Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Public Meeting – Proposed Maryville Development

From the 46th Ward website:

"What: Learn more about the proposed development at the current Maryville property owned by the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on the corner of Clarendon and Montrose.

When: 7pm, Thursday, January 12th at Clarendon Park Fieldhouse, 4501 N. Clarendon Ave. Chicago IL 60640

You may also learn more about Alderman Cappleman’s process for zoning and development and this particular project on our website by clicking here."

Update:  We received this in email from  reader, who says:  "A resident received this in response to a FOIA request to the City’s Department of Housing & Economic Development. The envelope is postmarked December 15th.  I believe it’s information the public should know."
click to enlarge


  1. Interesting. It's positive that they've scaled back again (probably closer to their bottom-line position for negotiations), positive that they're talking about putting money into the Affordable Housing Trust Fund (meaning that they aren't proposing "affordable housing" for inclusion in the project), and wily of them to note both that the TIF money request is reduced and that the TIF money--coming only from the project itself--would be paid out in phases after construction is completed.

    Good that they've gotten a management and capital partner, too.

    It's a vast improvement, I believe, but let's see what the surrounding neighbors think.

  2. Its a fantastic "never to be seen again" super deal. Basically for $6 million dollars they pay upfront for the field house we repay $31 million over the next 20 years.

    Wow....Awesome! However.... should we ask for just a little a slightly harder bargain?

    How about the parcel on the NE corner of Clarendon and Montrose, adjacent to the park. It is less then 5% of the project, could we bargain for that?

    Are townhomes that important?

  3. I hope more and more people do that kind of TIF calculations Jeffrey. But this kind of "We promise to give a portion back to the community" playbook has been successful in other parts of the city. If nothing else it gives the Alderman political cover.

    Uptown however is far ahead of the curve in understanding how TIFs can be used irresponsibly. I don't believe this tactic it will work here. My concerns are not about the plan for development. Go ahead, just don't you dare keep asking me to help pay for it. My vote will never be yes as long as TIF funds are used.

    BTW our former Alderman used the same approach with using some of the Wilson Yard TIF funds to "Completely renovate the Wilson Red Line Stop." How did that work out for the community?

    How about we keep our tax dollars where they belong in part with the Park District. So the needed work can be done without giving 20 million away.

  4. Honestly, this looks like a good development. The grocery store would be great there and I know that I'd love to live in a spot like that next to Montrose harbor.

    The density would also be great for the area as it could get Uptown some more resources as far as law enforcement and city services go. More people = more clout.

    This would also remove some eyesores and potential squatter's dens from the area.

    I'm not sure I see a downside to this...

  5. Joe,

    The downsides are Sedgwick,the developer and the negative effects the project will have on the one building adjacent to the site. The 14 units there will have a loading dock as their only view. The view is the least of the issues. The development will block ALL the sunlight to the central tier of units. The noise and pollutants from all the grocery, delivery, and moving trucks will be considerable. All we've been asking for is a what the JDL did for the Halsted development, move the loading zone and move the location of the high rise so as not to block the light.

    Plus the use of the TIF sucks. It's like saying 'Dad, the back won't give me a loan for that new Mustang unless you give me some of the money'. You know what my Dad would have said? 'I guess you can't afford it then'.

    I know I will be called a NIMBY but I guess I'm a NIMOY, which is Not In My Only Yard.

  6. I think it is a reasonably sized and designed project... sure, plenty to tweek but I think it is naive for someone to move into a city and think that it is a static place and nothing changes...even cemeteries get new buildings... If you dont like having things built next door to you, move to the middle of the Mohave Desert...if you chose to live in Chicago, understand that change is not a bad thing, progess needs to happen and this is part of a newer, updated Uptown...if you are a NOMBY or a NIMBY, simply move on...both physically and emotionally..

  7. This should not meet community approval until the TIF funds used equal precisely and exactly zero.

    Failing that condition will be:

    A misuse of public funds.

    An indication that the project would lose money without stealing from taxpayers, i.e. it is not a viable development and has no business going forward.

  8. Again, it seems that people do not read or understand the whole post before responding. I never said anything about not liking development. I am in favor of development or I wouldn't have invested in Uptown. I never said I expect to have nothing built here. Did I?

    What I did say was the developer can't afford the project and is not being as professional as JDL was for the Halsted project.

