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  #20081  
Old Posted Aug 26, 2013, 12:12 PM
denizen467 denizen467 is offline
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Originally Posted by spyguy View Post
Ald. Smith's attempts to kill off economic development in her ward seem to be working:
So are Proco Moreno's and Solis's. Thanks to Proco Moreno, a historic industrial structure on Elston has now been a pile of rubble since last year because he doesn't like the owner of the fast food chain that wanted to invest there. Thanks to both Danny Solis and Proco Moreno, a very large industrial site across the street, alongside the river, might lose $57 million of investment by a Ford dealership because the aldermen want Ford to find a Latino owner for it. Despite the fact that Ford isn't even awarding new dealerships to anyone as it did pre recession, and this is just a relocation from a previously existing dealer site.

Listening to nimbys is at least part of the job description of an alderman. Quixotic efforts at social engineering, at the expense of city redevelopment and filling the tax coffers, not so much.

http://www.chicagobusiness.com/artic...d-dealers-plan
Quote:
City Council's Chick-fil-A foe goes after Ford dealers plan
By Greg Hinz August 12, 2013
...
Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Fox Motors wants to open a full-service, $57 million Ford dealership on a 17-acre site just north of the intersection of Fullerton and Elston avenues that would employ an estimated 200 people.

But even though a needed rezoning has the backing of local Ald. Scott Waguespack, 32nd, the matter twice has stalled in the council Zoning Committee, with committee Chairman Danny Solis, 25th, saying Ford Motor Co. needs to get a dealership here into the hands of Latino owners.

Mr. Solis has been pushing for one particular Latino businessman, who in the past two and a half years has contributed $6,800 to a political campaign fund controlled by the alderman. ...
To add injury to insult, the Tiger Direct (formerly a Circuit City) in between the above two locations just went out of business this month. So, the only signs of life on that entire stretch between the Home Depot and the tennis complex is now a lone Staples.
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  #20082  
Old Posted Aug 26, 2013, 12:17 PM
denizen467 denizen467 is offline
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Sic transit gloria mundi.
Maybe it's impractical, maybe it's blasphemous, but couldn't there at least have been an effort to save the spire / tower portion?
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  #20083  
Old Posted Aug 26, 2013, 1:46 PM
LouisVanDerWright LouisVanDerWright is offline
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Originally Posted by denizen467 View Post
So are Proco Moreno's and Solis's. Thanks to Proco Moreno, a historic industrial structure on Elston has now been a pile of rubble since last year because he doesn't like the owner of the fast food chain that wanted to invest there. Thanks to both Danny Solis and Proco Moreno, a very large industrial site across the street, alongside the river, might lose $57 million of investment by a Ford dealership because the aldermen want Ford to find a Latino owner for it. Despite the fact that Ford isn't even awarding new dealerships to anyone as it did pre recession, and this is just a relocation from a previously existing dealer site.

Listening to nimbys is at least part of the job description of an alderman. Quixotic efforts at social engineering, at the expense of city redevelopment and filling the tax coffers, not so much.
Another example: the bullshit shutdown of the Congress Theater. Moreno basically singlehandedly threw every city agency at the Congress and still wasn't able to shut it down (after all they had passed every inspection for the past 8 years and didn't have a single strike on their liquor license). Finally he was able to get the license revoked (though they are appealing it) on two bullshit charges: allowing patrons to have drugs and failing to call 911 when a fight broke out. What was their evidence of the drugs? All the instances where the theater busted patrons and turned them into the cops. What happened during the fight? There were already 4-5 under cover cops in the audience in anticipation of it being a wild show and a horde of cops descended as soon as the fight broke out. Why would you call the cops when they are already swarming?

As a result, the entire section of Milwaukee between Armitage and California continues to be a dead zone. Moreno struck because the owner of the theater had almost 10 different properties along that stretch purchased or under contract in anticipation of a massive redevelopment of that area. He actually personally called various brokers and property owners demanding they cancel their contract with the owner and made threats against them if they refused. Talk about a complete overstepping of bounds, frankly I'd sue Moreno if I were Carranza for tortious interference in a contract which would be an open and shut lawsuit if he go affidavits from all the people the alderman tried to intimidate. If he won such a case I'd be willing to bet it would catch the Fed's attention as tortious interference by a politician is usually accompanied by other types of criminally punishable corruption.

