Thursday, February 2, 2012

Ald. Cappleman On Maryville's Future

From the alderman's latest email blast:

"Many of you are aware of a development proposal at the site of the Maryville property (corner of Montrose/Clarendon).  The proposed developer, Sedgwick Properties, was seeking to use $31 million in tax incremental financing (TIF) dollars to assist with this project.

Based on input from the 46th Ward Zoning and Development Committee (minutes from this meeting can be found here), I made the decision to not endorse Sedgwick's proposal.  When weighing the merits, I came to the conclusion that the issues outweighed the benefits for this particular proposal.

Moving forward, we will engage in proactive planning and evaluation for the Maryville site and this TIF district.  This study will consider costs for land acquisition, demolition, and other economic factors that are necessary to build on this land.  From this evaluation, I will work with others on the 46th Ward Zoning & Development Committee to provide clear parameters needed for a planned development at this site.  This would provide a future developer with a clear sense of expectations.

With a study and a well-conceived plan that involves experts in urban planning, architecture, and community input, I believe we can move forward to a development that will stand the test of time for this site."

Looks like Sedgwick, or at least Lighthouse At Montrose Harbor, is out of the game.


  1. Way to go JC. Thank you so much!

  2. Bravo!

    Now, let's get a decent developer and get something that really benefits Uptown here in my back yard.

    I'm really liking the Arts Center idea.

  3. Thanks alderman and zoning committee. Well said that early on involvement is the key in the whole planning process!

  4. @Just asking -- an Arts Center? Who do you think is going to pay for that? I guess we are going to wait for magic money fairies to come pay for a development that itself will never generate any revenue.

    People are ridiculous when they beleive someone will develop that land without TIF financing.

    Can't wait to see the development guidelines. I'm sure they will be completely reasonable.

  5. So does this mean Sedgwick is completely out?

  6. @4800 Winthrop Block

    It's just an opinion. Why do so many people on this blog feel the need to attack on half a post? Just because I like an idea that's been talked about on other threads is no reason to go on the offensive. Did you happen to mention any positive ideas you may have?

    Did you not see the part where I mentioned finding a decent developer?

    If you can't say anything nice or be part of the solution, shut up.

    P.S. I won't be checking on this thread again, so don't bother replying.

  7. yayyy! The crackheads get to keep their hangout. Should be good for the area.

  8. Arts center? That doesnt sound very good, I think a decent mixed use building with a mix of residential and retail would be best, but hey thats just me, just thinking more good people in the neighborhood and retail that would attract people from outside neighborhood would be beneficial.

    Where was this art center mentioned? Weird, I couldnt find it in the post, or the links or minutes of the meeting....

  9. @Just asking -- on the "decent developer" bit, not really sure what your (or anyone else's) criteria is for a "decent developer." Other than it wasn't Sedgwick didn't meet the criteria (whatever it was on the day they had a vote, or what they changed it to when they had a second vote, etc.)

    I love the contrived attacks against the former developer who worked hard, indeed bent over backwards, to meet the random demands of so called "community" groups. At the end of the day, they were going to fund/finance the development, so the community does not get a complete veto on everything (awaiting comment re: "but we're giving them TIF. . . ")

    I think a mixed use, residential development, like the one just shot down, is a perfect fit for the area. I think Lighthouse was a perfect fit for the area.

    I think unobtainable ideas like an "arts center" devalues the debate and shows a lack of understanding on individuals about what ever could be developed (or as the case now is, may never develop) on that property.

  10. Arts Center at that location is ridiculously out of place and would bring no traffic to the Uptown retail corridors, and vice want an Art Center.. how about the Salvation Army building across from the Target..and its in a TIF area...the Maryville lot should be residential, with maybe a small shop/dry cleaners for the residents and that is it...

  11. I say FUGETABOUTIT for a arts center. I would like to see a extended park area to replace that building on the East side. On the West side how about a senior citizens resource center. Turn the parking lots in pay parking for the neighborhood residents that always have problems to find space to park.

  12. The arts center is the idea of myself, many MANY others and so it appears some folks downtown.

    Its getting noticed and it is not just a viable and exciting is magnificent.

