Thursday, January 12, 2012

So How Was The Public Meeting?

So those who attended the public meeting with Sedgwick Developers tonight.... what'd ya think?

Update:  The 46th Ward Office is tweeting the meeting.  You can follow on Twitter or on Facebook.


  1. It was a dog and pony show that consisted of the developer telling the community once again that this will be a great addition to the Uptown neighborhood, and the neighborhood groups saying once again all of the things that are wrong with the project (which there are many). Alderman Cappleman was there but didn't show any leadership what so ever. He kept stopping open discussion by saying "write down your questions" and at one point did have the cops remove a person for speaking out of turn. For me the highlight of the evening came when the developers admitted that they would not build this project if the TIF was not involved. Also Alderman Cappleman said he would not return/refuse the TIF unless his appointed Zoning Commission came back and reported to him that the community doesn't want this project if the TIF is included.

  2. No comments? I was unable to attend, was wondering if the community built a bonfire and threw Sedgewick in...

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  4. "Alderman Cappleman was there but didn't show any leadership what so ever. He kept stopping open discussion by saying "write down your questions" and at one point did have the cops remove a person for speaking out of turn."

    Ok, defending James here. I wasn't there, but I DOUBT he removed somebody just for speaking out of turn. Further, you have to do something to try to control the meeting, so having people writing down questions does actually seem like leadership to me.

  5. Also, actually having a Zoning Commission and taking into account the viewpoints of ward residents would seem to demonstrate a drastic increase in leadership in this ward.

    Not saying I agree with everything anyone does. But knowing that my point of view gets a voice means a heck of a lot to me.

  6. the NIMBYs around this project seem particularly awful.

  7. Hey Rider389... How many times did Shiller have these types of meetings, where the public was involved.. How many times did Shiller show up to ANY meeting. Oh, thats right., Shiller had already approved and fast tracked the original HUGE 3 building design. It was not until Cappleman came in and put this up for public discussion that changes , big ones, started to be made...

    Cappleman is showing leadership my friend...and is keeping his campaign promises... much more than that idiot Shiller ever did.... so get your facts straight

  8. Alderman seems defend for sedgwick a lot during the meeting. In the end, there was a guy who was so frustrated and said it loudly that" you are supposed to speak out for the people who live here, not the developer"!

  9. Rather than sit here and analyze every twitch James made, I'm curious about what happened at the meeting, what points Sedgwick made, and how they reacted to the points the community made. I had planned to go, but between shoveling and a previous commitment, as well as the snow-created long commute home from work, I wasn't able to attend.

  10. Hey Uptown SuperHero! I have my facts straight, I never said anything about Shiller because she is no longer part of the process (thank God!). Is Cappleman night and day better that our former Alderman, hell yes!!! But in my opinion at the meeting held last night, I don't believe he showed leadership.
    And to Media Critic, I was there and Alderman Cappleman did have someone removed by the cops. That is a fact Jack.
    I understand Alderman Cappleman is walking a very fine line here, but it is frustrating to sit through 3 meeting now on this development where the community has made thier opinion know that this development should not go through with the TIF and not have the Alderman get that one point. Even when someone asked if he would still approve the TIF on this project knowing that the community is against it, Alderman Cappleman responded with political double talk.

  11. I would never in one millin years want to be an alderman in this ward.

  12. I was at the meeting last night.I am also FOR the building of this project.The people who were removed were Occupy Chicago protesters that were there to complain about having to
    get a permit to protest.I talked to them out front.


    This neighborhood has one of the worst reputatuions on the Northside.I understand you dont want a loadimg dock as your view from your balcony and a parking garage blocking your view of drug deals and dead animals (and people ) in the park.Change is difficult ,but this NEW building is needed badly for this area.

    I know im going to get a bunch of negative attacks from people on this site and i really dont care.Ive been to EVERY meeting Sedgwick has had about this,the Alderman knows this area neeeds new contruction to promote the neighborhood. i am looking forward to some new scenery in this neighborhood

  13. "It is frustrating to sit through 3 meeting now on this development where the community has made thier opinion know that this development should not go through with the TIF and not have the Alderman get that one point." -Rider

    Here's the ONE POINT that hasn't gotten through your head yet: It's the Zoning Committee that votes.

    Someone asked last night why the project was being presented again after a decision was already made in June. Do you remember the reasons given? Did you even listen?

  14. Sedgwick made all the same points they have in the past. Their strategy seems to be to stonewall and hold out for the $31 million in TIF funds plus authorization for a totally maxed-out development. In these meetings they do what sales pros call "answering objections." Whatever you say, they have an answer.

    So far they appear to be unwilling to make changes, even though the big box store they propose is gigantic, ridiculously too big for the site. They claim there will be no traffic problems. They claim that the fact that Sedgwick's previous two projects are in foreclosure is no indication of their competence, they're not desperate and about to go under, and that even though the biggest building they’ve ever built, the 26-story Marquee at 1454 S Michigan (2008), currently in foreclosure, has mostly vacant retail space and is undergoing façade repairs... none of that matters, trust us, everything will be okay, just sign on the line and give us the $31 million and trust us to build a project twice the size of anything we’ve ever attempted.

