Friday, January 24, 2020

46th Ward Year In Review For 2019 From Ald. Cappleman

As we look forward to the Year of The Rat, it is good to stop for a moment and think about all we have accomplished in the past year. 2019 was a big year with the exciting election of our new mayor, Lori Lightfoot, and impressive projects that we initiated or completed in the 46th Ward. We saw new entertainment venues, groundbreaking for 38 new affordable housing units, stunning streetscape improvements, and planned upgrades to schools and parks. With all of this happening here in our ward, it's understandable why we are seeing people coming from all over the Chicagoland to enjoy our wonderful neighborhoods.

After obtaining the necessary state and city funding, the Uptown Theatre is now in the process of raising the remaining funds through a not-for-profit that was established last September. It is anticipated that the funding will be in place by late spring. The owner, Jerry Mikkelson, tells me that he expects construction to begin soon afterwards. The theater will boost economic development and create more job opportunities. Click hee to view a video that highlights some of the wonderful features of the theater. 
  • Le Nocturne (4810 N. Broadway), a dance and night club, opened up August 2019 at 4810 N. Broadway. Featuring a strong French influence (owner Francois Crokaert grew up in France), this boutique club is located in the heart of Uptown's Entertainment District.
  • The Baton (4713 N. Broadway) relocated to their new location in March 2019. The Baton, opened 50 years ago by owner Jim Flint, is known across the country for their drag shows. Special guests in the past have included Joan Crawford, Sammy Davis, Jr, Kirk Douglas, Robert Wagner, Shirley McLaine, Joan Rivers, Madonna, Janet Jackson, RuPaul, and Chris Farley.
  • The Double Door (1050 W. Wilson) The owner of this famous Chicago venue is working out some necessary changes and is still planning to open in the near future.
  • Chicago Market, (4620 N. Broadway) which will be located within the Entertainment District at the Gerber Building on the NW corner of Broadway and Wilson, has some water infiltration issues in the basement of the building that need to be worked out with CTA. The Chicago Market is a member-owned cooperative and you can become a member of this exciting opportunity here. Currently in the Gerber Building windows, you can enjoy the mesmerizing, glowing art display called Chameleon Blind by artist Mara Baker.
  • Club Della Robbia (4804 N. Broadway) has had some common small business delays, but work continues at this location that will open next door to the famous Green Mill.

Due to more entertainment venues, a noticeable reduction in violent crime and an increase in infrastructure improvements such as the Wilson Red and Purple CTA Station, it's no surprise that more people are moving into the area.To help stabilize rental costs due to the high demand for housing, more rental units will likely be created. We are fortunate that the 46th Ward continues to have the largest number of government subsidized affordable housing units in the City of Chicago. Unfortunately, the cost to build government subsidized housing is double the amount that it takes to build market-rate housing. However, over the past year, I have been working with a number of developers to build more government subsidized affordable units within the 46th Ward and we broke ground on Sarah's Circle's new building at the corner of Sheridan and Leland, which will include 38 new government subsidized apartments.


4555 N. Sheridan, known as the Upshore Chapter, is a 138-unit building that was completed earlier this year. They are currently in negotiations for a lease of their retail space.

  • Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School (3751 N. Broadway). This 5-story addition was done to address the needs of the current student enrollment. 
  • 839 W. Agatite, is a development by Lewke Partners Real Estate Specialists, featuring 20 units of one and two-bedroom units. It is located next door to the newly completed town homes that are part of the 811 Uptown project.
  • 845 W. Agatite, a large courtyard apartment building, went through a total gut rehab. No zoning change was requested.
  • 4430 N. Sheridana 4-story mixed-use building, was completed earlier this year by Quest Realty Group. A zoning variance was later granted to allow for the first floor to provide combined rental housing and retail space. 


3817- 45 N. Broadway is a 93-unit apartment building with retail on the first floor and beautifully restored terracotta eagles above the second floor at the W. Sheridan and N. Broadway intersection. An expanded version of the former Starbucks reopened October, 2019 in its former location. The developer, Dave Gassman, is currently leasing a number of completed residential units and expects all construction to be completed in the summer of 2019.