    And I take issue with the suggestion that I move because of my concerns. This project will significantly effect the value of my property (yes I know the market is down, so I take that into account) and the quality of my homelife. I wonder if you'd be so cavalier if this were happening to you Uptown SH.

  9. Just Asking, of course I have thought about it.. and, it has happened...but I think it is ridiculous when a hundred or so people try to hold hostage a Ward with 50,000 people a positive developement of market rate housing for Uptown. This would bring over 1,000 working people directly into the Uptown economy.

    I suggest you reread what I wrote, JA... I said of course it should be tweaked...but I am getting a bit tired of a couple of dozen folks screaming at the top of their lungs NO NO NO... when it affects 49,000 other people who live in the same neighborhood... I think, frankly,it is selfish and self-serving..

  10. Well if those 100 people go to all the meetings that is indeed what can happen. Since only about 1/100th of the ward will ever go to a meeting or write a letter, yes those opinions become more valuable. That is why people should always vote and make policy makers aware of their strong opinions.

    It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Not everyone will be happy with what is decided. But TIF is a very sensitive word around here. I would not want to bank on my private development getting any public money anytime soon in Uptown.

  11. The other 49000 people who live in the neighborhood do not live right across the street where they will be effected by this monstrosity of a complex. If it where much smaller I be all for it. All my neighbors would like something to replace the ugly structure we see from our windows but surely not what they want to put up and cause us all a big headache in many ways.

  12. To be fair it is hard to build a tower without casting a shadow.

    One thing for sure is Sedgewick is asking a lot from the community, they should be prepared to give back. The $6M for the field house is great but not close to what they are asking for. The demolition and the "improvements" are no justification for in $31M TIF funds. The roadway improvements are to facilitate the traffic this project would introduce. And there are no guarantees these "improvements" will work as advertised.

    The dock is a fiasco waiting to happen. Just wait until the first time a resident parks the U-Haul in the dock, goes upstairs to floor #??, and an 18 wheeler has to back out on to Montrose.

    And then don't forget the furniture/appliance deliveries sharing a dock with a full-fledged supermarket. I am sure something could be worked out, it is a challenging problem actually but this is the time to talk about it.

    And how much is this demolition going to cost? C'mon guys.

    Sedgewick needs to give the community something to believe in, like that parcel on the North-East corner.

    A PERFECT site for a cultural institution.......if ya ask me. The ideal cultural destination will make this project more attractive and successful, make the store busier, sell condos in the area and lease apartments. It would lure bicyclists off the trail to Uptown. It would enhance the experience of living in Uptown.

    Or some parkside townhomes, make some money and call it progress.........

    Whether your for or against this proposal I recommend attending this meeting. If there was this much attention paid at the time that ugly-ass Pensacola Place would have been a much better addition to Uptown.

  13. Look forward to answering questions on the 12th. For clarification's sake, I wanted to break down the public benefit and public incentive numbers.

    As requested, the project is seeking $31 million in TIF funds. Of the $31 million, $18.4 would be dedicated to two public uses: $6 million for Clarendon Park and $12.4 million to the Affordable Housing Trust Fund. Only approximately $12.6 million would be available to assist the project. It is important to remember, none of these tax dollars exist today, because the property is not producing taxes, so there is no diversion of tax dollars from public agencies or governments.

    $16.4 million would be paid up front, by the developer, prior to construction: $4 million of the $6 million in park funds and all of the $12.4 in Affordable Housing funds; the remaining $2 million in park funds would be transferred 24 months later. If, for any reason, the project does not move forward after the building permits are issued, these public funds are guaranteed, are advanced up front by the developer and will be available to the Chicago Park District and the Affordable Housing Trust Fund.

    The developer would only receive TIF funds after each phase of the project is completed and the site is actually generating property taxes. Only then would they be reimbursed for approved costs, which are outlined in an ordinance and a redevelopment agreement approved by the City Council. And the incremental reimbursements are made annually only to the extent property taxes are produced at the project; and the payments are not made all at once. The project will create property taxes that do not exist today in order to reimburse development costs.

    There is no doubt that future property taxes would be used to support this development, but the public benefits are paid up front by the developer before receiving any TIF funds. Under this structure, the developer bears all of the risk. The TIF funds are only paid if the project phases are completed and only the owners of the project (and indirectly, their tenants) would be paying property taxes into the TIF - no other City or ward resident would be contributing any tax dollars at all.