    The Uptown Coalition for Responsible Development has posted its meeting slides and the text of the plan critique on its web site (loads of good information) at

  15. I want to go to one of these meetings, get really drunk and laugh at people.

  16. "just sign on the line and give us the $31 million and trust us to build a project twice the size of anything we’ve ever attempted." - J-Dog

    J-Dog, I'm not sure I support the development, but you are leaving out some pertinent facts. Neither the city or you is putting up the $31 million. It's all money fronted by someone else who is taking on the risk. If the store is too big for the site, then that's their risk. You still lose nothing but I trust the store's research over yours because they have more to lose if they're wrong.

    It's also stretching the truth that they are getting $31 million. Of that $31 million, $6 million of it goes to the park and $12 million goes to affordable housing. That means they're really getting $13 million for the project.

    If it's a lousy development, then dispense with stretching the truth. Stick to the facts. You're not helping your cause when you aren't being fully honest.

  17. I was there....

    The gentleman who was removed said he is current tenant of a Sedgewick property. He did not allude to which one. He was not an Occupy protester. Just to clear that up.

    A lot happened at that meeting and I am not prepared after a long day to break it down. I will do so tomorrow in an EveryBlock neighbor message.

    There were good points and bad points.

    I support Alderman James maintaining a neutral and uncommitted position. The reason why is because weather or not you or I agree with THE process that is in place, this process would be a farce if he were to take a position before it plays out. Like it or not.

    Maybe we need one more public meeting, with a different Q&A format.

    Maybe it needs to be held away from Clarendon Park in Uptown on neutral ground.

    Cheers and good night.

  18. There person I saw escorted out by the cops was a single person who spoke about the poor construction at another Sedgewick property, not one of the Occupy people, though that may have happened.

    As far as the development I don't know if it is good or bad, I agree that bringing in new business will be good for Uptown, but am not sure if this is the developer to do it and for sure do not want them to get the TIF money. Sedgewick just doesn't seem to listen to what the community wants.

    A fear I also have with the project is the fact that the corporation behind the grocery store (Roundy's) is trying to be sold or go public, if either of these two things happen, what does that mean for any agreements in place. Could the new owners or the stockholders decide they don't want to build a store at this location, leaving the neighborhood with a big empty box.

  19. There were Occupy protesters in the back of the room. I was standing next to them,watching them text back and forth and hand out some papers about their cause.I followed a few of them outside and someone was escorted out ,they seemed to know the person so I assumed they were a part of that, my fault, anyway they were there to protest Nthe city permit for protesters plan ,not because of our discussion on this project, the rest of what said i stand by. Thats why the police were there,i believe.....still hope they build it!!!!

  20. Shiller had already approved and fast tracked the original HUGE 3 building design.

    ... actually, all Shiller did was work to get the TIF established.

    She hadn't approve any aspect of the development.

    The relationship between the alderman's office and Sedgwick was frosty, at best.


    That statement couldn't be further from the truth.

    That means they're really getting $13 million for the project.

    No, they're still getting $31M, albeit in stages.

    They're essentially being given tax payer money to cover the affordable housing requirement, and another $6M in tax payer money to say that they helped fix up the park. And $13M in tax payer money to help justify their margins to their other financiers.

    I agree with those who say that this site, and Uptown in general, needs development. I just have yet to hear a reasonable argument for the use of TIFs to get this done.

    If this project cannot be done without TIFs, then Sedgwick needs to come back with one that can.

    They've done nothing but generate a massive cluster fark over the final 15% of the finances, and .. quite honestly, anyone undertaking such a large development should have the wherewithall to avoid that type of situation.

  21. holy moly said… “If the store is too big for the site, then that's their risk.” The point is not about risk, it’s about the fact that the neighborhood would be harmed; there's a huge negative impact on residents from the big-box store plus other businesses in a two-level commercial podium plus parking, all shoehorned into the site. ‘They’ won’t have to live with that, we will. Increased traffic and pollution would come from the addition of 1000+ cars and trucks; and the building itself harms residents adjacent to the site, because it would be at least 20 feet higher than the residential buildings across the street on both Montrose and on Agatite. It’s jammed in with minimal setbacks or design interventions to separate the commercial use from the residential buildings.

    We’re asking that the developers and Mariano’s work with residents to make size reductions to better fit the big-box building base into the residential and park context.

    Regarding the TIF... I did not intend to stretch the truth. But it’s also not true that the development only gets $13 million. When you consider the details the TIF impact can be fuzzified. The city issues bonds to fund the $31 million, and those bonds are paid off by taxes from the development. The developer gets the $31 million minus the $6 million for Clarendon Park. The affordable housing fee is a tax the city levies on developers for the privilege of being able to develop. In a private development that's paid with private money. In a TIF that's paid by taxpayers. Further, the development pays nothing for police, firefighters, schools, or libraries until 2035 at the earliest. Real money, $12 million to pay Sedgwick's required fee and a $13 million free subsidy to Sedgwick, goes to Sedgwick. Plus everyone else pays for the services provided to that complex.

    Here's some info on the primary changes requested:

    Overall - Reduce the two-level commercial and parking structure box base to 40’ h to match the height of residential buildings across the street on Montrose and on Agatite.

    Agatite - Added 4 to 5’ setback to allow for added strip of grass and landscaping south of the sidewalk.

