that vote didn't mean much did it. The lines seem to be fuzzy here.

    And as IP told me a few weeks ago, Lighten up Francis

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  12. Just Asking,

    you should lighten up before you ask others to lighten up.

    Before and after the Maryville meeting/vote you act/acted like there is some conspiracy going on.

    The property owners have a right to develop the property. See the comment from the ursine one to get a better idea.

    As much as it may annoy you something will eventually get built there. About the only thing the vast majority of people agree on regarding that is NO TIF money should be used.

    Outside that the opinions vary from more parkland to a tall dense market rate residential tower.

    The correct answer of course being the tower.

    As for the sinkhole comment I can only respond with this.

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  13. I hate the thought of a WalMart coming into our area, but the comments about WalMart having a right to try to open there are correct. We can make sure that WalMart doesn't destroy historic properties, violate zoning, create traffic or other nuisances for our community, and does NOT take our tax dollars to make their profit (TIF) and choose not to shop there. We can't micromanage keeping every corporation out that is not politically correct.

    I hate WalMart. However, many of us voted for Cappleman (against Shiller & against Phelan) because we want an Alderman who is capable of guiding well-planned and needed development, done through a proper open community input process.

    We don't want to leave vacant buildings or to convert existing historic and viable buildings into untaxed, tax-draining, problem-causing entities that are "dumped" on us without our input - most of us think many (not all - JPUSA) social services agencies serve a need, but the 46th Ward really has our share already. I think James has the right balanced approach to development that seems thoughtful, open to all community input and professional - done without back-room deals and lies to constituents that we got in the past from previous alder-crooks (going back even way before Helen).

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  14. True, but when the overwhelming opinion of the effected community rejects the developer, not development, the alderman has the responsibility to support his constituents that voted for him.

    Tru dat.

    In that scenario, the alderman's decision would be to honor the majority will of his/her constituency. Which is what Cap has done.

    Compare that to the previous office holder, who allowed the underwhelming voice of the constituency (which matched her preference) to prevail - effectively flying the bird to whomever didn't agree - as well as to the entire concept of a representative democracy.

    I hear what you're saying re: double standards, I simply don't see evidence of that occurring.

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  15. As to greenery, there are two teeny plants in front of the door that is on the parking lot. I hope people do not support this store; we have enough neighbors with businesses that are struggling in this economy; we don't need Walmart who is famous for putting small business out coming into a small community that is flush with stores already. Carol Hitchie

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