    Hope that clarifies things. Happy to answer additional questions at

  14. "As requested, the project is seeking $31 million in TIF funds. Of the $31 million, $18.4 would be dedicated to two public uses: $6 million for Clarendon Park and $12.4 million to the Affordable Housing Trust Fund. "

    So, the project wants to take taxpayer money so they can spend it on us?

    That is hilarious! The affordable housing trist fund is the best scam ever!

  15. So Rob... I have a few questions. Do we have guarantees that the new owners/and tennants won't be using city services for which the rest of us pay taxes e.g. police, fire, schools? After all, the city won't actually be getting any taxes for the next 23 years. Will you also advocate for me to divert my real estate taxes to home improvements? (Just for the next 23 years) Since I can't compete with existing businesses on my own merits, will you help me get some tax money? I plan on overpaying for some property, will you help me get the taxpayers to ante up for the excess?

  16. The development proposed for Montrose and Clarendon is a screw job. In return for giving away a vast tax subsidy, we create traffic hell and destroy a neighborhood. We give away $31 million to get $6 million back. And we line the pockets of a developer who doesn't live anywhere near Uptown.

    Regarding the $12.4 million to the affordable housing trust that Mr. Nash mentions. That's money any developer, TIF-subsidized or otherwise, would have to pay. At Halsted-Bradley the developer is paying that money -- out of their own funds. So the proposed $12.4 million is a gigantic gift to Sedgwick. Plus, the money would be shipped out of our ward to people downtown, to spend as they see fit. But Uptown would still pay the bill until at least 2035. The money would be gone tomorrow, but we pay for years, just like the parking meter deal.

    Regarding the size of the development. It's not "reasonable" by any normal standards. It's friggin' enormous! The developer is asking for a zoning change from R-5 to B3-5. That's like going from neighborhood zoning to the zoning for the Harlem-Irving plaza. The grocery store they are proposing is more than 50% larger than the new Dominick's at Foster and Sheridan (65,000 square feet versus 39,000 square feet). It's so huge it will destroy the existing neighborhood.

    The project has three sites. As proposed, Sedgwick would get 90% of the TIF money at the completion of the first site, which would be the big box store and massive garage, plus the 600-unit rental tower. The remaining 10% would be paid upon completion of the other two smaller sites. Of course, the contract says they could just sell that other land and forgo the last 10% of the money. It's likely they could get more for selling the land than for the last 10% of the TIF, so it's a good bet that's the way it would go. Then a new developer would come in and attempt to cram even more on that corner.

    There's an analysis of the TIF at

    Note the major difference in approach between Sedgwick and the Halsted-Bradley developers. The Halsted-Bradley developers met with neighborhood residents before submitting plans to the city for approval, and made very significant changes to the plan so that neighborhood residents would not be harmed. Sedgwick has not done that. Sedgwick submitted plans to the city in secret months ago and never once contacted ward residents, until they finally rolled out a marketing presentation with massive spin and little information. And they have a PR person on the case, "happy to answer questions." No authority, of course, and not happy to suggest to his bosses that changes be made, but very happy to "answer questions."

    I encourage people to take a close look at the developer pages the alderman's site links to on the Zoning & Development Committee page. You'll see the changes the Halsted-Bradley developer made to address neighborhood concerns clearly laid out. On the Sedgwick pages you'll also see the changes Sedgwick made to address neighborhood concerns clearly laid out, however the catch is that you won't see any changes laid out, because Sedgwick hasn't made any. They have a plan to maximize profit without regard to effects on the neighborhood and are copping an "our way or the highway" attitude. I say, hit the highway, jack.

    BTW, the big change that Sedgwick supposedly made, from one tower to two towers... well the two towers were going to have 650 units. The new single tower has 600 units. So what they did was cram two towers into one. Not such a major change when you analyze it, huh?

  17. Some questions for tomorrow's meeting:

    1. Why have a large supermarket and fitness club been selected as anchor retail when Jewel/Osco and World Gym and Fitness Center are already established 0.2 miles due west on Montrose? Mariano's is involved in a large project by the Ravenswood Metra Station next to Sears. What guarantees has Sedgwick received from Mariano's that that their location will remain open for the project life of the TIF?