Basically Moreno did the exact same thing to that stretch of Milwaukee as Flores did to John Burns when he was trying to do the same thing. Why do they keep sinking the development plans along that stretch? Because a large block of their core hispanic constituency lives in that area and would probably be driven out by the accompanying gentrification. So instead of a continuous stretch of development between downtown and Logan Square, you have this enormous dead zone for about 1 mile where Milwaukee stretches through the first ward. Ever notice how all the hot Logan Square businesses are mysteriously in Colons ward and almost none of them south of the border of his ward? Long story short: Proco Joe Moreno is a racist, anti-development, anti-business, alderbeast bent on driving as many "white" businesses out of the city as possible.
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  #20084  
Old Posted Aug 26, 2013, 1:58 PM
brian_b brian_b is offline
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Originally Posted by denizen467 View Post
Thanks to both Danny Solis and Proco Moreno, a very large industrial site across the street, alongside the river, might lose $57 million of investment by a Ford dealership because the aldermen want Ford to find a Latino owner for it.
I find it amazing that people on this forum think that a 17-acre car dealership is appropriate for an urban location like this. You know that a 17-acre car dealership would be approximately 16.5 acres of asphalt, right?

Or am I missing something?
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  #20085  
Old Posted Aug 26, 2013, 2:07 PM
LouisVanDerWright LouisVanDerWright is offline
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Originally Posted by brian_b View Post
I find it amazing that people on this forum think that a 17-acre car dealership is appropriate for an urban location like this. You know that a 17-acre car dealership would be approximately 16.5 acres of asphalt, right?

Or am I missing something?
This discussion isn't about the quality of the use. I'm sure we'd all rather see a forest of highrises built there, but that's not reality. What this conversation is about is aldermen holding up a local business trying to shake them down for more money or force them to sell to an entity friendly to the alderman.
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  #20086  
Old Posted Aug 26, 2013, 3:46 PM
the urban politician the urban politician is online now
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^ not only is the behavior of Moreno atrocious, but there is a culture of this through every layer of the city. I was so happy to read that a judge ruled in favor of Fannie and Freddie in their suit against the overly punitive Vacant Building Ordinance. We need to see more class action lawsuits against municipalities that overstep their bounds in diminishing property owners' rights and charging endless fees, fees that sometimes aren't even legal under their own municipal ordinances (I have personal experience with this last part). It is shameful how much investment Chicago scares away by this, and this probably explains why downtown is so intensely developed while many neighborhoods sit starving for the same. Small time investors just don't think the cost and abuse is worth it for them.
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  #20087  
Old Posted Aug 26, 2013, 3:51 PM
harperpollock harperpollock is offline
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The jobs would be good, but I second the WTH to a car dealership there. Where are we talking? Taking over the Vienna Beef space once all the E/D/F intersection work is done in 2015? Seems like shopping would go there or condos I agree.

Also, Louis - since you know about that stretch of Milwaukee - what was the reason the building at Milwaukee/Prindiville was demolished? That was out of nowhere. Did we really need another empty lot? Not that the building was significant or anything, would rather it go over the Max Gerber space going down. Was sad when they tore that building down.
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  #20088  
Old Posted Aug 26, 2013, 5:03 PM
brian_b brian_b is offline
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Originally Posted by LouisVanDerWright View Post
This discussion isn't about the quality of the use. I'm sure we'd all rather see a forest of highrises built there, but that's not reality. What this conversation is about is aldermen holding up a local business trying to shake them down for more money or force them to sell to an entity friendly to the alderman.
I'm certainly not a legal expert, but it seems to me that if things were really happening the way they are being reported, some alderman should be getting ready for the big house. No?
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  #20089  
Old Posted Aug 26, 2013, 5:43 PM
LouisVanDerWright LouisVanDerWright is offline
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Originally Posted by harperpollock View Post
Also, Louis - since you know about that stretch of Milwaukee - what was the reason the building at Milwaukee/Prindiville was demolished? That was out of nowhere. Did we really need another empty lot? Not that the building was significant or anything, would rather it go over the Max Gerber space going down. Was sad when they tore that building down.
I don't know why that building came down, but suspect it is just to reduce the maintenance costs in anticipation of some future new construction many years down the road. If there was impending new construction there, then I'd have heard about it, so I think we are going to be looking at a vacant lot for a while.

It's something of a shame though, it was a solid double bow truss building which could have made one nice large restaurant or two smaller retail spaces.

