Wednesday, January 3, 2018

"A Redevelopment Boom, Most Notably Uptown"

Part of Uptown's changing
skyline, 811 Uptown, 01/01/18
Crain's sponsored a round table discussion this past fall regarding Chicago's Changing Skyline. With that title, it was (as one would expect) mostly about new construction downtown, but then ....
"What's one 'hot' Chicago neighborhood you're working in currently?

Elizabeth Gagliardi, Senior Vice President, Jones Lang LaSalle: Neighborhoods on the North Side are seeing a redevelopment boom, most notably Uptown. It's got transit accessibility—including the enhanced Wilson Red Line L stop—proximity to Lake Michigan and a complementary mix of independent and large national retail, which retains the area's unique neighborhood character while offering access to convenient necessities.

A perfect example of the Uptown boom is The Draper at 5050 N. Broadway, a new conversion project from Cedar Street Companies that will feature attainable rental prices, smaller units and elevated amenities in an attractive, vibrant atmosphere. We're also expecting continued growth in River North and River West, especially with the relief of the city's planned manufacturing district spurring a redevelopment plan of nearly 600 acres of land there.

Morris Gershengorin, President, Real Restoration Group: We're also working in Uptown as both owners and contractors on multiple multifamily projects, and have seen a huge spike in demand for updated units. There's a great sense of community that we take to heart when formulating plans for development there. We believe demand will only keep growing as companies continue to move their headquarters to urban areas rather than suburban locations."


  1. If and it's a big IF Amazon opens a second HQ in Chicago expect the greater downtown, near south side, and north side real estate markets to go crazy.

    You're basically talking about adding the economic weight of an Oak Park or Evanston to Chicago in a matter of a handful of years.

    If I had to pick one city likely to get the HQ I'd pick Chicago. That being said with the number of cities involved it's likely to go to some other city.

    Regardless of tax incentives etc if it does happen I will be standing at State and Madison twerking with joy. A certain local artist will be jealous of my superior performance.

  2. "attainable rental prices, smaller units and elevated amenities"? WTH does attainable rental prices mean? Attainable for WHO exactly? Meaning there are trust fund babies and wealthy white people willing to pay exorbitant prices for a tiny unit with luxury finishes and amenities? If there's one thing that is for certain - attainable is not affordable.

    1. Some rhetorical questions for you.

      1. Is your IQ around room temperature?

      2. Are you familiar with the concept of supply and demand?

      The units being built in Uptown will add to the overall housing market thereby driving up the supply and theoretically having a downward effect on the prices of lesser units in the overall market.

      You want to see higher housing prices? Stop building.

      Look at San Francisco for an example or even dare I say Lincoln Park.

      Supply and demand.

      Lather, rinse, repeat.

      Please don't respond the overall IQ of the nation has dropped enough after Trump's tweets today.

    2. Affordable is relevant to your income. I, for one, am tired of people like you who seem to think that new Uptown housing developments should only be catering to the homeless and jobless. You can't build a good neighborhood and attract new businesses if none of its residents have any money to spend at those businesses. Chicago is a huge city, with a diverse selection of housing options for people of all incomes. If Uptown isn't in your budget, then find one that is. I live here because it was what I could afford when I wanted to buy a condo, and like any property owner, I want to see my investment grow. This is still one of the most affordable neighborhoods in the city. Would you prefer everything was free?

  3. ...."AFFORDABLE"(??), or "Attainable", or "Reasonable", or "Fair", or "Obtainable", or "Reachable", or "Achievable", or "Accessible", or "Approachable", ad-infinitum!!!! ...None of these words has a definitive meaning, except to the person using any one of these *Non_Definitive* words. ....As for (who/whom??) will be living at this location, I suspect that they'll be working people (NOT minimum wage workers), who'll be making a fairly decent salary as compared the median salary for this type of building. ....This building's owner(s) set aside 3% of it's units for occupancy as "*Affordable_Units*" (once again, whatever that word means), and another 7% funding into an off-site "*Affordable_Housing_Fund*" (once again, whatever that word "*Affordable*" means). ....Now, is this set_aside a "*Fair*" arrangement, once again, it depends upon who is using the word "Fair"!!

