Wednesday, June 22, 2016

At Last! Maryville Development Plan Receives Final Approval From City Council

Seven and a half years after the 3.5-acre property at Montrose and Clarendon first went under contract, and nearly six years after the City Council voted unanimously to create a TIF district to make it more attractive to investors, the City Council approved a proposed development plan for the site today.

The final vote was 37 for, 13 against, with Ald. Osterman making a passionate speech against the passage of a TIF-funded project, and Ald. Cappleman equally passionately rebutting his argument. Interestingly, Ald. Moreno also spoke against the TIF, even though he himself was one of the affirmative votes in the creation of the TIF six years ago this month.

The City Council vote approving Maryville as a TIF in 2010
It's a huge day for those who have worked for years to see something other than boarded-up buildings and empty lots along Clarendon. This clears the way for development to take place.

November 2015 rendering of the first proposed new building
It's been a long time coming.

We tip our hats to former alderman Helen Shiller for imagining the possibilities and setting the wheels in motion for the creation of the TIF district, and to Alderman James Cappleman for seeing the project through the lengthy vetting process. It's a good legacy for both of them, and they should be proud for many reasons:
  • The religious order that owns the property will receive a large sum of money from the sale to continue their good work. 
  • The Clarendon Park fieldhouse will get desperately needed funding to go toward the overdue repairs to the facility. 
  • The Low Income Housing Trust Fund will get an infusion of nearly six million dollars, some of which will go toward the housing-first initiative for the chronically homeless people living under Lake Shore Drive.
  • New affordable housing will be created in the development.
  • A large property that's been off the tax rolls since FDR's presidency will start paying taxes that support city services.
  • New businesses and residents will come to Uptown.
We leave you with Etta, who says it best.

Update: This City Council meeting lasted five and a half hours. If you have the intestinal fortitude to wade through the voice-recognition-generated transcript, have at it. (There is no record in the transcript of how aldermen voted, only what was picked up from the main microphones.)


  1. Did ONE(Organization of the Northeast) write that impassioned speech for Osterman or just give him a few bullet points to focus on? I'm serious. Every day with Osterman is a sorta twisted Groundhogs Day where he's afraid to see the shadow of ONE behind him. What he's afraid of I don't know. I guess growing up in the 48th Ward organization means always trying to avoid even the tiniest big of opposition in that ward. BOO!(Harry wets his pants and runs away)

    As for the other "No" votes I can only speculate. Pawar may be reconsidering not running for reelection and may also want to keep those terrifying ONE people happy or perhaps he's planning a mayoral run. Reilly clearly wants to run for MARE as do some of the others and they may want to portray themselves as fiscal watchdogs. Woof woof.

    Some may genuinely oppose it on philosophical or fiscal grounds. There are legitimate reasons to oppose it. It's just the legitimate reasons to support it are better. They're really better if you happen to live in the 46th Ward and go by the Maryville site frequently.

    Now to add to the music UU has provided to celebrate today's vote I offer "HIP HIP HOORAY" from the Troggs.

    Now I know the opposition to this is sad right now. I sat there yesterday and listened to the stupid presentation by Marc Kaplan and my memory went back to other stupid presentations he made when Shiller was alderman. However, this time he was on the losing side. That made me smile. Actually I think my belly danced a bit as I guffawed.

    I know what's its like to be on the losing side. It both sucks and blows at the same time. So I leave those of you who are unhappy with this vote a little song that may describe your feelings at the moment. Here it is. Bon apetit!

  2. Great news, thanks for keeping the Uptown Community abreast of this development. Osterman and Moreno are playing politics with this, the vote gave them both a good opportunity to blowhard for the left. Glad their crying was just noise. Both of them can go wailing back to all the private development going on in their Wards and remember you need to spend money to make money.

  3. I do wonder if Ostermann did this due to approving a somewhat similar project in his ward on Broadway (though without using TIF funds) and just voted no to appease the super liberals?

  4. They just voted to keep it OFF the tax rolls for the next 18 years. This TIF ends in 2034