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Originally Posted by brian_b View Post
I'm certainly not a legal expert, but it seems to me that if things were really happening the way they are being reported, some alderman should be getting ready for the big house. No?
Unfortunately that's not going to happen unless the Feds take interest in the situation. The only way that will happen is if this information gets out, so do your part and let people know Moreno's been doing this to all kinds of businesses in his ward. Moreno showed up with the cops during that one fight that broke up and tried to illegally shut the show down. There is a video of him and his chief of staff and a couple of other people standing down one of the side streets and high fiving and celebrating after the massive police response. Clearly the Congress was on his hit list. Some of the videos of Moreno personally trying to get the theater shut down can be seen here:

http://chicago-pipeline.com/2012/04/...gress-theater/

Unfortunately this is par for the course for Chicago alderman: bully businesses and then try to shut them down when they don't pay out. V-Live, which was owned by Ivan Fernandez (the owner of Aragon as well) before it was put out of business by the Congress, had a freaking shooting death on the dance floor and didn't even get a knock on their license and Congress gets one fight and is shut down? Smells pretty fishy to me. Now why on earth would Moreno have it out for the Congress, a business which just put one of Ivan Fernandez's business under? Hmmmmm? I'll give away the answer: follow the money, Moreno accepted huge donations from Fernandez's businesses and Carranza wouldn't play ball. It's no coincidence that Congress's biggest competition is the Aragon and its closest competition was V-Live and the owner of both just so happened to donate on a large scale to Moreno.


PS: Let's not forget this is the same alderman who just got busted accepting free recycling bins to be installed on city streets from a private contractor on the city's behalf that were slathered in giant banana republic style "Alderman Joe Moreno" ads with a big fat image of his ugly mug on the side of them. Next thing you know he'll try to pass an ordinance requiring all citizens in his ward to hang a portrait of him in their homes.
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  #20090  
Old Posted Aug 26, 2013, 7:01 PM
sammyg sammyg is offline
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Going back to the New Regal, will Claude Jones get around to re-opening Army and Lou's before starting work on the project across the street from the Regal?
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  #20091  
Old Posted Aug 26, 2013, 7:29 PM
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Originally Posted by spyguy View Post
We haven't heard much news on this one lately. Ald. Smith's attempts to kill off economic development in her ward seem to be working:

Lincoln Ave. a Dead Zone Without Children's Memorial, Business Owners Say
I remember going to the community meeting last summer and stating the businesses will close if the high density of the hospital is not replaced. Looks like I was right.
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  #20092  
Old Posted Aug 26, 2013, 7:52 PM
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Originally Posted by LouisVanDerWright View Post

Unfortunately that's not going to happen unless the Feds take interest in the situation. The only way that will happen is if this information gets out, so do your part and let people know Moreno's been doing this to all kinds of businesses in his ward. Moreno showed up with the cops during that one fight that broke up and tried to illegally shut the show down. There is a video of him and his chief of staff and a couple of other people standing down one of the side streets and high fiving and celebrating after the massive police response. Clearly the Congress was on his hit list. Some of the videos of Moreno personally trying to get the theater shut down can be seen here:

http://chicago-pipeline.com/2012/04/...gress-theater/

Unfortunately this is par for the course for Chicago alderman: bully businesses and then try to shut them down when they don't pay out. V-Live, which was owned by Ivan Fernandez (the owner of Aragon as well) before it was put out of business by the Congress, had a freaking shooting death on the dance floor and didn't even get a knock on their license and Congress gets one fight and is shut down? Smells pretty fishy to me. Now why on earth would Moreno have it out for the Congress, a business which just put one of Ivan Fernandez's business under? Hmmmmm? I'll give away the answer: follow the money, Moreno accepted huge donations from Fernandez's businesses and Carranza wouldn't play ball. It's no coincidence that Congress's biggest competition is the Aragon and its closest competition was V-Live and the owner of both just so happened to donate on a large scale to Moreno.