    ....(IMHO), this "*SILLY*" back-&-forth argument about what should be built, and where it should be built, (for me personally, is getting rather *Tiresome*, to say the least). ...A private developer, using his own private funds, and building on privately owned land. should be able to build whatever units he/she wants, at whatever pricing point he/she chooses, as they have NO financial obligation to anyone other than to their lenders (if any). ....However, IF public lands, and/or public funds are being used then the pubic (all of the public), not just some income levels have a say_so as to where, when, and what gets built, and by (who/whom??).

    ....Now IF we're talking "*Morality*" here, then once again, "*Whose_Morality*" (*Yours*, *Mine*, *Theirs*, or *Someone_Else's*??).

  4. I just wonder who can afford to rent these apartments? They're as big as a tin can and they cost north of $2000 for a one bedroom. Who are these people.
    I also wonder, with all the low priced land on the south side, why developers aren't rushing to build over on the south side. It would be a great way to move the gangs and crime out of the area; but then again, you would get the progressive Dems like Chris Kennedy complaining about it. You just can't win can you?

    1. Lianna_You_Said: "I just wonder who can afford to rent these apartments? They're as big as a tin can and they cost north of $2000 for a one bedroom. Who are these people"
      (Ans.) ....People with fairly good jobs, which (IMHO), *IS_GOOD* for the neighborhood in general.

      Lianna_You_Also_Said: "I also wonder, with all the low priced land on the south side, why developers aren't rushing to build over on the south side. It would be a great way to move the gangs and crime out of the area"
      (Response) ....Actually some are doing just as you suggest, and are building over on the "South_Side of town, though a *LOT_MORE* needs to be built there, and on the West_Side as well). ....See Article Here:

    2. I visited one of the newer apt bldgs in Uptown and they wanted $2300 for a one bedroom. My jaw almost dropped to the floor....are you kidding me???? That means that the occupants / renters would have to be making at least $80K- $100K to afford that kind of rent. Where do I get that job?

    3. .....Well Yes, there are people who make $80K to $100K per year, and it's not all that unusual to find a great many such people in a place like Chicago ....Many professionals make that kind of money, as well as many tradesmen, and skilled workers of all types. ....As a matter of fact, a great many of the construction workers on that 811_Uptown building probably make that kind of money. ....Now-a-days, it's all about skills, and talents, along with demand for those various skills, or talents which determines the amount of money you can command as a salary.

  5. Homeless and jobless don't make up the entire population of uptown. Pretty sure I have a job and home...

    1. How dare you! Don't you know the only people living in Uptown should be those who can't afford market rate housing? LOL

  6. In the early days of the 21st Century, Helen Shiller’s rabid supporters used to picket and protest outside of rehabbed buildings during real estate open houses, in an effort to convince potential condo buyers that they wouldn’t be “welcome” in Uptown—“gentrification unwanted”. Problem is that old vintage buildings are expensive to maintain and repair, unless you get Helen Shiller to hand over a couple million in property tax dollars (aka, Wilson Yard TIF money given to Voice of the People); or you let property go unrepaired and run-down and become a confirmed slumlord (aka, Lawrence House and Menetti). Or you get people in those buildings who have the financial capability to repair and maintain those buildings. The reality is that the Shilleristas painted themselves into a corner by not reaching out to different socio-economic groups when they could, and they’re still tilting at windmills to the bitter end in a neighborhood that isn’t what it used to be in 1999. A vibrant neighborhood needs a vibrant cross-section of people with different backgrounds and different approaches and different socio-economic statuses. The Days of the Tunnel-Visioned Shilleristas are ending, and the “who can afford these places” crap is their death rattle in Uptown.

  7. Bear Bear Bear you ignorant ursine slut!

    I recall better stories than that. In the mid 90's buildings being converted to condos were vandalized with graffiti: NO CONDOS, NO GENTRICATION, etc etc etc. Mostly in Sheridan Park, but in other parts of Uptown too.