    2. The high vacancy rate in many Uptown retail locations is visible on all the main streets and large retail locations such as the former Borders store have been empty for some time. The economy is currently in a downturn and more than 30% of the households in the 46th ward have incomes under $25,000. Why does Sedgwick believe that more retail footage should be built in Uptown and what are they doing to ensure full occupancy such that their tax revenue and job creation projections will be met?

    3. Per the 46th Ward Master Plan, 70% of the housing units in the ward are rental and the area in which the Lighthouse is planned has both the lowest rents and the highest percentage of cost-burdened renters, "which places a strain on this area." How will this development reduce this strain? Family-friendly housing designed to appeal to middle-class families with children is a goal of the Master Plan. How will this development address that need?

    4. Marketing material says describes a "sustainable" development with LEED certification. What level of LEED certification, how far along are the engineering studies, and how is the development sustainable? How will the design impact the surrounding urban ecology? How will overshadowed neighboring buildings be compensated for environmental damage such as noise and traffic pollution? How will the loss of current passive solar benefits and/or the loss of future savings or revenues from roof-top solar installations be addressed?

  18. I don't know anyone who would move into that building until the entire neighborhood is cleaned up. You have a horrible school (Brennerman) next door so I am not sure what family would choose to live in a town home there.

    TIF funds should be used on education and to improve parks etc. Build up the schools which will in turn attract families. I see no need for a building which will only add to the congestion. Has anyone looked at the market lately? There are hidden agendas and I would not trust this with a ten foot pole. This isn't going to bring more law enforcement, please don't be fooled. They can wrap it any way they want with a big bow on would be a fool to approve this.

    I smell a misuse of public funds....

  19. I can not understand a few items regarding this project.

    1) Why do we need a commercial business of the scale of a grocery store at Montrose and Claredon?

    2) From the Gold Coast to the end of Marine Drive at Foster, there are no large commerical enterprises. (Other than Weiss Hospital).

    3) Is there a letter of committment from a retailer stating they will take this retail space (and how long the lease is for).

    4) After the bait and switch exercise of Wilson Yards (remember the promise of Theaters and the promise of Wilson Red Line station improvements?) if TIF money was contributed?

    5) All projects of this size/nature must either put affordable units into their development or make a contribution to the city's affordable housing fund. So what this developer is doing is asking us, the taxpayers, to pay for the contribution the developer should be making.

    6) If there is not enough profit for the developer to make this contribution, perhaps the project should be shelved until better economic times happen.

    7) Is it the intention of the developer to own this building (for the near future) or are they building it with the intention of selling it to a REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust) or other investment group like a pension fund, and if so, are we then subsidizing through the TIF profits of a large private investor?

  20. I think most people will relate to this. We do it without asking for a government handout. So can they. NO TIF MONEY FOR THEM.

  21. Just start writing up the sisters for building code violations. Fine them until they are forced to sell it cheap. Having the building in that condition is illegal. Daily fines would be fitting.

  22. The most important - yet overlooked - detail in this story is that we would not know about this if someone hadn't filed a FOIA request. Just how slimy is Sedgwick anyway? (google them and read the Rip-off report websites for yourself) I still don't get how you help a park by building on it and casting the rest of it into shadows. Progress & change is one thing, but this tax-payer funded monstrosity is another. Are we to trust Sedgwick has done all the studies to ensure that the grids and water mains can take this kind of astronomical increase? Be for real. The community needs to tell these diamond pinky-ring wearin' connected slimebags to go find suckers somewhere else.

  23. @ Media Critic

    The buildings are unoccupied so the threshold for code violations is much lower. No beating up on the Sisters! The Sisters did operate a hospital at that site for decades serving the community, that should count for something eh? If you or your family was served well at the former Cuneo Hospital maybe you would see it a little differently.

    A Mariano's is also opening up (proposed} on Broadway south of Belmont in the spot where the Dominicks burned down 6 years ago.

    It is of no concern to Sedgewick fair enough, but what happens when the Jewel at Montrose and Sheridan goes under, another big vacancy? All is fair in love and capitalism but here we are using public funds to help plop a big fat new competitor a couple blocks away.

    Something to think about.

    Could Mariano's open there if no TIF funds are involved in the property? I have no love for Jewel but is that fair play? Also do we want to diffuse our commercial activity away from the commercial core and closer to the lakefront? Is that in the Master Plan?