    Art and culture as economic stimulus is not some abstract thought I made up, it is proven.

    We need to form that committee...pronto!

    The Uptown Arts and Cultural has a nice ring to it eh?

    If anyone is confused by the art center references it was part of a previous Maryville thread that I commented on ad nauseam about it.

    A synopsis can be found at this EveryBlock post.

  13. Well, you can't judge a daughter
    By loking at her mother.

    And you can't judge a sister
    By looking at her brother.

    But it's easy to judge Sedgwick
    By looking at its cover.

    So c'mon Uptown, it's time,
    To move on to another!

  14. okay jeffrey littleton....

    "I commented on ad nauseam about it."


    This is a much stranger odyssey than Wilson Yard. This is the anti-Wilson Yard saga. Public housing couldnt be defeated but market rate was. It will be interesting to see how long this site sits vacant now.

  15. Looks like years of crumbling buildings, vagrants, boarded up windows, graffiti, and a haven for criminal activity for the Maryvale site.

    Way to go Uptown!!

  16. I'm curious to see if another developer will even try.

  17. @ Saraflo

    Sedgewick still has an option on the property. They can still make changes and give it another go.

    Cultural Studies:

    The arts can stimulate both the mind and the economy.

    Cultural infrastructure.

    The finest cultural institutions in Chicago are on or in a park setting, not in the middle of a business district. I am sure many UU readers can name a few quickly.

    The Clarendon Park Fieldhouse is a cultural center of a different type, an asset and there have been no complaints or qualms about spending public money on it.

    An arts and cultural center would attract an array of funding public and private. With the right team...

    Just like a public park it would be for the entire community to engage with, to utilize, and enjoy.

    We can attract new residents and a few businesses with the west and north parcels and we can improve the quality of life and attractiveness of living in Uptown with the east parcel.

    There are challenges and it would be very constructive to articulate those challenges rather then just dismissing it. I believe it has support across our community, not unanimous but a majority for certain.

    The arts ATTRACTS business...plain and simple. As opposed to the duplicity of developing businesses already in Uptown.

    Stimulation vs. Saturation

    And in the near future we will have a choice, and Uptown has good people.

  18. Two properties in foreclosure; copious amounts of complaints from current and past residents of existing properties; connected with the perversely clouted; no real experience at constructing a project of this scope; curious and insulting PR tactics ...

    While I may not be able to provide a suitable definition of a "decent developer", what constitutes a "questionable" one isn't terribly difficult.

    Sure, Sedgwick bent over backwards, but a lot of folks felt like they were being over forwards.

    And, honestly - the demands weren't too terribly random.

    I don't think too many folks need to worry their pretty little heads over that property being developed, eventually.

    Also - it wasn't just James and the Giant Nimbys who balked at Sedgwick. Cap's predecessor did, as well. Rather vehemently, I might add.

  19. Bo Squidly,

    Did you just bust out some Duke Tomato? Awesome!!!!

  20. I'm more swayed by reason than rhetoric, so the UCRD crowd didn't help me any. Their behavior was more mob-like than anything, but Sedgwick had its problems as well.

    Setting down some clear expectations for what should be there is the right step. Cappleman's job will be to make sure the dream is doable for any developer to take on.

    Speaking of dreams, though. If any neighbors west of this site think there won't be a highrise there, they have another surprise coming. If people don't want more traffic in that area, start collecting your moving boxes now.

    As for the lot east of Clarendon, I wouldn't bet on an art and cultural center while there's a fieldhouse nearby that needs plenty of $$$ to fix it up. Just say'in. Uptown SuperHero made some good points about that. Dream big, but keep it real.

  21. "I love the contrived attacks against the former developer who worked hard, indeed bent over backwards, to meet the random demands of so called "community" groups."

    HA HA HA HA ha haha ha ha ha ha!!!

    What a great laugh!!! This guy should do stand up!