    After seeing your post I decided to take a gander at the "Uptown Uprising" page. Seems Ryne and the Twerker are talking about all this new development citywide leading to overbuilding and a stop to gentrification. Ryne even talks about "holding the line" on gentrification.

    Now gentrification may slow down or speed up in Uptown because of various market forces, but over the long term it will continue. It's almost as inevitable as aging--which isn't kind to most of us and Ryne in particular--SNAP.

    The amusing thing is that by delaying development by decades in Uptown Shiller actually made longer term gentrification more likely. If the Wilson stop had been rebuilt 20 years ago in the half ass manner then typical of the CTA much of the development we'll see around there over the next few years wouldn't happen.

    Also by delaying the development she made it more likely that denser and more gentrified developments would take hold. Another benefit is that she made her successor and far superior Alderman, that would be the Capplemaniac, more popular because of all the developments popping up in a short time frame.

    Now the Capplemeister is a darn and possibly damn good alderman, but it takes more than just hard work to see all the development we're seeing. It takes a local and regional real estate economy and in our particular instance a former alderman who delayed development as best she could.

    On behalf of long term residents of Uptown I thank you Helen!

    Let me make a war time analogy since formerly young Ryne talked about "holding the line". When the German army moved west during the Battle of the Bulge it was thought to be a major victory for them. In actuality it hastened the defeat of the German Army and resulted in their demise happening earlier.

    Similar thing here. By delaying gentrification Shiller hastened the lasting victory of gentrification in Uptown.

    She won battles here and there by downsizing properties and 20yr agreements keeping some buildings low income, but those agreements end. She put short term goals over long term goals. If she had been smarter and more astute she could have better hindered gentrification here. Thankfully she's neither smart nor astute. She is however working diligently on the west side. Sorry west siders!

    1. Pirate, you pompous *ss! That wasn’t even Saturday Night, let alone Live! I thought there would be better stories recalled, but I wanted to make a particular point. And Uptown Uprising may have to reinvent itself as Uptown Treading Water, or Austin Uprising. Karma is a wonderful thing.

    2. Bear shouldn't you be hibernating?

      Yes, the Karma train has pulled up to the Uptown Uprising Station. At some point they'll hop on and run off to Albany Park or the west side and try to stop gentrification there.

      Perhaps they can do a sit in/hunger strike in one of the south side high schools that Rahm wants to close. You know the high schools that have a student body less than 200 kids in schools often designed for 2000 or more.

      You want better stories recalled? How about 20+ yrs ago when a hooker walking down my side street asked me if I wanted a "date" around 8am or so. I requested politely that she take her business elsewhere as kids were heading out of their homes to go to school.

      Ok, I wasn't overly polite, but she told me to do something anatomically impossible to myself and something that GOP Senate candidates want to do to kids in Alabama. She then started running down the middle of the street screaming "fire, fire, fire".

      Haven't seen a street hooker in Uptown for years. Damn gentrification!

    3. Yup, IP, I ought to be curled up in a warm cave, snacking on low-cal sticks and pebbles, but stuff happens.

      There used to be a “workin’ girl” named Amanda next door in one of our fine Section 8 buildings—her back porch was very close to my bedroom window, and she had a habit of going out on that porch at 2 in the morning, screaming “SOMEONE CALL THE POLICE! MY BOYFRIEND IS TRYIN TO *KILL* ME!” Convenient way of running off a john, I guess. She did it for the last time during my aging parents’ last visit, which led me to tell her that I’d call 911 on HER. My mother was wide-eyed—a very educational experience for her to take back to the farm. I guess I wasn’t overly polite, either :)

      Keep telling the stories, IP, so the new Uptowners will know just how far the neighborhood has come up!

  8. ....Oh, BTW!! ....4 new mid, and high rise buildings will be breaking ground in Uptown this year (2018). ....One 7 story building at Sheridan & Broadway, and three buildings (12 stories, 9 stories, & 7 stories), virtually all at the same time, along the 2 block stretch of Wilson Avenue, from Sheridan to Broadway. ....It's a construction swamp that Uptown seems doomed to be struck in for some time to come, and IMHO happily stuck within, but still a traffic nightmare!! ....See Link Here: