Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Maryville Sisters: No More Parking In Our Lot

Playing hardball? A note from Ald. Cappleman's office on an immediate decision by the religious order that owns the Maryville property:

"The Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, who own the parking lot that has been used by Clarendon Park residents, are no longer providing any parking on their empty lot. This begins Sept. 1, 2011. Up until recently, the 46th Ward Office has been issuing permits on behalf of the Sisters on a month-to-month basis.

For many years, the Sisters have offered free parking to nearby residents. However, they are not required to offer this, and this office thanks them for their past generosity. Should the Sisters make the decision to offer paid parking on this lot, the 46th Ward Office will let residents know."


  1. My first thought was this is likely a response because the neighborhood shot down the development plan for their property. So now the property will look even more abandoned. Good thinking Sisters!

  2. Wouldn't be suprised if some lawyer advised them to do this due to concerns over liability. And its not like the order owed it to the people of Uptown to provide free parking.

  3. Sean - But it was nice of them to do so as part of their charitable mission. Yes, probably insurance issues led to this. Of course you could appeal to Cardinal George's office but I don't know how much he could do.

  4. They're not paying real estate tax; they're not performing charitable or educational work at this location; now, they're not even giving the neighborhood to which thay don't contribute a penney access to a portion of their property.

    Way to go sistas.

  5. So sad. There is hardly any parking at night as it is and now things are about to get worse. Way worse. We would totally pay a monthly fee for a parking spot. There doesn't appear to be many parking options in Uptown as it is. Awesome. Just another reason to "love" living here.....

  6. Spiteful Catholics? Imagine that.

  7. Well thank Jon Wyman and the rest of CPNA. They went in with Guns blazing at Sedgwick. The sisters said if they didnt have an agreement, they would cut off parking. They need to sell the property and had a deal on the table. So now we all suffer!!!! This devlopment would have been great for the area and probably got rid of the crap running around.

  8. This is totally just another pressure tactic to cram whatever Sedgwick Properties plan-2 Development is down the community's throat. They've been threatening to take away the parking if the development was not approved for some time now. Oh well. If and when a development goes in there won't be parking anyway and we'll all be competing with lots of added cars for street spots. The most important thing we can do is to make sure that whenever and whatever gets built is well planned, good design, quality construction and done by a reputable, trustworthy, financially sound developer.

  9. I think it would be pretty easy to condemn that building based on it's current condition.

    My guess is someone might lack the cojones to play the game.

  10. Chambo - put a sock in it, wouldja'?

    Even if Wyman came in with guns blazing, a VAST majority of the community shot down that development, not him.

    Sedgwick had their chance(s) to sway public opinion and by all accounts did a massively horrible job in doing so. Their incomptence made Wyman's job considerably easier.

    Shiller nix'd the deal, too - mainly, as I'm to understand, because even she thought Sedgwick was full of shit.

    I'm also to understand that she even threw them out of her office.

    Additionally, recent reports of Sedgwick's financial issues with south side developments only further support the community's decision.

    Wonder how the folks Sedgwick were working with feel about the deal they had on the table.

    I wonder how the community down there feels about those massive white elephants sitting in their back yards.

    The nuns are the ones shutting down the parking. Why do you let them off the hook?

  11. Windsor St.,

    I think it would be pretty easy to condemn you based on your lack of knowledge regarding condemnation proceedings and your magical appearance on this blog.

    Poof, new poster, voila.

    The Maryville buildings are seemingly structurally sound. Now the not so good Sisters could probably be fined for not securing the property properly and some landscaping related stuff, but that's about it.

    I guess since you likely just lost your free parking, Cappleman is just a wimp who won't fight for your right to use that lot at no cost.

    If you think Cappleman lacks cojones ask some of the people he surprised by whomping their candidates in February and April.

    Now the Sisters of No Mercy are playing hardball. Stupid public relations move on their part. I guess since the community was unwilling to spend tens of millions of TIF dollars helping the potential buyer we are the bad guys.

    Saints preserve us!

    Cappleman needs to insure the property is maintained strictly up to code. I would also suggest similar scrutiny regarding some of the other non profit owned properties in the ward. I'm not saying fine them right off the bat, but work on developing a schedule to bring the properties into compliance.


    The development would have been great for the neighborhood? Probably, If and that's a big IF no TIF money were used.

    Now if I had a spare hundred million laying around I might buy that property and construct a market rate rental building if I could get the proper zoning density.

    I'd like to think I wouldn't ask for or need tax money to subsidize my personal investment.

  12. I'm thinking the good sisters may want to rethink their policy of not shoveling any of the sidewalks surrounding their property in the winter, and of rarely chopping down weeds, and of not securing the property very well. Both sides can play hardball.

    Come to think of it, now that the property is serving no charitable purpose, as an undeclared homeless shelter or as a hospital, I wonder if it still qualifies to maintain a tax-free status?

    It was very kind of the sisters to allow the community to park there for years. It seems most assuredly un-charitable for them to pull that favor with less than 48 hours notice to its "flock."

  13. Yo,

    the fact is Sedgwick could have gone in there with a scaled down project. The people at the meeting were feed such bias info before that meeting. It really didnt matter what was said.