  22. I'd love to see something like this on the site

  23. In a way, I feel sorry for Sedgewick. They came into Uptown with the full support of the previous alderman, who sneaked in a TIF created just for them. They had no idea she was distrusted by many of her constituents and that so many of us were TIF'd out and deeply suspicious of anything she proposed, in particular anything attached to a TIF. So they started a "laundry room campaign" of reaching out to neighbors in bite-size chunks rather than the open meetings so many of us wanted in all aspects of decisions in Uptown. Then the previous alderman turned against them, and then she was gone. They tried pressuring the new alderman just a few weeks into his term, and that didn't work either. They finally started meeting with the community, but by then the well was poisoned. Maybe those are good SOPs in other communities, but Uptown is a whole 'nother kettle of fish.

    I like the idea of putting together a blueprint of expectations for a future developer -- and all those who are concerned that Maryville will stay the way it is forever, you are wrong! Sedgewick had an exclusive contract with the owners, which they told us is expiring in April. It's like, if you wanted to buy a house and talked to the owner, who told you for two years it was under contract to someone else so please go away, would you make an offer on the house? Or would you wait to show your hand until you found out that the offer had expired and now the owner was open to talking to you? Something WILL be built there, and it'll be tall, and high-density, and no doubt will have a loading dock, but I hope the new developer will work with the community as a partner, and unlike Sedgewick, will have a clear idea of what is expected of them. (Not lying to us would be good, too.)

  24. @HM-Your pro-Sedgwick anti -resident stance is apparent as well as was your pro-TIF and pro-this plan bias. Haven’t you gotten it through your head yet that Sedgwick was the problem not a high-rise? Do you remember the reasons given? Did you even listen? Neighbors adjacent to the site are not opposed to a high-rise but rather against poorly designed, TIF-subsidized, ill-conceived development plan by a developer whose last two crappy, poor quality buildings are currently in foreclosure, has 90% vacant retail and who relies not on good development practices but rather on politically connected individuals, PR firms and self-created deadlines to push his schlock through.

    Adjacent neighbors support responsible development of the site and are not against a high-rise or lots of shiny new Uptown residents. We have faith and trust that JC, working with the community, will ensure that what does get built is an appropriate, well planned development, of high quality construction and design.

    Think positively HM, dream big!

    "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead, US anthropologist & popularizer of anthropology (1901 - 1978)

  25. I have to admit, I did not think that UCRD would perusade James Cappleman so completely. It's really weird to deal with a poltician who is not a duplicitous hypocrite... I'm not sure how to react. I'm astonished. I guess the least we can do is say "congratulations" and "thank you".

    To all those embittered by Sedgwick's defeat: Don't you think it's good that we could have a really cool, zoomy, maybe Jeanne Gang-ey development that would be a credit to Uptown? Don't you think it's good that we rejected scam artists... that WE WON... what's the problem? Unless your an employee of Sedgwick, or are owed money by Sedgwick, or perhaps own Sedgwick, I don't see the downside.

    Regarding the "arts center". I think that's a proposal to save the cool building on the east side next to the park. I'm in no position to determine if it's financially doable, but rehabbing that building may be possible, and it could be a great Gallery 37 kind of place, and perhaps generate income as a boutique commercial address. I could see a high-style architecture or software development firm loving the idea of a trendy address at Montrose and Lake Shore Drive. Why not?

    I say NAY to the NAY-sayers. (The "Nabobs of Negativism".) This is a great opportunity.

  26. Uptown has WON NOTHING in this process. I completely agree with Holey Moley on the mob mentalitiy of UCRD and other neighborhood groups. They are absolutely culpable in creating an antagonistic working relationship with the developer.

    Instead of working to improve the plan, they worked tirelessly to get rid of Sedgewick "no matter what", in the hopes that some other mystery developer will come along and save the day.

    The odds are that Maryvale will furthur deteriorate and become an even worse haven for crime, homeless, and pollution. It will most likely stay that way for years.

    I'm all for thinking big, but lets keep one foot planted in reality.

    Way to "help keep uptown down" UCRD, CPNA, BPNA ... that should be their now slogan.

  27. I really like how all the pro Sedgwick people suddenly appear here.

    Sedgwick handled this badly from the beginning. Now their PR skills improved as the process went along, but by that time it was too late.

    GG's comment at 8:46am is a good run down of what happened.