4654 N. Sheridan Road will be the site of Sarah's Circle's 100% affordable housing development featuring 38 studio apartments. In addition, their 50-bed interim housing program will also move to this site. The first floor will be supportive services space accessible to both Interim Housing and Permanent Housing residents with reception, staff offices, private consultation rooms, a group room, a computer lab, dining and kitchen space. I was on-site to celebrate the groundbreaking of this amazing facility with Sarah's Circle Executive Director, Kathy Ragnar, City of Chicago's Department of Housing Commissioner, Marisa Novara and Illinois Housing Development Authority Managing Director, Christine Moran.

  • 927 W. Irving Park is a 28-unit new construction rental building that is expected to be completed by early summer. No zoning change was requested for this site.
  • 4720 N. Sheridana new construction development by Quest Realty Group, is a 6-story, 30 unit building that should be completed by February.
  • 1124 W. Wilson, the former Wilson Men's Hotel's renovation is expected to be completed by the end of this year. The building owner is following the guidelines set out by the SRO Ordinance. No zoning change requested. 
  • The Darlington (4700 N. Racine) is now going through extensive renovations. The developer, Elmdale Partners, will be restoring the historic marquee on this building. The building owner is following the guidelines set out by the SRO Ordinance. No zoning change requested.
  • 4740 N. Winthropa development by Cedar Street, will be a new construction, 4-story, 84-unit residential building. Expected completion date is the first quarter of 2021.
  • The Lorali (1039 W. Lawrence) went through a zoning change to allow for a full remodel of this SRO building. The upzone was needed by the Building Group because the zoning at this site did not match the existing building, which was required for renovations. The building owner is following the guidelines set out by the SRO Ordinance.
  • 4707 N. Malden is an SRO associated with Mercy Housing. This full remodel is expected to be completed in late spring. The guidelines of the SRO Ordinance were followed for this rehab. Residents were relocated to another site so that the construction could occur.
  • 4858 N. Kenmore is a 7-unit condominium building that is almost completed. No zoning change requested.

4502-04 N. Beacon went through a zoning change to build a 4-story, 9-unit condominium building with 10 indoor parking spaces. The site is currently an asphalt surface lot for cars. The developer Steve Sgouras expects construction to begin in the spring. 

  • 4601 N. Broadway, a planned development located on the northeast corner of Broadway and Wilson is expected to begin construction in 2021.
  • The former Bridgeview Bank Building (4753 N. Broadway) was purchased by Cedar Street in 2019.  Plans for this location are being finalized. 
  • 4626-30 N. Malden, the owner of this parcel, which is made up of two double city lots, is expected to begin a new construction, residential project on one half of the property later in 2020. No zoning change has been requested for the current plan. 
  • 3726-28 N. Lake Shore Drive, a new construction, 36-unit building with 1:1 parking is expected to begin construction later in 2020.
  • 3921 N. Sheridan will be a new construction, transit oriented development located on the southeast corner of Sheridan and Dakin. It will be a 7-story mixed use development with 120 rental apartments. Work is set to begin before summer.
There are a number of other development proposals that will be listed once they have gone through the 46th Ward approval process if there's an upzone, zoning variance, or planned development request.


After more than six years, the Uptown artist Lowell Thompson's long awaited circular sculpture at the new plaza now graces the front of the Riviera Theatre! Thompson describes the wheel of colors as representing our community's great diversity.This site has become the #1 selfie spot for concert-goers and passersby.

"Uptown's Colored Wheel" is part of the $6M streetscaping project to improve Broadway, Gunnison to Wilson. The project features new sidewalks, freshly-resurfaced streets, improved pedestrian safety features, and new trees. It was done to attract more entertainment venues into the area, and it's a safe bet to say it worked.

You may have noticed the new rainbow crosswalks along Halsted. This project is a partnership between the 46th Ward, 44th Ward, and Northalsted Business Alliance. This area has become one of the largest business districts of LGBTQ-owned business and a destination for people all over the country, which has created a huge economic boon to local businesses. The work on 14 crosswalks were completed in time for the 50th Annual Pride Parade last June.
The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT), in collaboration with the Northalsted Business Alliance (NBA), Alderman Cappleman's and Alderman Tunney's office, is seeking the public's input on the Halsted Street Rainbow Pride Crosswalks installed by the Northalsted Business Alliance on Halsted Street between Melrose Street and Bradley Place. The installation was permitted through CDOT's Make Way for People Program, a placemaking initiative that support public-private partnerships to transform the public way through creative temporary tactical improvements. Through this pilot project, CDOT is seeking to gain a better understanding of the transportation and community impacts of creative crosswalk installations in the public way. The survey provided in the link below will help the City and its community partners gain gather valuable information on the impacts of the Halsted Street Rainbow Pride Crosswalks in the Lakeview community. We greatly appreciate your support in filling out this brief survey and look forward to learning more about the installation.

