Saturday, February 17, 2024

Cornerstone Shelter Proposal Fails To Pass Zoning Board of Appeals

1140 W. Wilson (Google)

In a plot twist that none of us expected, the Cornerstone Shelter proposal for 1140 W. Wilson failed to gain majority support from the Zoning Board of Appeals yesterday. The final vote was 2-2. Since the vote split, the proposal did not pass. To pass, a measure must receive 3 affirmative votes.

We've never seen this happen in our time watching ZBA, especially when an Alderperson puts their support behind something so adamantly. Longtime Helen Shiller partner Sam Toia was one of the "yes" votes.

Is this dead in the water? Will they change plans and resubmit again? Maybe they find a location in a neighboring ward with no shelters? Matt?

For now, our Wilson Avenue businesses and current residents of the building are safe.

Edit - sent by a reader, here's a great building CCO could buy in the 47th Ward and get twice the value!


  1. That is a surprise. Toia is from the Leona's Pizza family. Ran for Democrat Committeeman in Lakeview way back. Runs some restaurant lobbying group now. Shiller seemingly own that property by herself now. I guess he gave up his ownership or sold it. I do not recall the zoning board of appeals ever voting down an alderman's wish. Maybe it has happened. It is not typical.

    I have theories. Not going to share them because they are two wild. Anyway if I am right we will know soon enough.

  2. Few things.

    1. There are supposed to be seven voting members of that board. I don't know if there are vacancies or some missed the meeting.

    2. One explanation is that the idea that Clay is in trouble is out there and people are distancing themselves. The PPP stuff has been out there for 11 months and anyone with a quarter of a brain, which I have, has to be suspicious.

    3. Another possibility is people are distancing themselves from Mayor Johnson. Maybe the two who voted against were appointed by Lightfoot or Rahmster and they're looking to screw him before their terms expire. Lotsa people distancing themselves from him. To include Pritzker, Preckwinkle and Durbin. It's like he has cooties or sumtin.

    Might be voted on again if more members show up.

    4. The illuminati is involved or Elvis. As Mojo Nixon once said "Elvis needs boats." Perhaps he needs a building on Wilson Ave too.

    1. There are supposed to be 5 voting members which includes 1 chair plus 4 commissioners. Do your homework.

    2. And whole point of the zoning board of appeals is remove aldermanic prerogative.

  3. @IrishPirate - I too notice that Preckwinkle and Pritzer teaming up to take over the migrant problem. Leaving Johnson to fly solo. As for Clay, I didn't vote for her, don't know anything about her, but I think a lot of Chicagoans are getting tired of the far left movements in Council. For example, Shot spotter. Notice that Johnson extended the contract.
    This is interesting.
    I know one thing, If Lori was in office Shot spotter would stay.

  4. This is welcome news. Ald. Clay seems committed to destroying the hard work that has gone into creating the small but growing business corridor in Uptown. I'm glad that people are waking up to her anti-business and anti-neighborhood policies.

    She's a complete disaster as Alderwoman. As someone who lives at Irving Park Rd and Marine Dr, I've seen firsthand how her migrant shelter at the former American Islamic College has ruined the entire block. You cant even wait for a bus there anymore with being aggressively hit up for money by illegals. Open drug sales and prostitution happen right on Bittersweet. And an ugly tent encampment right on LSD. It's almost third world now.

    Whoever runs against her in 2027 needs a strong Get Out The Vote operation. Remember, she got in with the help of CTU volunteers going door to door as part of a "Johnson/Clay" operation.

    That cant happen again next time.

  5. That FLATS company has been nothing but trouble. "Microapartments" was problematic, but Jay got cancer, so you couldn't impugn the business model. FLATS is giving you shelters, Uptown.