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-   -   CHICAGO | Post Office Redevelopment (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/showthread.php?t=192697)

the urban politician Feb 21, 2016 12:32 AM

It was a tough call to make, I imagine, as the city doesn't want to scare away foreign investment by taking such actions too frequently. But the current developer has held it since 2009, has a poor track record with other such properties, hence I think it was the right thing to do.

i_am_hydrogen Feb 21, 2016 1:10 AM

I'd like to strangle Davies.

ardecila Feb 21, 2016 1:50 AM

Ugh. Davies rightfully deserves all the hate but this is a perversion of our Constitution. There are potential public uses of the building that would justify eminent domain (new train platforms, for example) but the city is not pursuing these.

Also, how does Rahm figure that no public funds will be used?

This will turn into a lawsuit, no doubt about it.

Mr Downtown Feb 21, 2016 2:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 7343174)
this is a perversion of our Constitution.

Redevelopment has been recognized as a proper public purpose since Berman v. Parker, 348 U.S. 26 (1954).

k1052 Feb 21, 2016 2:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 7343174)

Also, how does Rahm figure that no public funds will be used?

20 bucks says Rahm has something brewing behind the scenes.

Kumdogmillionaire Feb 21, 2016 3:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 7343174)
Ugh. Davies rightfully deserves all the hate but this is a perversion of our Constitution. There are potential public uses of the building that would justify eminent domain (new train platforms, for example) but the city is not pursuing these.

Also, how does Rahm figure that no public funds will be used?

This will turn into a lawsuit, no doubt about it.

I disagree. All the building code violations make it a no-brainer to take the property back. Sitting on a building that's vacant and a blight to the city to add to that makes me happy to see him lose his ownership. We need to learn from Liverpool

the urban politician Feb 21, 2016 4:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by k1052 (Post 7343228)
20 bucks says Rahm has something brewing behind the scenes.

I agree. Perhaps he's talking to Walgreens and Sterling Bay?

LouisVanDerWright Feb 21, 2016 5:02 PM

This is a totally legal use of emminent domain, it's not even stretching the definition. This building is undoubtedly blighted and the owner refuses to do anything about it. The city could probably even condemn this building if they wanted given the outstanding building violations. What's more is that the owner has been approached with multiple reasonable offers and has turned them down in favor of putting the property on the market with an obscene purchase price. I've dealt with a lot of Brits and the way business is conducted in the USA and Chicago in particular is totally foreign to them. They come from a place where land is basically universally scarce and the notion that a multi million square foot building isn't worth hundred of millions of dollars must be impossible for Davies to reconcile in his mind. Unfortunately for him he has now drawn the ire of the city and things don't typically end well for property owners whom the mayor has painted a target on.

The city has a right to fine Davies something like $10,000 a day for each day violations go uncorrected. If they want to they can simply say "alright Davies, you had 10 violations for 1000 days, now we have a $100,000,000 lien on the property" and he's done. Of course he doesn't understand that because the whole system overseas is different, but if I were him I would be running to Sterling Bays office with a signed copy of their previous offer in hand.

marothisu Feb 21, 2016 5:37 PM

God. I really hope that Sterling Bay be one of the possible people who takes this over. They probably have the actual ability to do something with the property, unlike Davies. Now, if Walgreens were to move their HQ downtown to a renovated Post Office, it would be also amazing.

ardecila Feb 22, 2016 3:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 7343192)
Redevelopment has been recognized as a proper public purpose since Berman v. Parker, 348 U.S. 26 (1954).

Don't you think we need to move beyond the flawed and racially-motivated urban renewal laws of the 1950s and 60s?

The ruling you mentioned concerns DC's effort in the 50s to tear down virtually all of Southwest - the poorest, most heavily African-American part of the city at the time - to forcibly gentrify it. Hardly a model for responsible government action.

LouisVanDerWright Feb 22, 2016 4:25 AM

^^^ You have to admit that stripping Davies of a valuable asset that he is preventing from being developed is a bit different than clear cutting an entire neighborhood, even if the underlying legal reasoning is identical. We've generally learned a lot of lessons the hard way and haven't really repeated them since. Now we have the problem of suburban style auto oriented developments cropping up in the voids left by ill advised urban renewal schemes. We don't have a problem with the city stripping non-domicile tycoons of assets they are squatting on.

Quote:

Originally Posted by marothisu (Post 7343504)
God. I really hope that Sterling Bay be one of the possible people who takes this over. They probably have the actual ability to do something with the property, unlike Davies. Now, if Walgreens were to move their HQ downtown to a renovated Post Office, it would be also amazing.

I highly doubt that there haven't been multiple long conversations between the city and Sterling Bay about this. I have a feeling the spurned Stearling Bay deal was the beginning of the end for Davies. You don't turn down the reasonable offer from the hometown hero in Chicago unless you have a much much better idea and are ready to move on it now. I see it all the time, out of town interests try to play a game, the city shuts them down. Again, in Chicago it's shit or get off the pot if you own a critical asset.

thewaterman11 Feb 22, 2016 4:27 AM

^You don't even need to go back as far as Berman v. Parker. Kelo v. New London in 2005 affirmed that eminent domain can be used for redevelopment that promises economic growth... including private use...

Mr Downtown Feb 22, 2016 4:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 7343968)
The ruling you mentioned concerns DC's effort in the 50s to tear down virtually all of Southwest .. to forcibly gentrify it. Hardly a model for responsible government action.

It doesn't matter what effects (or motivations) the early urban renewal statutes had. The Supreme Court ruled in 1954 that redevelopment of blighted areas was a valid public purpose. And in Kelo, the Court ruled that whether eminent domain for redevelopment was wise was not a constitutional question, but one to be determined by local officials.

The Heritage Foundation and other right-wingers promptly labeled as judicial activism the Supreme Court's decision to keep the law exactly what it already was. They raised holy hell about the Court not engaging in judicial activism (by substituting its judgment for that of the New London city council).

A number of states followed Kelo by substantially restricting redevelopment statutes, or eminent domain generally. Illinois was not among them.

emathias Feb 22, 2016 3:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by k1052 (Post 7343228)
20 bucks says Rahm has something brewing behind the scenes.

Does anyone else wish that Netflix or Hulu would revive that Starz series "Boss" with Kelsey Grammar to finish off the story arc? I really enjoyed the show and didn't like that it was kind of left hanging.

ithakas Feb 22, 2016 3:27 PM

Sterling Bay hired a law firm a few months ago to push the city to take action. No doubt they still have plans for the post office.

ChiHi Feb 22, 2016 3:36 PM

I'm sure this move is legal but just sets a terrible precedence for investors. As with everything in Chicago I'm sure there was some heavy political reasons behind it. Sure Davies isn't doing anything with it but it's also a massive project. Not shocking that in 6 years he couldn't get a $1+billion project started. If Related, Fifield or Sterling Bay did the same thing I'm quite certain Rahm wouldn't be making the same push. Davies just isn't very good at playing the Chicago game.

marothisu Feb 22, 2016 5:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ChiHi (Post 7344237)
I'm sure this move is legal but just sets a terrible precedence for investors.

Not sure if I agree with that. It shows investors that if they're serious about a property they're buying, to actually either do something with it or make sure it's kept up to code. They've been cited for not just a few building/health violations - but many of them. I think if this was just some 20 unit building, the city wouldn't care. We're talking about what was at least at one time the largest post office with huge economic redevelopment potential.

Hell, Davies even said he expected construction to start this year. How is anyone supposed to take him seriously?

the urban politician Feb 22, 2016 8:57 PM

Let's not forget that Davies is not a serious developer, and has a track record of this.

I don't think this action by the city will scare away outside investment.

urbanpln Feb 22, 2016 9:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ChiHi (Post 7344237)
I'm sure this move is legal but just sets a terrible precedence for investors. As with everything in Chicago I'm sure there was some heavy political reasons behind it. Sure Davies isn't doing anything with it but it's also a massive project. Not shocking that in 6 years he couldn't get a $1+billion project started. If Related, Fifield or Sterling Bay did the same thing I'm quite certain Rahm wouldn't be making the same push. Davies just isn't very good at playing the Chicago game.

This is the typical strategy the City uses to motivate absentee land owners, especially those who have large prime locations. It sends a message that it's time to start the develop process and/or partner with someone who can help you get it done. The City probably feels that this developer has missed the current development cycle, but needs to start gearing up for the next. The same strategy was used on the Riverside Site. DPD made the legislative move of placing the site on the acquisition list (within the River South TIF), and one year later threaten to issue an RFQ (seeking qualified developers to purchase the site). The owner, or majority owner (a London billionaire who's on the U.S. no-fly-list) partnered with Related or is in the process of working out a deal.

k1052 Feb 23, 2016 2:15 PM

British developer won't give up Old Main Post Office without a fight

Quote:

“I used to own one in London. The only mistake I ever made was selling it. Why pay $1 million for a Trump [Tower] apartment when you can get a micro-apartment for a whole lot less and sleep there Monday through Thursday?” Mulryan said.

“People don’t want to sit in a car for two hours and drive home to the suburbs if they’re working until 11 p.m.,” he said. “It’s not a place for people to bring three or four children. It’s a crash-pad.”
http://chicago.suntimes.com/news/7/7...-without-fight

:koko:


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