    That property likely will be developed and developed within the next few years. The handful of you dreaming of a low rise or an Arts Center will be deeply disappointed.

    The site is appropriate for a tall dense building and an Arts Center would be better located at the Uptown Theater building than off by itself on Montrose.

    Jeanne Gang Hyde Park buildings.

    My suggestions to whatever developer end up with the property follow.

    1. Hire Jeanne Gang.

    2. See number one

    3. Offer to give the eastern portion of the property to the Park District in exchange for higher density.

    4. Buy the neighboring building which will be directly negatively affected.

    5. Don't expect 30 million in TIF money. Ain't likely.

    6. Forget the retail portion of the project. Go strictly for market rate apartments.

    7. Use car lifts(elevators) to increase the number of parking spots relatively inexpensively.

    8. Set aside some number of parking spots for Zip Car or something like it.

    9. Think about a 900 unit building. Then when people complain compromise on 899.

    10. Hire me to do your PR and opposition research. I'll link anyone who opposes your plans to Al Qaeda, Coach Sandusky, Blago, and any number of unindicted members of the extended Daley family.

  28. @ irish Pirate and others

    How would rate utilizing TIF to establish an arts and cultural center on the east parcel.

    The west and north needs to be developed of course. High-density..the works...

    If the property is donated to the park district should it be another patch of grass...a 3rd dog park? That sounds like more low-density talk to me.

    More then a handful of people are "dreaming" of an art center, and there are some influential dreamers in the mix too I might add.


  29. Irish Pirate... you have been begging any new developers to buy the adjoining properties for weeks now.. sometimes advocating at above market rates. Now, one might think logically that you, ahem, have a financial reason to do so... as someone who also owns in Uptown,

    I would 1.) be pissed as hell if TIF money was used to buy adjacent property just because a development was going in vacant and abandoned space. The city is a dynamic animal, it changes. The building could be a godsend.. you take a risk when you buy in a neighborhood that does not have a codified reason not to build at certain heights/densities, etc. A high rise there is 100% completely appropriate and zoned for it. If you did not want to take that risk, then shame on you for not doing do diligence and going ahead and buying in that immediate area. 2.) And if they buy, using TIF money, ABOVE market value, I will choke to death from incredulity and wonder is Shiller is still somehow that would be the shadiest and most unfair real estate deal ever...

    I agree with you often, IP...but you need to let this one aspect go...even if it affects you or some acquaintences you know...

  30. J-Dog, you're mistaken about me being pro-Sedgwick. Truth be told, I was anti-mob. I was fine with people disagreeing about the project, but I never approved of UCRD's below-the-belt tactics.

    The great news is that UCRD insisted that there were many developers lining up to jump in to make this development work without TIF funds. Now that Sedgwick is out of the picture, maybe UCRD can contact the alderman's office about all these other highly motivated developers.

    Okay members of UCRD, the ball is now in your court. Get busy.

  31. Uptown Superhero,

    I don't live all that close to Maryville and I don't know anyone living adjacent to the building.

    I suggested that to lessen opposition to any big development. I think "Just Asking" lives right next door and he certainly knows how to whine.

    By upzoning that parcel and making it part of the larger Maryville development a developer could pay beyond market price and still make a good buck on the property. Then we get more density and less opposition.

    TIF money would not have to be used to do that.

    If I had my way I'd use eminent domain on all of the north side of Montrose from Clarendon to the Dearborn Parking lot and put up two ginormous buildings with an "connection" running over Hazel.

    As for your point about people buying and not realistically expecting change on a huge neighboring lot you have a valid argument.

    Littleton, I doubt many "influential" people are dreaming about an Arts Center there. Other locations make more sense.

    Everything to you revolves around the arts. One note Jefflo.

    What we need in this neighborhood is an increased density of market rate housing where appropriate. Because of changing lifestyles and gentrification this neighborhood has lost thousands of people. That's true in much of urban America. The Maryville site and some other sites can help reduce that loss.

    There ain't nuttin' "greener" than a high density urban hood. Save the planet. Support high density zoning.

    Get that done and work on the gang problems and some arts related stuff may come. Or not.

    I'd be perfectly content with more thriving theater companies offering Shakespearean productions such as "Coed Prison Sluts".

  32. Yes, UCRD, please let us know the list of developers and proposals for the property that are streaming in now, if you dont mind. Oh, I hope we get yet another Walgreens!

    And since the sisters are not proactively maintaining their property it will take the community to ensure that it is. I hope you are just as active in making sure it doesn't get in worse shape and that fines are levied appropriately since you effectivley stopped the development of it.

    Get busy....your work should have just begun now. That should be part of your "responsible" thing, right?

  33. And why do you doubt that IP?

    Influential people don't appreciate the arts or understand the economic benefits? I disagree...I could name names but I won't, it seems self-evident.

    I know art and I know Uptown.

    There may or may not be a better location but the Park District is the perfect landlord for such a facility, and that is the perfect location.

    The cost of land and facility are the biggest barriers and even in its current condition the building on the east parcel...donated...makes the idea actionable and feasible.

    The Salvation Army building which comes up repeatedly is likely in negotiations for something else, and no one is offering to donate it.

  34. Jefflo,

    you could name names, but you won't? Are you holding an envelope in your hand with the names of "influential" people who support the idea? Shades of Joe McCarthy.

    The property would not be a "donation". It would be a developer making a trade in their own self interest.

    It also would likely take millions in TIF money to renovate the building. If we're going to spend TIF money on the "arts" better near some appropriate density at Lawrence and Broadway.

    Now I'm going to end this comment now before I get too personal.

    Recently I found out that I'm the 11th reincarnation of the Guinness Lama and as such have decided that IrishPirate 2012 is going to be more serene with my comments.







    Lather, rinse, repeat!

  35. Jefflo sounds too much like jeffo and that handle is already taken. I prefer Jethro my old nickname. Its all good.....

    I don't need to name folks...poor folks and everybody in between loves the arts. Its no secret.

    Lawrence and Broadway is less dense in population then the lakefront. More self-evidence.

    An arts center would exist to serve the people, residents and visitors alike. That location is easily accessed by students from Uplift and Disney, and the many seniors close by. It has excellent transportation links.

    I would rather see TIF go towards cultural development then to just subsidize market rate housing, a grocery store and a gym.

    TIF money would not be completely necessary as there are other streams of revenue to tap into.

    Of course the developer would be donating this in their own self interest...that is what developers do.

    As long as it is in the best interest of Uptown residents it cool with me.

    " may call me a dreamer.....but I'm not the only one......"

    John Lennon (artist)

  36. Hey holy moley, where’s the mob? When you find them, let me know. And talking about “below the belt,” what would you call an organization that meets with residents and says they’re building townhomes on their street while having already filed plans for an eight-story commercial and parking garage structure... would you call them liars? No! You’d call them Sedgwick. Anyway, calm down. The will be smoke and dirt thrown up at that corner soon.

    And BTW, what UCRD said is that prior to Sedgwick’s offer another local developer made an offer for about two million less than the Sedgwick purchase price for a proposed market rate mid-rise development, and was turned down. No hoards of barbarian developers beating at non-existent gates.

    At this point, like JC said, ‘Moving forward, we will engage in pro-active planning and evaluation for the Maryville site ... to provide clear parameters needed for a planned development at this site.’
    Time to take a chill pill and move on, okay?

  37. Yes, @Media Critic, Bo knows Duke Tumatoe.
    And gracias for noticing.

    And @Atlas and @UptownSuperhero! and @Holy Moley, this next one's for you. And yours.

    Try it with Coltrane. Any Coltrane.

    Here 'tis.

    In Uptown we ain't hayseeds
    and our People ain't no mob.
    We eat soul food and burgers,
    pho tai gan and lamb kebobs.

    Although we don't drive Porsches
    in from toney River Forest,
    When fancies do with carpetbags
    our voices join in chorus.

    Atlas and 'Hero and HM,
    well just you sit right down.
    Just 'cause you post a lot of late
    don't mean you're for Uptown.

    So sorry for your Sedgwick boys,
    their dreams of public cash.
    Guess they'll go back to Daddy-O,
    ask him for their next stash.