    Now I am not saying their overall project was ideal, but still to this day, nobody has stepped forward with another proposal.

    For those who say the sisters are acting out of line, they had millions of dollars at stake.

    As for TIF at least they weren't guranteed the funds upfront. they had steps where they would get the cash.

  14. A lot of assumptions about the sisters doing this as a political\spiteful move.

  15. the fact is Sedgwick could have gone in there with a scaled down project

    But they didn't.

    The folks that were fed so much ... whatever. Sedgwick spent a lot of money to sway opinions, and they failed.

    That's Sedgwick's issue. They failed. Plain. Simple. Done.

    And regardless of how much money the nuns have at stake, it doesn't change the fact that the parking really didn't or won't cost them any money.

    I'm sure there's a decent argument to be made here ... somewhere, but neither you, nor Sedgwick .. or the nuns, have made it.

  16. Chambo,

    Why do you think no other developer has gone in there? It's not feasible without the TIF right now.

    Do you think Sedgwick knows something the other developers don't? Do you think that the only reason Sedgwick wanted to build on that property was so they could Ponzi it off to their other bankrupt properties?

    Why didn't they come back with a scaled down proposal? They had the opportunity. Cap said specifically he would listen to their improved proposal. The reason is that it wouldn't net them the money to keep their other scandals afloat.

    You seem to hold Sedgwick in high regard but not the hundreds of neighbors that this would have negatively effected. Would you have been happy with a half built building when they ran out on you, their good friend.

    Just Asking

  17. UU comments have been almost as ugly as the neighborhood has been acting lately.

    Sedgewick was bad news. I say this from firsthand experience as some family bought into 828 W Grace, another of their properties that was mishandled from the get go.

    Be happy they are not coming, be unhappy the nuns will be officially committing nothing to the community other than providing a nest for the homeless after tomorrow.

  18. yo said...
    And regardless of how much money the nuns have at stake, it doesn't change the fact that the parking really didn't or won't cost them any money.

    I'm sure there's a decent argument to be made here ... somewhere, but neither you, nor Sedgwick .. or the nuns, have made it.

    August 30, 2011 10:13 PM

    I'll give it a shot:

    Say that I represent a religious order that owns several parcel we have vacated and we are looking to sell all of them.

    We have continued to offer free parking to our neighbors, long after we left the neighboorhood. Our potential buyer, and likely any potential buyer, will have no interest in continuing this practice. In fact, ending this arrangement probably makes our property more attractive.

    Now charging even a nominal amount for parking is something we can't allow, since deriving income on our tax-free property is inadvisible. Furthermore, the sense of entitlement in the neighbors is sky-high already. We would not wish to legitimize the relationship by making them customers, who have rights.

    These folks are righteous enough, (and keep in mind that in this scenario, I am in the business of dictating morality, and advising who will receive Eternal Life, and who will not. I know righteous)

    In fact, by ending the relationship now, we make the property more attractive for sale, and do so before it snows. Getting the cars off our lot in a few months will be more difficult, and we will need to tow. That's PR we don't need.

    These Bloggers already think so highly of themselves that one believes the property is somehow less abandoned when graced with the car of a Blogger. Another used this as an opportunity to deride Catholicism. Others speculate that finding fault with our propery and buildings is a just response, and many felt that our action is directly related to the sour tone of negotiations our potential buyer is experiencing with our neighbors.

    Meanwhile, the number who noted the timing of our action coincides with a violent crime that occurred on our property? That would be zero. No, no one acknowledged that a murder victim on property we have secured, while continuing to offer open access to an adjacent parcel is far more important concern than an unshoveled walkway or offering free parking that brings us risk, complicates the sale and is apparently unappreciated in the eyes of Blog.

    So its good that we left Uptown - we serve a boss who we believe is always right and without sin - frankly, there is too much local competition.

  19. @Anonymous,

    There is one gaping hole in your argument, according to local news.


  20. Our logic, Oh SHOUTY one - our logic.

    ChiTownPhilly (the Random Hero!) said...
    Maryville sucks.

    August 25, 2011 5:41 PM

  21. Anonymous said - No, no one acknowledged that a murder victim on property we have secured,

    Ahhh… that would be because it did not occur on your secured (Maryville) property. The poor man’s body was found in the park, in the softball area, east of the tennis courts. Enough said on the subject. Compared with recent events, just losing a parking spot seems pretty unimportant. The shootings and murders are so sad. Our hearts go out to the victims and their families.

  22. The monarch said it best. I used to love reading the comments on this blog but not so much anymore. The comments USED to be mostly positive and supporitive. Now the tone has become increasingly negative, condescending and divisve. All one has to do is read the comments to understand why this neighborhood is as ugly as it is.

  23. Sorry Anonymous...

    but your argument holds less water than the deteriorating roofs of the Maryville buildings. Besides your inaccurate premise of the death which others have already exposed; actually, the sisters could charge a minimal fee and spend it all (thus no profit)on upkeep/security of the lot. An attractive used property is almost always more valuable than an adondondoned overgrown one. From where did you get your probabilities"? One of the benefits of having a regulated parking policy is that one avoids the outcome you predict.