    Loading Dock - Provide an enclosed loading dock, and provide an enclosed area for garbage collection and the extremely loud grocery store compressors.

    Clarendon - The high-traffic grocery store car entrance would cut right across the Clarendon Avenue sidewalk next to a bus stop and across from the park, on the children's route to school. We’ve requested, at minimum, a bigger setback to increase visibility for exiting cars. A wider plaza would increase visibility for drivers and pedestrians and the added space can be used for a plaza with room for landscaping, benches, and tables.

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  23. To anyone who thinks Sedgwick doesn’t get the $31MM: Don't drink the Koolaid just yet.

    The way I understand the $6MM for Clarendon Park (which covers only the cost to bring the park field house to code, not to improve the fields or the "blighted" park district building east of Marine Drive, and not to bring one new program or upgrade to the park) is that Shiller was going to require any development of the Montrose/Clarendon site to pay $6MM to bring the field house to code. A developer could pony up out if its own pocket (and developers are regularly required around the City to give money toward green space), or, now with the TIF, get the $ earmarked from the TIF. So, there's $6MM that Sedgwick doesn't have to pay out of its own pocket. The $12MM for the Affordable Housing Fund contribution has to be paid by the developer in lieu of building affordable housing. JDL (developer of the proposed development at Halsted & Bradley, also in the 46th Ward) will pay its housing fund contribution from private funds. There's another $12MM in Sedgwick's pocket. That’s $18MM Sedgwick would otherwise have to pay from private funding. $18MM + $13MM = $31MM.

    In the end, Sedgwick gets the benefit of taxpayer money to not only fund its private profit, but to increase the profit margin of its "capital partner" from an 8.5% return to an 11% return. Wouldn’t we all like to see that kind of return on real estate investment in this economy?

    And who says that the $31MM proposed TIF money won't increase ala Wilson Yard TIF? After all, one of Sedgwick’s high paid lawyers boasts of representing Holsten in obtaining approvals for and “securing [TIF] assistance from the City of Chicago for redevelopment of the CTA Wilson Yard site.” So while Sedgwick tries to distance itself from Wilson Yard, you connect the dots.

  24. Oh, and let's not forget that the property taxes generated by the Mariano’s, the gym, the 600 units or anything else that goes in there will not be paying for ANY City services for the next 23 years. Rather, they'll go to the TIF. Rest assured, they will be using those services (police, fire, schools, parks, libraries, etc.). We ALL will be paying to cover services for them for the next 23 years, so OUR property taxes will be going up to cover. This affects property owners and renters too, because as property taxes go up, so do rents. For this investment, the community should have a say in making this development a part of our community and not just a glass and steel “community within a community” plopped in our midst.

    Sedgwick hired polished marketers and big-wig lawyers to show pretty pictures and spout double-speak how great this will be for the community while glossing over details about real costs and without answering the tough questions. Why is that? Sedgwick waltzed into this ward thinking this development was ripe for the picking. It tried to bulldoze us “rubes” and was rejected. Now, it’s trying to flex some clout while the likeable Rob Nash gives fluffy marketing pitches. JDL down at Halsted & Bradley met with concerned neighbors and within days made plan modifications to respond to those concerns. Based on those meetings, JDL was able to get the City to agree to plan changes that the City previously denied (including related to the location of the loading dock). So, which developer at least acts like it gives a crap about this community and about its own legacy?

    Uptown needs a developer that is a community partner and good neighbor. Sedgwick needs to get real.

  25. J-Dog, it's your opinion that the retail is being shoe horned into this site. It's not the Zoning Department's opinion.

    The traffic study was based on the anticipation of much more traffic coming out of the WY, so the real truth is that we can expect much better traffic patterns than anticipated. However, we're in a large city and cities have heavy traffic. This is not Evanston.

    This is prime real estate so TIF or no TIF, there will be a highrise there someday. Of course, you could buy the property yourself and build a midrise and hope you could rent out each unit for $4,000 a month to make up for the cost of the land.

    Again, you're not telling the whole truth when you state the city is issuing $31 million in bonds. If nothing gets built, the $31 million never exists because it's sitting on property owned by the sisters. Currently for this property, zero goes to the parks, zero goes to the police, and zero goes to the schools. The parks, schools, and police still get their money, but if this doesn't get built, they get it from you and no taxes on this property are ever collected.

    Ultimately, if it's a planned development, the development will be as nice as the market will bear. With a TIF development, it will be as nice as what the TIF money will provide. Each have their good and bad points, but it's a mistake to assume that a planned development is the only best option. With either one, views will be blocked and there's no getting around that, unless you decide to purchase the lot yourself. When you bought your place, you may have bought it for the view, but you don't own your view. If you want a guarantee that your view will never get blocked, never buy in the city, especially next door to an open lot or a building that's falling apart.

    By the way, I'm undecided. I'm just tired of people not being honest with all the facts. UCRD's presentation was one long editorial sprinkled with half truths to scare people. You're still not taking into account what all the many various city departments are requiring for this development in terms of setbacks, design, traffic, and infrastructure repairs.

  26. Hi holy moley. We can't rely on the city to protect us. They will only make minimum effort to rein in developers, and there are strong forces in the city helping the developers and thwarting the neighborhood. It's another example of the 1% versus the 99%.

    If you're undecided and a resident of Uptown, why not point out some of the actual lies told to the community by the developer, like that there will be townhouses along Agatite? They maintained that in community meetings (as a way to short-circuit opposition) when they had already filed plans with the city for the big box store, and no townhomes.

    On traffic, if you add 1000+ cars and trucks daily to that intersection, if you have semis rumbling down Clarendon to deliver to the big box store, and all you do is improve the traffic light and add a left turn lane, there's no way you don't get worse traffic and more pollution. One thing that has not been addressed is the backup caused by people trying to get into the park. That intersection further east on Montrose causes mile-long backups already because of people being held up having to cross the bike path to get into the park.

    No one is talking about a mid-rise. It's you who are distorting the truth by repeating that again and again. The proposed 65,000 square foot Mariano's is way too big for that site. You might consult some texts on city planning if you're unsure. FYI, the new Dominick's at Foster and Sheridan is only 39,000 square feet.

    It's prime land and the only justification for the TIF is to help bring the Clarendon Park field house and maintenance building up to code. Developers don't need money to be enticed to develop on prime land along the lake. Unless they're going bankrupt and couldn't afford to do it otherwise.

    Sedgwick is not working with the neighborhood. Their intention is to go as huge as possible, ignoring effects on current residents, and stamp out all opposition. That's what all the suits were for at the meeting, plus Rob, the smooth talking guy in the sweater. They are professional stamper-outers. Sedgwick is not our friend. They couldn't care less about Uptown.

  27. If it were up to me we would have another meeting with a different location and format. But it is not up is up to all of us and Sedgewick.

  28. Cappleman is an amateur. No one wants Sedgewick. We all want a quality developer and a quality development.

    Just look at their other projects they are complete disasters.

    That in its self should be proof enough they won't do this project right.

    Uptown is the last place they can build because no other Alderman would even give them 5 minutes.

  29. Hey holy moley - The city zoning review process addresses the letter of what the zoning ordinance allows - it doesn't address non-zoning 'best practices planning issues' or non-zoning issues on a community level. The city understands and expects those issues to be raised and dealt with at a community level. And we know that the alderman is committed to following evidence-based best practices. He said that every chance he got during his campaign.

    It's also interesting to note that in this instance the safeguards in the zoning ordinance against radical up-zoning from RM-5 (smaller scale) to B3-5 (larger scale) are being circumvented.

    17-8-0901 Uses, Bulk, Density and Intensity. Planned developments are subject to strict compliance with the floor area ratio standards of the zoning district applicable to the subject property immediately before approval of the planned development. Planned developments must be in substantial compliance with density, use, setback, building height, and open space and other (non-FAR-related) development standards of the zoning district applicable to the subject property immediately before approval of the planned development.

    We're asking the developer to make concessions beneficial to Uptown - so, what's the problem? Don't you want the development to enhance our neighborhood?

  30. "and there are strong forces in the city helping the developers and thwarting the neighborhood. It's another example of the 1% versus the 99%." - Davidh

    Turning this into an Occupy Wall Street scenario is a stretch. The City promoted WY, which I strongly opposed. I didn't like the density, the traffic would be awful, and Target was too large and had no business being next to an Aldi's. Today, that area of Broadway is bustling with foot traffic and it's made this area become alive. The traffic jam that everyone knew would occur never materialized. I'm glad the City's assessment of the situation won over my own objections.

    "why not point out some of the actual lies told to the community by the developer, like that there will be townhouses along Agatite?" Davidh

    It wasn't a lie at all. When the number of towers was reduced from 4 to 1, that part of the plan changed as well to make up for the lost FAR. It's only a lie when it's not built according to the plans. Nothing has been built.

    "It's also interesting to note that in this instance the safeguards in the zoning ordinance against radical up-zoning from RM-5 (smaller scale) to B3-5 (larger scale) are being circumvented." J-Dog

    If that were true, the Dept. of Zoning would have made your concern known. From what I learned at the meeting, Zoning liked the new plans.

    Like everyone else, I want what's best for the community. I don't think lying and stretching the truth about the facts helps promote your cause. Believe it not, my concern is using TIF dollars to help businesses, creating unfair competition for the other businesses that have received nothing. I'm torn because I also want to force those current businesses to improve.

  31. Hey all -- thanks to all the brave souls who showed up at the meeting. It was the first snowstorm of winter and the room was packed. Uptown is engaged and cool. Kudos, everyone.

  32. @jmisso63, holy moley,& others criticizing the neighbors or supporting the project: I see a lot of discussion about what the facts are—who said what, what’s to be built, who will be impacted, etc. Some of this discussion seems to miss the point.

    IMHO, all any concerned neighbor needs to know in order to decide on the proposed project is a handful of undisputed facts which even Sedgwick itself admits:
    1. The proposed tower for the Maryville site is 45 stories high.
    2. Sedgwick has never built a project even close to that big. Its biggest so far is the Marquee in the South Loop (25 stories).
    3. The proposed tower has a glass curtain wall, which Sedgwick admitted Thursday it has never built before.
    4. Sedgwick’s last 2 projects, including the Marquee, are currently in foreclosure.
    5. Sedgwick wants TIF money to build this 45-story, glass-curtained building.
    6. TIF money is public tax money.
    7. Sedgwick says that it needs $31 million in tax money to attract financing, and the $31 million is necessary to raise the profit margin on this project from 8.5% (which Sedgwick calculates it would make with no TIF money) to 11% (which Sedgwick calculates it would make with the TIF money).
    8. Sedgwick has publicly stated that it will not build the project without TIF money.

    Even if we ignore other legitimate concerns—whether Sedgwick has been forthcoming to the Uptown community; whether its proposal fits within the neighborhood context; whether Uptown residents should or shouldn’t prefer having a truck loading dock under their balconies or being walled in a canyon as they walk the streets; whether traffic safeguards are implemented to protect kids and seniors walking to school or the park—Sedgwick itself admits these 8critical facts.

    I fear that Sedgwick’s proposal, if approved, could well end up as a financial and aesthetic disaster, both squandering much needed tax revenue and leaving Uptown scarred with an unfinished or poorly built permanent addition. Yuck. Not even Sedgwick’s legion of well-connected attorneys and PR agents can get around these facts.

    Responsible Uptown residents, their representatives on the Ward Zoning and Planning committee, and their Alderman all would be wise to note these undisputed facts as they state views publicly and they vote and decide on this project.

  33. @holy moley, You're stating a lot more "facts" for Sedgwick than I have heard at any public meeting. Care to share your inside information?

  34. Should the Ward Zoning and Planning Committee hold a public hearing before making a decision?

    A non-binding decision as it is, but one the Alderman has said he that would (to paraphrase) strongly influence his decision

    By public hearing I'm not talking about the meeting at Weiss were they are in the audience viewing a presentation with the public.

    I don't believe the public feels like they have been heard on this.

    This is going to be the largest development on the lakefront in the next decade most likely so...why not?

  35. @uptownmama. Inside information? I'm flattered because I was thinking others had inside information. What inside "facts" do I know?

    I do remember being highly critical of the WY development. I remember thinking Holsten was over his head because he never did that type of development. I remember thinking the city was blindly rubberstamping everything that Helen wanted. I remember thinking that I would never step inside Target because it would be too dangerous to shop there because it would be a crime magnet.

    So now, I'm going to give the city a little more credit that they know more than what I give them credit for. Oddly enough though, TIF funds used to attract other businesses really bothers me so I'm not a big fan of this project.

    Despite my caution about this development, it's a lie to say this TIF is taking $31 million of our tax dollars. It's not taking a penny of OUR tax dollars because those who have been to the community meetings have already heard that the boundaries of this TIF are all within the development. It's also disingenuous to say it shouldn't be built because they've been in bankruptcy. They have someone picking up the tab for this project and the risk is theirs, not ours. Given how tough it is to borrow money these days, to Sedgwick's credit they have someone putting their faith in this project. Lastly, promoting this as a $31 million dollar TIF is not being honest. $18 million of that $31 million is going to be used to fund projects that your and my taxes would have had to pay for.

    So feel free to oppose this, but just use facts to back up your stance.

  36. @ Holy Moley


    About half of the $12M to be paid into the Affordable Housing fund is mandated and would have had to be paid without a TIF.

    You can fact check me on this....;)

  37. Thanks, Bo Squidly, for the details on this project. Many in the surrounding area are under the impression that Sedgwick has scaled it down - but 45 stories tall is NOT scaled down. That's huge! And Sedgwick has never done anything this big?! AND they want to use some kind of glass curtain wall that they've never built before? Oh, yeah- and all of this is going to go on top of the remains of a pumping station, the pipes and tunnels of which are still underground. Anybody else see the potential for total disaster here?

  38. @ Kronos

    I've brought the issue of the former pumping station and the existing water mains on this blog several times.

    I also brought it up at the meeting at Weiss and it went like this...more or less...

    Someone asked Rob Nash about the original agreement on transferring the property to the Sisters, an excerpt of which to paraphrase again....not verbatim..

    Rob Nash
    "....the water mains below the property would not be affected by the construction of the Cuneo Hospital...."

    J. Littleton
    ".....will Sedgewick be affecting the water mains....."

    Lawyer for Sedgewick pops out of chair
    ".......No, the pumping station was on the east parcel and won't be affected at all...."

    And that was pretty much it.

    I am not a engineer, the only reason I have been yapping on about it is because in a conversation a year ago with Mr. Don Nowotney, former 46th ward superintendent, mentioned it as a concern. But he was more concerned about tying a large development with its increased capacity needs into an antiquated system as opposed to the particular lot the mains are located under.

    So my conclusion is ....I have no idea, I'm just your crazy artist neighbor and this should be worked out in the review process the city does. But it does seem like the kinda sorta thing that could lead to unforeseen issues, costs and delays mid-stream.

  39. Many in the surrounding area are under the impression that Sedgwick has scaled it down - but 45 stories tall is NOT scaled down. That's huge!
    The version in June was three 40 story highrises. I agree it's still a hefty highrise that's being proposed but it has been substantially scaled down from their first version.

    And Sedgwick has never done anything this big?! AND they want to use some kind of glass curtain wall that they've never built before?
    Do you really believe the people financing this project would be willing to risk all for this without first doing some of their own research?

    Oh, yeah- and all of this is going to go on top of the remains of a pumping station, the pipes and tunnels of which are still underground.
    No, the former pumping station site is on the east side of Clarendon, but you bring up a good point that I never thought about: Maybe TIF dollars are needed to build something on the east side given the extra costs to build on the site of a former pumping station.

    Kronos, make your point, but please use some facts in the process. Honestly, if you need to give false information to persuade others, are you doing it because you don't believe the real facts would support your claim?

  40. The version in June was three 40 story highrises. I agree it's still a hefty highrise that's being proposed but it has been substantially scaled down from their first version.

    The number of buildings have been scaled back but as far as the number of units that has not changed substantially. At the meeting it was announced that the number of units has only dropped by 137. In the origianal plan with the 3 towers had 750 resident units and the new plan 613 units. My only reason for disputing Holy Moley last post is that that this huge project will still have a substantial impact on traffic in the area.

    Question for all those following this discussion: where do you stand on this project getting TIF dollars?

  41. Excuse me, holy moley, but could you please tell me just what "false information" was in my last post? I do believe that you perceive anything that is said that is against this tax-payer funded monstrosity is "false information." When you state "Kronos, make your point, but please use some facts in the process. Honestly, if you need to give false information to persuade others, are you doing it because you don't believe the real facts would support your claim?" what REAL FACTS are you talking about? You leave me with two questions: 1) have you been paying a mortgage on a property in the area that stands to be severely lowered in value by this project and 2) are you a paid tool for Sedgwick or do you mouth their position for free?

  42. Hi Holy Moley. I see you're back at it, posing as someone who's undecided while suggesting that even more TIF dollars be spent on the east side of Clarendon. Clever you, Holy Moley.

    But although you take on Kronos I see you ignore Bo. And Bo knows his facts. What say you to Bo's 8 critical facts?

  43. Kronos, I pointed out your lies in the bolded sections of my previous post. Read it. I didn't touch on all of Bo Squidley's comments, but of the 8 different points he made, I found #2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 to encourage readers to come to false conclusions.

    I'm not pro-Sedwick, but I'm anti-lies. Interestingly enough, I really liked Red Knight's posting which was factual and it gave me something to think about.

    I'm still not comfortable with the height of the highrise and I don't like using TIF dollars to help 2 businesses that are competing with 2 other businesses that didn't receive any benefit from a TIF. However, despite my misgivings about a TIF here, I do see this as contributing more taxes to the city than having this tax exempt land remain dormant.

  44. No, holey moley, I didn't ask which of my points you don't like or which ones you'd rather people didn't talk about, I specifically asked which ones were FALSE. Have you studied the original layout of the pumping station or are you just naive enough to think that every single pipe and tunnel stopped exactly at the Clarendon street line? And funny, you completed ignored my two questions. Interesting omission.....

  45. Sooooo.....does anybody want to know where this goes next?

  46. Well Kronos, I'm going to assume you're right about the original layout of the pumping station and it was never addressed when the present building was built on that site fifty years ago.

    That means the cost of developing this site that's west of Clarendon Street will become astronomically expensive to build on. You just proved why this development needs TIF subsidies. If not but for the use of this TIF, it would be financially impossible to build a development there.

    It boils down to me trusting the city's planning and development department a little more than you. I remember slamming them about WY and I was wrong. I'm now giving them a little more credibility. However, you're the one with the doubts about the city's ability to oversee this. Have you contacted the City about your concerns? What did they say? Perhaps it completely slipped their minds that this is the former site for the water pumping station. You better tell them quickly.

    If you're convinced that I fully support this project, then you've made the wrong assumption. Just stick to the facts and you'll help your cause greatly.

  47. Ahhh, holy moley, you accuse me of telling lies. Yet when I repeatedly ask you to point out where I have done so, all I get is more of your blah blah blah. Your twisting of all that's said points more and more to your being a hired pro at this double-speak spin stuff. And no, the underlying remnants of a water pumping station is not why this project should get a TIF, but precisely why it should NOT be. Or were we all supposed to go along with Sedgwick being surprised and "suddenly" needing more money once the project was already started? Ya think that has anything to do with Sedgwick renaming the project to remove the name of that ol' pumping station? After all, you have to put a foundation in a whole lot deeper for a 45 story building than you do for the current structure on the property. Using TIF money for something like this in strong economic times is questionable; but in today's recession, it is unconscionable. And it is obvious you do not have an investment in any property values in the area. Do you get paid extra per blog post? If so, you sure made a killing today.

  48. Let's stay on topic and stop with the insults.

  49. The pumping station was still there when the hospital was built. It appears in aerial photos taken in 1973, but not in 1988.

  50. Living across the street from this place for the past 7 years, I've wanted something new to go in and be developed. I'm especially fond of the prospect of a hotel as I think this area is sadly lacking in them for family and friends and yes even sports fans to have a place so close to Wrigley Field. And can I suggest resurrecting the movie theatre idea? Wouldn't it be wonderful to find a company that is interested in doing a smaller first floor 2 or 3 theatre cinema to take the ground level, on the other side make it space for restaurants, put housing on the next 10-20 stories and top it off with a hotel and maybe a rooftop restaurant space? It'd keep in the feel of the neighborhood, provide a center hub for dining, entertaining, tourist accommodations and housing

    BUT. Can someone please please please explain to me how we need another grocery store within a 4 block radius of my home?