    Don't worry that they lost this time,
    Dad's bucks he'll give his babes.
    Remember back, a local hack,
    a man we know as Abe.

    Went up 'gainst a man named Douglas,
    lost big in '58.
    But won next time then did just fine,
    in fact he did just great!

    Let's all look forth to heading north,
    let's finally speak as one.
    It's no longer about Sedgwick,
    Bo thinks their time is done.

    We're all from Uptown, one and all,
    let's hush with all the whines.
    We'll press ahead with fresh ideas
    we all can get behind.

    So join us if you think you can,
    we all would sure like that.
    A tower tall? Glass and all?
    An Art Center, short and fat?

    All possible, all doable,
    we'll work out any kinks.
    Let's just be sure to pull one oar,
    at least that's what Bo thinks!

  38. J-Dog, I apologize. You might not be aware of UCRD's actions because you weren't on their email list or you didn't attend any of the public hearings.

    What you call conflicting information coming from Sedgwick was changes they made based on community input. They're damned if they made the changes and they're damned if they don't.

    Believe me, I was not impressed with Sedgwick at all and I think another developer could do much better. I just didn't appreciate the Saul Alinsky tactics on the part of UCRD.

    I was at the pubic meeting at Weiss Hospital when the alderman did mention that no other developer had approached him about this site and a UCRD member publicly accused him of lying. Others there heard it, too. Well, where are these other developers?

  39. Sedgewick is really the best we are going to get. The reality is our area is seen as too risky. No decent developer is going to build in this area unless they are heavily subsidised by the government. We aren't in any postion to be picky. Its amazing that anyone wants to invest in our area at all.

  40. Ive spoke with a prominent contractor n the city ,being i actually build high rises ,such as Trump Tower and Blue Cross,and they are interested in building 3 high rise averaging 45 stories,wait no that was a dream i had about another neighborhood that had access to restaurants and shopping for residents who actually like to walk their neighborhood.,and then iwoke up and rembered i live in Uptown,which used to be and entertainment Mecca till halfway houses and public housing saturated the area 30 yrs ago.good luck people,your going to need it

  41. @jmisso: Either you were under the influence when you wrote your post, or you're a current honors student at Uplift.

    Let me put things in a way that you and tayiah will understand--Helen Shiller's attempts to keep Uptown "affordable" and friendly to gangs only delayed the inevitable. Uptown is now the only island of cheap developable land along the north lakefront. It may not be before this summer, but you can rest assured that developers will be beating down the doors and willing to pay a premium for the right to purchase and build on a piece of land so close to lakefront parks, CTA lines, and other amenities. They aren't going to be concerned about financing on the back of a TIF...they aren't going to be concerned about the previous crime problems or the plethora of subsidized housing and shelters...they are going to see the Maryville site as an opportunity to construct something unique and to make a good buck at the same time.

    Nice try at attempting to spook us into accepting and PAYING for more half-assed mediocrity, though. We aren't going to go through another Wilson Yard.

  42. Sorry, i just got out of my Uplift class.So explain to me why we are buliding a 45 story in Lincoln Park,three 50 story buildings in the Loop off Lake shore drive and the 40 story Admiral on Foster but when it comes to Uptown nothing,im not talking rehabbing old buildings with raxpayer money which ahppens all the time here,Im talking NEW construction.If this propery is so cheap and such a hot commodity why o why is Sedgwick the only ones to take a chance (with taxpayer help) to build back to the bar for a few more before my next rational blog

  43. jm63, you make some good points, but 90% of the zoning committee said no. It wasn't just block clubs either. Uptown United and East Lake View Chamber were also both against it. That would be kind of tough for Cappleman to ignore. I mean, why have a committee and ignore such an overwhelming vote?

  44. ".If this propery is so cheap and such a hot commodity why o why is Sedgwick the only ones to take a chance (with taxpayer help) to build here."

    Because Sedgwick was paying the Sisters who own the Maryville property for an exclusive right to develop it. They told the Zoning Committee that their option expires this April.

    So the Sisters have been making money off the property all along and Sedgwick has been spending it to keep other developers away, and here it is, two months before the option expires, and Sedgwick has been knocked out of the ballgame.