    At this time it is VERY rare that you see an 18 wheelers east of that so wrong.

    Try to picture a nice summer day, thousands flocking to the beach clogging Montrose as usual. Now imagine a big rig making that tight right turn from Clarendon onto Montrose west-bound (the only way into the dock). The lead car in the east-bound lane has to back-up now...and the guy behind him and so on. The cars farther back don't know whats going on because of the bread truck in the way...horns blare...tempers flare....traffic mayhem. And then when he finally gets the big rig around the corner the goofball from Montrose Lighthouse" Unit #1723 has the U-Haul truck in the he idles....

    Is this an unlikely scenario?

  24. I'm not going to argue about density because someday, regardless if this development goes through, there will be a large development there blocking someone's view or causing some type of traffic congestion. That's a guarantee because it's lakefront property.

    No developer can promise success either. If guaranteeing success were a requirement, no development would ever occur. Ditto with guaranteeing a new business wouldn't threaten another business. (I'm hoping Jewel becomes very threatened myself. They could use some competition.)

    I see this as a question on whether or not TIF dollars should be used. It boils down to which choice provides the greater benefit (or have the community suffer less.)

    A TIF development would give surplus dollars to fix a dilapidated field house and more money to the city's Affordable Housing Trust Fund. A TIF development does allow for a nicer development because there's a subsidy that pays for it. It could be said that a nicer development contributes to a nicer community. This proposed development also speeds up development in this area, thereby generating tax revenue that's not currently being generated. The downside is that tax dollars generated only within this development (surrounding neighbors don't contribute) help subsidize this lakefront development. If this were a planned development, there would be a steady contribution to the city's schools, parks, police, etc.

    If this is a planned development instead, we would not be using any financial subsidy to help a developer build on lakefront property. The development wouldn't be as nice, but then again, we're not using tax dollars to subsidize it to make it look nice either. A planned development would not give new businesses within it a financial incentive to be there, making competition on a more equal footing. Tax dollars generated from this project would pay for city services. The downside is that part of the tax dollars generated would be needed to fix up a dilapidated field house that the TIF would have paid for instead. Also, planned developments pose more financial risk for developers and therefore, it may take longer to get something built there, which delays producing tax revenue.

    In the end, there is no pure win or lose either way you go. There's benefits and problems with a TIF or a planned development.

  25. Hi holy moley. I must quibble with you on one point... what's being proposed is not a "nice" development. It's a giant alien machine plopped down within our midst, designed to make money without regard to massive damage caused to the surrounding neighborhood. That area can and should be developed. If a huge tax subsidy is involved, it should cool. It should be at least be 21st century in thought and design. It should be in reasonable scale. This proposal is not anything good. This is our money, and we need to tell the them to go back to the drawing board, literally.

    You might consider the Burnham Plan, which has guided Chicago development for more than 100 years and gave us Lincoln Park and protected our lakefront from being a row of condos from North Avenue to Howard Street, from Roosevelt Road to Calumet Park. The Burnham Plan envisioned controlling development along the lakefront, not giving in and saying "there will be a large development there blocking someone's view or causing some type of traffic congestion. That's a guarantee because it's lakefront property." That's about as anti-Burnham as can be. We need not participate in, and pay for, our own destruction.

  26. Interesting that so much has been made of the condition of the boarded up vacant Maryville buildings. The official justification for the TIF was the blighted condition and dilapidation of the Clarendon Park field house and the city maintenance building across Marine Drive. It was not the condition of the Maryville site that was at issue.

    Sedgwick agreed to pay $18 million for the Maryville site in 2008, but that site continued to be well maintained until Sedgwick announced development plans, then the windows were boarded up and the sisters stopped cutting the grass. A few months later the consultant Sedgwick hired to do the TIF report repeatedly sites the vacant, boarded up windows and dilapidated grounds as a hazard to kids playing in the park. Duh, they created that condition to help justify the TIF request.

  27. Mr. Nash,

    Thanks for reaching out and bringing more info to the community. However, as many have said your employer should have been doing that 12-18 months ago. They are well aware of UU and its ability to keep residents of Uptown in the loop. Doing so now is seems a bit ridiculousness.