Menu Program: Each of the 50 Wards in the City of Chicago is allocated equal funding for discretionary infrastructure improvements in the community. Some of the ways the 46th Ward spent those funds include:
  • Repaving 11 blocks of residential streets ($444,720.48)
  • Repaving 4 residential alleys ($162,922.80)
  • Sidewalk and curb/gutter replacements throughout the 46th Ward ($104,899.80)
  • Fencing protection and bus stop improvements along Lake Shore Drive ($74,304.09)
  • Residential street lighting upgrades on 3700 N Wilton, and 3800 N Kenmore
*Not all of these projects were completed or installed in 2019, but have been paid for in 2019 and are scheduled for completion in the 2020 construction season*

Smart street lighting: CDOT has installed new LED Smart Lighting on nearly every street and alley in the ward. This new technology provides a better, safer illumination, while also electronically notifying the city when an individual light is out of order. Additionally, new street lighting was completed (after a 2nd attempt) on the 3600-3700 blocks of Broadway in Lakeview.  

Redefine the Drive: Last October, the Illinois Department of Transportation and the Chicago Department of Transportation presented their final renderings for the entrances and exits off Lake Shore Drive at Montrose, Wilson, and Lawrence. As expected, the plans allow access to all three streets from Lake Shore Drive. Click here to view the final plans. 

2019 brought a number of new murals, including Uptown United's mural gallery on the 4600 block of N. Clifton at Broadway.

    GILL PARK PLAYLOT (825 W. Sheridan Rd.)
    Completed in 2019 after more than 10 years of planning and fundraising from multiple sources including private individuals, the Cubs, East Lake View Neighbors, local developers and 46th Ward infrastructure funds, this playlot has become one of the most popular playgrounds for kids throughout the ward.
    With the passage of the Clarendon/Montrose Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) District 811 Uptown project in 2016, $4.6M was contributed to the Chicago Park District for the Clarendon Park Community Center renovation. Without this TIF, it would not have been possible for us to get rehab dollars to finance this project, and due to the grave condition of the building, waiting for funds to later accrue would not have come in time to save this beautiful building. The rehab will occur in two stages: the first stage will be using funds from the TIF and Chicago Park District to shore up infrastructure issues that cannot wait any longer. The second stage of this extensive renovation will complete the full project when additional funds are raised. The rehab will include draining work to prevent further flooding, a new gym, redesigned meetings rooms, and a new dance space for Kuumba Lynx. Click here to view a video that provides a walk through of what the completed rehab will look like.

    • McCutcheon Elementary: This school is one of only six schools in the entire Chicago Public Schools system without its own gym.  I knew how important it was for the health and wellness of students at this particular schoolone quarter of whom experience homelessness and a program for children with cognitive disabilitiesto have its own facility. Due to my and former Principal Gwyn Kram's successful advocacy, the school received $10 million for a new gymnasium from CPS. A recent lawsuit by a neighborhood community group has delayed this project.
    • Courtenay Child Parent Center property (4425 N. Magnolia): On behalf of neighbors, my office advocated with the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) Board of Education and CPS senior leadership for the district to make changes at the vacant, flood-damaged Courtenay Child Parent Center preschool building. After some delays, CPS has told my office that the property is now expected to be listed on the market during the 1st quarter of 2020.  