    I would imagine this saga has been watched with interest by prospective developers. Hopefully Sedgwick's dealings with the community and aldermen, past and present, will constitute a "what not do to" handbook for them. Prospective developers would be wise to approach the alderman's office as well as the Sisters.

    So in answer to your question: Why only Sedgwick? Because they were paying the Sisters.

  45. Top Twelve Lies People from Uptown Say

    12. Trader Joe's is looking at Uptown.(and also every other northside hood)

    11. That storefront is being renovated. I hope they put in a currency exchange or a bank branch.

    10. I love our Jewel.

    9. The IrishPirate's comments are always insightful and NEVER annoying.

    8. I used to see Alderman Shiller all the time around the neighborhood.

    7. If I get sick I want to go to Weiss or Thorek.

    6. The blueberry waffles at the Golden House Restaurant and Pancake House are the BEST.

    5. I've never seen a hooker on Broadway.

    4. Shiller retired entirely of her own free will. She would have kicked Cappleman's ass in a run off. All the polls showed it!

    3. There aren't THAT many gay men in Uptown.

    2. JPUSA is a community ASSet.(I guess it depends on the emphasis on the ASS) I really like how they maintain their properties!

    1. The Maryville property can't be developed without at least 30 million in TIF money. NO developers are interested in Uptown. Uptown is a ghetto. We should be paying them even more to come in!

  46. Awesome poem Bo Squidly! You got skills!

    TSN is right, they paid the Sisters for the option. It costs a lot more then they paid the Sisters to put together a proposal of this scale and scope.

    So that is why the "option" is a common practice. Nothing nefarious in that one aspect on the part of either party. But I would hope that would explain why nobody has been making counter-proposals in the meantime.

    Why is there so much confusion about this one simple fact?

    Sedgewick can easily extend the option beyond April and it would surprise me if they didn't. At this point they have 2 strikes and are going to step up to the plate again.

    The entire "developer community" has certainly been watching this saga play out and are taking notes. This has been a learning experience for everybody, even Sedgewick.

    In a strange way this proposal has helped united the Uptown community. I hope after all of this hoopla we get something built all of us can believe in.

  47. Yes, some developers may have followed this process - And most likely have been scared away at the prospect of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars for a bid with a very low probability of acceptence by the numberous groups.

    I hope Im wrong and there are others willing to spend the money to submit plans. I would bet, however, that this site remains unchanged (except for further deterioration) for at least 5 years to come.

  48. People with money to burn love to invest in commodities...which are simple things that can be bought and processed to make things that are in-demand, more expensive, and make more money for those holding the commodities. Corn is a commodity processed into corn syrup sweetener and animal feed; soybeans are processed into vegetable protein; iron ore is processed into car fenders and stainless-steel refrigerator doors; land is processed in dense urban areas into apartments, condos and stores. You have a lot of cost, if you deal in commodities, in transporting and processing and selling what is in-demand at where it is in-demand...but because there is always someone willing to pay for the added costs in the processed commodity, the commodity will sell and the commodity owner will make money. That's what's happening with Maryville--a developer buys "cheap", adds value that people want to pay for, and the developer gets those people to pay for the costs AND the added value--the developer makes money and moves on to their next money-making venture. The people posting their moans and groans here ("Waaaah, no developer will do ANYTHING at Maryville NOW...we need to have the property-tax-payers in the neighborhood fork over $30 million more so we can have one mistake replaced by another mistake!!") either are clueless about how developers operate--or they're talking out their backsides. I've dealt with many developers over my long career--they gloat over the mistakes made by others, and they wait, like vultures, to swoop in and feed off the roadkill. They learn from others' mistakes by avoiding the same pitfalls--the process that led to one developer's failure is money growing on trees for the next, because they don't spend money figuring out what NOT to do.

    So stop your hyperventilating. Forget about making your property-tax-paying neighbors' property taxes get diverted from the schools and libraries and parks and pot-hole-filling they should be paying for instead of lining a developer's pockets (while you sit in your Andersonville apartment thinking about where you're going to party tonight). Maryville WILL get redeveloped, as will the vacant lots all over Uptown and the slum buildings that can and will be restored to a higher, tax-paying purpose instead of being a siphon into our pockets.

  49. "some developers may have followed this process - And most likely have been scared away at the prospect of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars for a bid with a very low probability of acceptence by the numberous groups."

    1. Developers only make money by building stuff. No development = no money.

    2. They're not shy, shrinking scaredy-cats. They see things others can't dream of.

    3. A large available plot right on the park has got to be like catnip, particularly when they see the previous developer has been rejected and the owners don't have a buyer... or won't in a few months.

    4. Maybe they deal directly with Sedgwick to buy the option, maybe they go to the Sisters, but I would hope they go to the alderman's office as well.

    5. Sedgwick's modus operandi was like a lesson plan on what to do wrong. If future developers are smart, they'll learn from it.

    6. All of you who say "mediocre is the best we can expect; we should take the tone-deaf, bankrupt developer because we may never get a better offer" -- I'd hate to be your spouse and read that! Set the bar low, you'll get low offers. Set the bar a little higher and see who shows up.

  50. bear60640, you mean people make money by adding value and charging for it?? NO WAY - who knew that?? Thanks for the insight.

    Next your going to say "buy low and sell high" or some other lunacy.

    Nobody is hyperventalating that I know of; just expressing thoughts. Don't get so offended that some are different than your own.

  51. @Atlas: Excuse me, but I think you are one of the people yelling "THE SKY IS FALLING...SEDGWICK WAS TOLD 'NO'!!"

    Hey, I don't like the hardball tactics that were used by at least one of the neighborhood organizations against Sedgwick...but I didn't like the tactics that Sedgwick used, either. And I also didn't like the tactics that were used to build Wilson Yard and Truman's parking structure. But guess what? It does no good to go on the attack unless you have a plan of action that others will buy into...and I'm not sure what you think you're accomplishing with your approach. By all means, I'm all for a civil discourse and exchange of ideas, but the discussion over Sedgwick is at an end--I was even one of the people pushing back months ago to say that Sedgwick had the right to due process. It's pointless to keep going in circles, but it's good to learn what happened so there won't be a repeat. The world won't come to an end without Sedgwick...and Maryville won't become an open sewer for the foreseeable future.

  52. "Sorry, i just got out of my Uplift class.So explain to me why we are buliding a 45 story in Lincoln Park,three 50 story buildings in the Loop off Lake shore drive and the 40 story Admiral on Foster but when it comes to Uptown nothing"

    The Admiral building is in Uptown...although they've gone to great lengths to hide this much, which is why i do and always have found your greater point on the "primeness" of this property being overhyped by area residents.

  53. Too late, Maryvale site is already an open sewer...

  54. Looking forward I believe we need to seriously consider developing an arts and cultural center for Uptown on that east parcel adjoining the park.

    The purpose would be to serve the residents and visitors first and the businesses second. But the benefits are manifold, ALL would benefit.

    That is why this is a better location then on Broadway, it is where the people are.

    This is a rare opportunity. Now that Sedgewick has put an offer to donate the parcel on the table if there is another developer eventually they will consider it, but earlier in the process.

    I am just your local artist, and this is a very complex idea. Please have a look at a study done by the Princeton U. Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies:

    How the Arts Impact Communities:

    It is a long read, for a synopsis I recommend going to the graph on Page 3; Table 1

    In Uptown crime is an issue...we all know that and the youth are particularly involved and affected.

    Here is another link to Americans for the Arts. It relates to the impact of art and cultural development for youth. We need to look deeper into this for Uptown.

    There are many reasons why an Art Center can't happen and thousands more reasons why it can and should happen.


  55. This comment thread is becoming tedious. Truth is that no one knows what will happen at Maryville and simply repeating your opinion ad nauseum won't make it true. Feel free to post if you have something new to say, but the repetitious chest thumping is getting old.

  56. I am as guilty as the others of going "ad nauseam".

    My intentions are good, if a little pedantic at times and in the spirit of "in specialibus generalia quaerimus"

    I share IP's interest in Guinness and esoteric Buddhism, but felt his dismissive "art stuff will follow later..." deserved a response.

    Its all good......