    Second, I was against the use of TIF funds from the beginning. But thanks for clarifying that most of them would be used to pay off the developers bill to the affordable housing trust. Now I am even more solidly against any of them being used in this project. The developer knew that this would need to be part of the deal when they bought the property. If they can't or won't pay it themselves then sell the property to someone else.

    My questions have been answered I am against any development on this site that uses one penny of TIF money. Just waiting to pass my vote along to the Alderman.

  28. Davidh, I would LOVE something like townhomes there.

    There's one minor problem: No developer would ever dream of building townhomes on this site because they would be too cost prohibitive based on the value of the land. Each townhome would have to sell for millions of dollars and the market right now won't bear it, making the development too risky for the developer and for the community that wants whatever development there to be successful.

    We have 2 choices: It will either be a large TIF development or a large planned development. The real question is which choice could people live with.

  29. This is one crazy convoluted way to renovate a fieldhouse...........

  30. Hey, where are the grocery store plans and details anyway? Mariano’s store planners came to the Ravenswood Station Mariano’s community meetings to answer questions and present grocery store plans.

    We should also ask Marino’s for peak in-and-out traffic volume and times and have that data included in the traffic study. Then since the traffic study was commissioned by Sedgwick it should also be reviewed by an independent traffic consultant. The results will probably be:

    Placing a 65,000 square foot big box, full-service grocery store...

    - on a residential street, across from a neighborhood park
    - 300 yards away from an elementary school
    - in the middle of a congested residential area which also receives heavy traffic from visitors to Lincoln Park and commuters seeking to use Lake Shore Drive
    - which is served only by secondary arteries

    ...will lead to neighborhood degradation, traffic congestion, pollution, and an overall deterioration in the quality of life for Uptown residents, and will destroy the fabric of the established community.

    Additionally burdening that corner with a 600 unit residential tower on top of the big box grocery store, fitness club, and 700-car garage would only increase the negative consequences for the community.

    Semi tractor-trailers would be required to operate in an area of Uptown where they currently rarely venture: large trucks would be required to drive down Clarendon Avenue right along the park to access the loading dock entrance on Montrose Avenue.

    An earlier version of the proposal added a new alley cut through from Montrose to Agatite. While the developer claims this was dropped, it nevertheless appears on the plan from the Chicago Department of Transportation posted on their web site. If the plan on the CDOT web site is correct, this inaccuracy extends a series of non-factual statements made by the developer to the community.

    This developer has sought only to minimize and restrict community involvement. The developer has never sought community input, and when it has been offered, it has been ignored.

    Finally, this development as proposed would inflict serious damage to adjacent residents, especially the homeowners in the building at 848 West Montrose and those along Agatite Avenue.

  31. I must admit - that site needs to be developed - and I'd hate to see it sit vacant any longer. I also personally don't have any major qualms about the most current renderings, but to each his own.

    However - to ask the taxpayers of Uptown to give $31 million dollars, just so the developer can turn around and put $12.4 million of it in the Affordable Housing Trust Fund is laughable.

    This community has paid MORE THAN ENOUGH into anything remotely named "affordable housing" (ala Helen). Just look around.

    Pay it yourself.

  32. Hi again holy moley.

    The choice is not between little townhomes and the proposed gigantic development. That's a straw man argument. There should be something cool on that corner, especially if we pay multi-millions in tax money for it.

    Also, you have your terminology wrong. What Sedgwick is proposing is a planned development, that's how they skirt numerous development rules.

    The choice is not Sedgwick's plan or something that doesn't make sense. We can be smart. This is the real world, and we should get real value for our very real money. We can insist on a development that makes sense financially, to us and to the developers, and fits in with the existing context of the park and the surrounding community. See this web site...

  33. Same 20 people on this blog bitching about the same thing blocking progress and getting rid of an eyesore for the other 49,000 plus of us that live here... it is getting to the point of being comical.. I wonder if that one idiot will start screaming again at this public meeting? I found it really disrespectful to the other couple of hundred of us who also wanted to participate but were afraid to after his childish, constant, that person, whomever you are from the neighborhood group... Shouting and Bullying does not make you only makes you a Shouting Bully. And it does not serve you or your community well, you alienate the rest of us that live in Uptown... keep that in mind at the next meeting..