    The highly anticipated next phase of the Chicago Transit Authority's Red and Purple Modernization Project is now underway. The Lawrence L Stop is scheduled to close completely at the end of 2020 for 30 months of construction. Once completed, the stop will be ADA compliant. Click here for more information. If you have any questions about this construction process, visit or call 331-3-3-2499. Sign up for alerts at

    • 19th District Police welcomed Commander Chris Papaioannou, who joined the district in April. He previously served as the Commanding Officer of the Recruit Training Section of the Education and Training Division. The Community Policing Office, led by new CAPS Sergeant Tracey Edwards, is joined by the 19th District's Mental Health liaison officer, Officer Megan Woods as the LGBTQ+ liaison (the only LGBTQ+ liaison in the City), and Officer Anastasia Patterson as the Troubled Buildings officer.
    • 20th District Police greeted Commander Brendan McCrudden in October. He has a diverse background where he served as a lieutenant in the 009th District, sergeant for the Area North Detective Division and a Mobile Strike Force Sergeant. He was also assigned to SWAT and the Special Operations section. 
    • New crime fighting strategy: Last year the 19th and 20th districts upgraded their stations with Strategic Decision Support Centers. The SDSCs are specialized control rooms where police cameras are monitored by officers 24/7. The SDSC has been instrumental in making a number of drug arrests in the area. When illegal activity is observed on the camera, a police officer in the area is then immediately contacted to make an arrest. The camera footage is used as evidence in court.

    The 46th Ward is one of the most ethnically and economically diverse wards in the city, with over 92 languages spoken and the highest number of affordable housing units in the city. With the growth we're experiencing, my goal is to ensure that the unique diversity we all cherish is both protected and celebrated.
       Best wishes for a wonderful and prosperous year,

    1 comment:

    1. We had a relatively good year here in the 46th Ward and more specifically Uptown. Lotsa great change going on and barring a worldwide flu pandemic more good things should come this year.

      I believe that the entire Uptown neighborhood had ZERO homicides last year. If that's correct that's the first time that's happened in the thirty plus years I've been here and it wouldn't surprise me if it's the first time since the 1940's or 1950's that has occurred--or not occurred.

      Now part of that is just luck as we have had gang related shootings, but it's not entirely luck. Many people deserve credit particularly the Capplemaniac with his emphasis on "best practices" and data driven programs. Also I'd add in cops who've done a better job over the last few years and prosecutors/judges who've sent some of our more violent neighbors to prison for a few decades.

      There are others who deserve credit too, but don't downplay the importance of sending a relative handful of "bad" actors away to jail.

      The biggest event of importance to Uptown this last year was the Capplemaniac's reelection. Most of the credit for that goes to him and his hubby Richard for all the hard work they've done for decades and the good will they've built up.

      However, given how nearly everything went against him in the runup to the election, most especially Ed "Honest Ed" Burke's federal indictment and the voter discontent it brought down on incumbents, his hard work saved the day.

      The unfortunate Lightfoot endorsement of Marianne "Ginger Menace" Lalonde almost did him in, but sometimes the right person wins. Good thing is when Lala runs next time and she likely will she won't be getting any Lightfoot endorsement. I think Da Mare is quite annoyed with the Democratic Socialists she's dealing with in the council and won't want anymore true believers who refuse to compromise.

      I'd also like to thank every single person who voted for James Cappleman--like Virginia born Union General George H. Thomas at Chickamauga you held the line and saved the day. You are the Rocks of Uptown and songs should be written about you.

      Every vote counts. I'd also like to thank myself for the small role I played in outing the Ginger Menance's showing up at the "rally" in front of Capp's condo where the group chanted and suggested he was racist. Thanks to the guy who posted the video too.

      Calling the guy who worked so hard for Sarah's Circle over stiff community opposition racist is both wrong and stupid. That could have cost him the election, but thankfully it didn't.

      Placing tents in front yards, chants of racism directed against good people and bricks tossed through windows did NOT carry the day. In fact it did just the opposite.

      This will likely be Capp's last term as I'm guessing he and Richard are ready to retire, but the good they've done will continue after he's left office. I just hope that someone with similar ideas, goals and a strong work ethic replaces him.

      No, I'm not going to run so don't get your hopes up. It would be amusing, but what if I got elected? We need a good alderman not an internet wiseass who can type 70 words per minutes and more if fueled by alcohol.

      I'd also like to thank the African immigrant community who really rallied behind Cappleman. I met some of them after the election and encounter others who work/own some of our local restaurants. You give me hope that the immigrant experience will continue and make America a better place.

      One woman told me it was her first time voting as an American since she had only gotten citizenship slightly before the election. Good for her and good for us.

      The rant is ended go in peace and enjoy the non sticking snow.