    I can go to Jewel, Aldi, Target or umpteen little bodegas and for just a short walk (which I do at least once a month) I can go to Whole Foods. If Mariano's wants a presence in Chicago, they'd do far better to move into the Ravenswood area where you can't find 3 groceries within a mile let alone three blocks. Whoever-the-hell is thinking this spot is a wise location for them should be fired.

    Also, what Uptown doesn't need is another giant multi-use development packed full of retail space ripe for the moving in when no one is moving their businesses into already existing available retail spots that are closer to the main corridors of Uptown.

    The last thing I want to see happen is another Rainbow Village where the developer goes broke mid-stream and this neighborhood has look at the eye-sore for another 10 years before someone again comes to deal with it with a new giant development.

    Frankly, just writing that I realized if Mariano's really wants in Uptown so badly, THEY should go into the Rainbow Village, it's a fantastic location for them.

    I want something here, I just don't see the point in digging to dig and putting in more of the same old same old. I don't see how that's going to help improve the area.

    As Einstein said, Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

  51. And Sedgwick has never done anything this big?! AND they want to use some kind of glass curtain wall that they've never built before?
    Do you really believe the people financing this project would be willing to risk all for this without first doing some of their own research?
    Yes TIF'S are financing it.

    Number 2 I suspect all they really intend on building is retail for a grocery store. After they get that built the will say o sorry no market for more apartments/condos. We didn't know the housing market would still be down. Sorry Uptown thanks for the TIF money.

  52. Kronos, I'm delighted to state some of your many talking points that are either untrue or leading someone to an untrue conclusion. I'll simply cut and paste your statements again for you.

    Many in the surrounding area are under the impression that Sedgwick has scaled it down - but 45 stories tall is NOT scaled down. That's huge!
    (False: making it one tower rather than 3 towers is scaled down. It was also scaled down in terms of the number of units and FAR)

    And Sedgwick has never done anything this big?! AND they want to use some kind of glass curtain wall that they've never built before?
    (Ignores the safety net that the city provides to ensuring the right materials are used in the proper manner)

    Oh, yeah- and all of this is going to go on top of the remains of a pumping station, the pipes and tunnels of which are still underground.
    (again ignores the safety net the city provides to ensure the development is built correctly, thus leading people to make a false conclusion)

    My point is that the city is likely able to give some guidance to any developer about what's really there in terms of remnants of the pumping station, thus preventing any major risk. Kronos, if this concerns you, ask both the city and the developer about it. My guess is that both have already approached this question and have an answer for it.

    I used to believe the city and all developers were stupid when it comes to development. WY proved me wrong.

    Kronos, did you oppose the WY proposal like I did? Do you still regret that it was built?

  53. Drink the Kool Aid folks and have blind faith in the City. They are so good at making sure construction is up to par. Guess some people didn't get caught owning in a building that was sub par construction and builder didn't even have drywall up to fire code.

    And inspectors haven't even been bought off right?

  54. @A: If I relied on your way of thinking, we'd never have the WY development.

    It's certainly clear you don't trust any city department. Is there any developer you trust? Why don't you get that developer to make a proposal for this site?

  55. Sounds like Sedgwick is asking Alderman Cappleman's office to move up the vote by the Zoning & Development committee on thier proposed project, and it is looking like Adlerman Cappleman's office is going to do so.

    Here is a copy of the e-mail Abby Sullivan from the Aldermans office has sent out to committee members;

    Hello Committee Members,

    I hope you are all well and staying healthy during the recent weather changes.

    I was just contacted by Sedgwick and they have asked if the committee could meet a week from today on Monday, January 23 instead of Tuesday, January 24. The reason for this request is that they want to be on the agenda for the city's Community Development Committee (CDC) meeting for Tuesday morning, but the CDC would like an answer from our committee and Ald. Cappleman before they proceed. Therefore Sedgwick would like our committee to vote on this project by Monday, January 23. Sedgwick sent me the updated PD, lakefront approval exhibits and two updated renderings showing the entrance detail on Montrose as well as the view east along Montrose. I have added these to the website where you can download them by going to

    Sedgwick told me that they will have additional color exhibits and renderings for tomorrow that I will add to the website. If you are not able to view these from the website, please let me know and I can email them to you directly.

    Please respond by the end of the day on Wednesday, January 18 to let me know if you are or are not able and willing to meet a week from today, Monday, January 23. If not, we will plan to meet on our scheduled day of Tuesday, January 24. I will email you all on Thursday to let you know the official date of next week's meeting.

    As always, please contact me if you have any questions.

    Sincerely, Abby

    -- Abby Sullivan 46th Ward Service Office 773-878-4646

    So if you want your voices to be heard contact your rep on the committeee or Abby at Alderman's Capplemans office and let them know what you want.

  56. Cappleman proved today that he is another crony who will only do the bidding of the Mayor. MARK MY WORDS, SEDGWICK WILL GET APPROVED! Cappleman again is looking out for himself, HE WORKS FOR THE MAYOR NOT US!

    Sign off on my budget, sign off on the city's plan to stifle dissent, and help get this Maryville project through, and we'll give you more than 10% of the state's Illinois Jobs Now campaign as funding for the Wilson stop to make you look successful in front of your constituents! -Mayor 1%

  57. AT Holey:

    I trust this developer: for one and I and many others.