  34. Davidh, I fully agree that something cool should be on that corner, especially if it's a low-rise. The developer is telling us that given the price of the property (and given it's also lakefront property), the cost of a cool looking low-rise is cost prohibitive.

    If you can show the developer that he's wrong and you have proof that a cool low-rise development could work out financially, by all means, let the developer know about it. I think everyone would be delighted by this new bit of information. My guess is that the developer is probably right and whatever goes there will be some type of high-rise, but any evidence you have to the contrary would be great news.

  35. All I say is no TIF money should be used for this project.

    And Sedgewick isn't exactly a reputable developer.

  36. It's time to say enough to TIF in this area. Sedgwick runs a business, a business that like most others are slumping right now. They are looking to make as much off this deal as possible while investing as little as possible. That includes trying to weasel $30 mill out of the taxpayers. Why wouldn't they, it's worked in the past, seems like all they have to do is ask for it, or make the threat that they'll go somewhere else if they don't get it. It's a great location, someone WILL develop that property without the use of TIF. Don't know about you but I'm sick of paying a HUGE majority of my property taxes to pay for local TIF. What did I get out of it? A new Target store? Come on, we need to stop subsidizing businesses that are capable of generating profit on their own. Ask yourself this, what are you going to get out of this project for $30 mill?

  37. Just remember the finished project never looks like drawings and proposals. Especially with Sedgewick.

    They are making a lot of promises in a very weak market for more housing.

    I could see being able to do the grocery store portion but the housing part I am very skeptical of.

    And once they have the TIF are we guaranteed what will be built?

  38. I can't believe this is even a discussion. NO PUBLIC FUNDING OF PRIVATAE DEVELOPMENT! WTF PEOPLE! Wake the heck up! As long as this involves my tax dollars Sedgewick can phuck off.

  39. I agree with Uptown Superhero. People can go overboard at these community meetings.

    But whatever happens at this site I hope something good goes up there because it is a nice site.
    Local people are affected more so
    obviously their input should be looked at carefully. This is something VERY important to drawing people's attention TO uptown from LSD. Because attracting more decent people TO uptown is a good thing.

    Obviously many people dont like the idea of a supermarket there.
    There are examples of supermarkets in congested areas, like the dominicks in river north and the dominicks in greektown by the highway that do work.

  40. They want the TIF money to increase their PROFIT MARGIN.

    Why on earth should they get public money to increase profits?

  41. What Dominicks in River North are you talkion' about Jdeffo? The one at Division and Clybourn? You call THAT congested? With their over-sized parking lot....riiiiight.....

    And the Dominicks in Greektown. That area was under-served and needed a supermarket. And yes it is next to Interstate 90/94, but LSD is quite a different matter right? For one it does not allow trucks. Greektown is congested but not with parks, kids and seniors as is the Maryville site.

    Before it was built there was no supermarket even close, either way that Dominicks is much smaller then the Mariano's proposed for this site. Do your homework "Jeffo".

    And this site is quite unique, comparisons to Greektown or wherever don't amount to very much.

  42. 255 E Grand is the River North Dominicks.

  43. Oh that one....Thanks A!

    There is a Jewel at State and Ontario as well. All the same...that is Downtown...and we are Uptown baby!!

    255 E. Grand isn't really River North though is it, not sure what to call that area? River East?

    I've always thought of River North as west of Dearborn or Clark and north of the Merch. Mart, fancy art galleries and such.

  44. Homework.....
    Yikes, thats just too tough to do.
    How about a Trader Joes instead there? That would probably make more sense IMHO.

    Okay Jeff L. you are right its Uptown not Downtown, how about the Dominicks at Foster by Broadway?
    That is a pretty congested area and somehow it does okay there.

    IMHO those new fangled nabe words are dumb anyways. I was referring to the near north side, to me river north just means north of CHI river. The doms I was thinking of is right by the movie theatre there on grand, cross street being.... hmm columbus

    Voila this is what i find when i google rivernorth dominicks

  45. For those of you who are not aware, a PUD, Planned Unit Development, once in the hands of the Department of Planning is subject to change without notice. The developer can present new plans based on their changing financial position and get the plan changed. Proposed materials can be changed. Entry ways can be changed.

    Also, the affordable housing contribution is a negotiated amount. They can easily negotiate down the $12 million.

    We should have a high density building here. This is a great opportunity to build transit oriented development, considering we have in place easy access to CTA. For those who whine and complain about "shadows" and loss of their "views", you don't own it. You live in a dense city, and the expectation that you will have sunshine and views, just is not there.

    As far as a grocery store, the developer should show the signed letter of intent by the proposed tenant, or all it is just smoke and mirrors. Many a developer has promised the prospect of a Trader Joe's, knowing full well, it wasn't going to happen. The developer knows this highrise is going to sit on a four or five story parking garage, and want to create retail on the ground floor, so there will not be a giant wall on the lakefront.

  46. As many have said, TIF money shouldn't be involved. If the project is viable on its own then have at it.

    No one has mentioned how they said they would walk away from the whole deal when we voted them down the last time, was hoping they could keep their word on that...also wondering if the community will be able to vote on this project again. If so, they should just do it already and end the debate one way or the other...

  47. Although adjacent buildings do not own their views and access to daylight, those variables should definitely be part of any development's core design process. As solar and wind become increasingly important energy sources in the US, rooftop sunlight, passive warming, and wind patterns will become much more vital in planning approvals. The KfW Westerkade building (, awarded the Best Tall Building in the World by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (in Chicago last November) is an illustration of the standards that architects should be trying for--because they are possible.

  48. oops I mean the doms
    at foster and sheridan!!!!

  49. I think its a good site for high rise I just wish it was

    Proposing the project and did not use any TIF funds.

  50. @ Jeffo

    Thanks for the correction.
    Now wouldn't you say Sheridan is a bit different then Clarendon?

    We have a Jewel at Montrose and Sheridan too.

    Would you think (hypothetically speaking) Marine Drive and Foster would be a good location for a Dominicks? Only a couple blocks away.......

    That intersection has more in common with the Maryville site then does Foster and Sheridan.

    Go do your homework hero!

  51. Clarendon is a smaller street true, but its right by the lake.
    So that does make a difference.
    Clarendon is a decent sized street with commercial businesses on it and a hospital, true its more residential around there, but we are also in a major city right by LSD. Clarendon is the natural extension of Halsted/Broadway.

    We are also talking about the destruction of a decent sized structure that has a catwalk. So its not as if we are knocking down a small buiding or single family houses and then upzoning to something like a supertall.

    There is already a 20 plus floor building at the montrose and clarendon intersection. And there are several tall buildings in that category in the surrounding area, so putting a tall building here wouldnt be out of character for this area.

    I can understand some concern about congestion, but this area is in UPTOWN, and is among the most dense parts of the city and its on the LAKE.

    We dont want to make it into a gridlock hellhole, but it is on par with Lakeview. Density is good, its the opposite of sprawl.

    Marine drive is alot closer to that part of Sheridan by Foster than Clarendon is to that portion of Sheridan.

    We shouldve all become urban planners.

  52. How about we move this development to the graceland cemetery. The dead people wouldnt be able to complain.

    Seriously though there really should be an EL stop at Montrose,
    just something you think about when you look at google maps alot thinking about the pros and cons of this development

  53. Or an EL stop at Buena would make alot of sense as well. To large of a gap between wilson and sheridan.

  54. An El stop at Buena? Where the beep would my building go then?


    No, seriously, I live in building right next to the El on Buena.

  55. "No one has mentioned how they said they would walk away from the whole deal when we voted them down the last time, was hoping they could keep their word on that...also wondering if the community will be able to vote on this project again. If so, they should just do it already and end the debate one way or the other..."

    Where did you see it written that Sedgwick Properties promised they would walk away from the whole deal once they got voted down last summer? I thought people voted on whether or not to go through with that proposal.

    As far as I'm concerned, I want as many proposals as possible to be submitted and let the community decide on the merits of each proposal until one gets selected.

    Given the rough economic times, a lot of developers have their reputation questioned, but the risk on this proposal is on the one financing the project. If you want to talk risks on the community, the greater one is that nothing gets done on that property.

    The real dilemma is whether or not TIF funds should be used.

  56. I was just musing about the buena stop, didnt know if it was actually possible, just saying, its a long way from the sheridan stop to the wilson stop.

    And for belmont EL widening they actually had to knock down a couple nice old buildings, which sucks, but I guess it had to be done, it will never feel right the way it is now, but the widening HAD to be done for sure. :)

  57. This proposal is perfect! I can't wait!