    And I know how corrupt this City is as there was a lot of problems with Building Inspectors being paid off it's public and common knowledge.

    As for WY Development give it 20 years and it will resemble a smaller Cabrini Green.

  58. @A:
    Get your favorite developer to submit a proposal for this site. Haste makes waste. Better yet if this developer will do it without using any TIF funds.

  59. At this point what can be said that hasn't already been said. They may as well just vote on the damn thing.

    The allergic response to TIF funding is curious though. We give tax incentives to big money corporations ALL THE TIME. And TIF is nothing else but a tax incentive.

    Most recently to Sears, a better example would be Boeing.

    The comparisons to WY are misleading as this is a very different project in most every way. However the same people who were wrong about WY are probably wrong about this project too. My crystal ball is in the shop so not sure.

    Let the non-binding voting begin........

  60. Jeff, WE didnt give tax breaks to Sears or CME, POLITICIANS did. Nobody would have voted for those tax breaks if it were up to the average citizen. This whole system is a joke. Cappleman is a joke. Heck, voting is a joke! When was the last time voting in a new candidate ever really changed anything? The only substantive change comes from the people, often through intense demonstrations and direct action. That's the only way to change anything now. And Rahm wants to shut it down before it can happen.

  61. If the committee votes this down...and I would put the odds at 50/50...and the Alderman doesn't over-ride it, your guess is as good as mine...then what?

    Sedgewick really should have considered giving back that little parcel of land adjoining the park on the east side of Clarendon.

    Instead they are being greedy and holding out for max profit. The best part of this plan is getting a fieldhouse brought up to code...a neglected fieldhouse. Brought up to code...thank you very much.

    I've brought up transferring this small parcel to Rob Nash personally when we met at a Starbucks, I have on this blog which he reads. Others have too, many times.

    Apparently that is too much to give in return. That parcel and the one larger one north of the main site where the tower is to go amount to 4.5% of the project...that is it.

    I say if this BS gets pushed through in this hurried manner we rally. And not just on the freakin' internet but in the real world.

    You know what I'm talkin' about ChiTownPhilly.

  62. The only substantive change comes from the people, often through intense demonstrations and direct action. That's the only way to change anything now.

    Voting = direct action.

    What also = direct action is people engaging more with the political process, recognizing their vote as an agent of change and holding both candidates and office holders accountable.

    The system isn't a joke. What is a joke are a grand majority of those put in place to run the system, as well as those who who selfishly use their vote to get what THEY want, not what is best for the community.

  63. Yo, I disagree with that assessment. Direct Action, by nature (and definition) is used to solve perceived problems which traditional institutions(governments, powerful churches or trade unions) are not addressing to the satisfaction of the direct action participants.

    Voting does not accomplish this, in my opinion, voting is part of the traditional institutions overall problem, tricking people into thinking that voting once a year is going to change anything.

    Direct action is not sitting at home watching the news or surfing the net, it is actively working to find, create, invent and implement true resolutions to the problems we face. It is not complaining about the INACTION of THOSE IN POWER, it is taking and staging the actions to resolve those issues in our community!

    Voting is not direct action. But if this development gets rubber stamped, I can assure you that we will be ready and willing to demonstrate exactly what DIRECT ACTION looks like.

    Holding politicians feet to the fire no longer works! Just ask Cappleman, I and many others haven't left him alone in weeks, but guess what? No change. I don't understand how people, especially those elder to me, can still believe in the validity of such a useless system (voting). I am only 27, so it only took me 9 years to realize my votes NEVER matter, because the candidates are ALL THE SAME.

    Democrat, republican, doesn't matter, they answer to the MONEY.

    It's time we take TRUE direct action, and occupy our streets, our politicians offices, our banks, our schools and all of the failing industries and institutions meant to HELP us, but only hurt us.

  64. Related Midwest, Fifield Companies, Belgravia to name a few local.

    This parcel is one of the biggest pieces of vacant property on the North Side. It's more important this is done right than pushed through. The land isn't going anywhere so what is the hurry?

    Look at what an eyesore Park View East is. The rendering looks a lot better.

  65. *yawn*

    I'm not sure you fully understood the point I was trying to make.

    Regardless, the only alternative you've posted is for people to go "occupy" places ... fine.

    Then what?

    You kinda' left that bit hanging out there.

    You rail against representative democracy yet offer no comprehensive alternative beyond some nascent, and threatening, concept known as "direct action" - which, eventually, will run into the same issues as any other process - lack of proper, intelligent participation.

    You're not breaking any new ground, here. You're simply banging on the ground with a different shovel.

    You are only 27, and - no offense, pal - it shows.

  66. ChiTownPhilly,,,, I have yet to see a single, postive post about anything from you on Uptown Update... you obviously dont like Cappleman and seem to have an axe to grind on this subject, and anything else to do with the Alderman... and then you ramble on with things you are going to do that, frankly, dont work.... At least be honest about your politics and your loyalties... its fine if you dont like him, but quit whining on this blog about everything... there has to be something positive you enjoy in life...LOL...
    right now, you come across as a permanently cranky 5 year old with too much time on your hands..