PS: Let's not forget this is the same alderman who just got busted accepting free recycling bins to be installed on city streets from a private contractor on the city's behalf that were slathered in giant banana republic style "Alderman Joe Moreno" ads with a big fat image of his ugly mug on the side of them. Next thing you know he'll try to pass an ordinance requiring all citizens in his ward to hang a portrait of him in their homes.
Absolutely disgusting. If we are going to advertise ourselves as a global city, the culture of this needs to stop immediately. You probably just gave the most convincing argument as to why the number of alderman in this city should be cut in half to 25.
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  #20093  
Old Posted Aug 26, 2013, 8:56 PM
PKDickman PKDickman is offline
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Originally Posted by LouisVanDerWright View Post

As a result, the entire section of Milwaukee between Armitage and California continues to be a dead zone. Moreno struck because the owner of the theater had almost 10 different properties along that stretch purchased or under contract in anticipation of a massive redevelopment of that area. He actually personally called various brokers and property owners demanding they cancel their contract with the owner and made threats against them if they refused. Talk about a complete overstepping of bounds, frankly I'd sue Moreno if I were Carranza for tortious interference in a contract which would be an open and shut lawsuit if he go affidavits from all the people the alderman tried to intimidate. If he won such a case I'd be willing to bet it would catch the Fed's attention as tortious interference by a politician is usually accompanied by other types of criminally punishable corruption.
I have no love for Proco and if you want to stop by some time we can get a beer and grind our axes. But, in my role as a NIMBY, I have be able to chew him out from time to time and I prefer not to spend all my ammo on an open forum.

That being said, the real reason it is a dead zone is that it is all -1 zoning.
In today's world, that pretty much kills a residential component. Consequently that stretch missed out on the boom in the residential market. The piece from Cal to Belmont is all -2s and -3s.

Most of Milwaukee beyond there is -1. Back in the day that was intended for a small 2 story mixed use. But merchants don't live above their stores any more, so now it's strip malls.

I am not sure why the Logan Sq stretch got a bump. My guess is that when the El terminus was at Wrightwood and the station was also the end of double decker motorcoach lines on Kedzie and Logan Blvds. they considered it a TOD and juiced the density.
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  #20094  
Old Posted Aug 26, 2013, 9:18 PM
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The last time I was face-to-face with Moreno after an Active Trans event, I asked him about the status of the Milwaukee Avenue Corridor Plan (see here *PDF), and he answered by immediately talking about something else. Then I informed him that he completely evaded my question and that it would be a real shame if such a great plan that already had considerable headway was thrown away. Again, he instead answered with some other project that he was promoting... It seemed that it's as good as non-existent in his eyes, which is too bad. I attended a couple of the charrettes for the plan, and a surprising number of residents and business owners were behind the boosted densities and reestablished street wall (if only to rid the stretch of all the strip malls that the majority of the attendees considered to be offensively ugly).

I wish that plan could be reconsidered. It was pretty decent, IMO.
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  #20095  
Old Posted Aug 26, 2013, 9:22 PM
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Alderman have some pretty solid control over zoning. If the zoning there is still -1, it's because Moreno wants it that way, not because developers haven't tried to get an upzoning or because an upzoning is inappropriate.

I wonder if Moreno would support affordable housing? It would be gentry-neutral, just as affordable to the Latino community as it is to yupsters. There's definitely a deal to be made here.
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  #20096  
Old Posted Aug 26, 2013, 9:23 PM
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Maggie Daley Park


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  #20097  
Old Posted Aug 26, 2013, 11:01 PM
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  #20098  
Old Posted Aug 26, 2013, 11:19 PM
LouisVanDerWright LouisVanDerWright is offline
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Originally Posted by PKDickman View Post
I have no love for Proco and if you want to stop by some time we can get a beer and grind our axes. But, in my role as a NIMBY, I have be able to chew him out from time to time and I prefer not to spend all my ammo on an open forum.

That being said, the real reason it is a dead zone is that it is all -1 zoning.
In today's world, that pretty much kills a residential component. Consequently that stretch missed out on the boom in the residential market. The piece from Cal to Belmont is all -2s and -3s.

Most of Milwaukee beyond there is -1. Back in the day that was intended for a small 2 story mixed use. But merchants don't live above their stores any more, so now it's strip malls.
See ardecila below:

Quote:
Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
Alderman have some pretty solid control over zoning. If the zoning there is still -1, it's because Moreno wants it that way, not because developers haven't tried to get an upzoning or because an upzoning is inappropriate.

I wonder if Moreno would support affordable housing? It would be gentry-neutral, just as affordable to the Latino community as it is to yupsters. There's definitely a deal to be made here.
DING DING DING! We have a winner! Exactly correct, so correct in fact, that it literally happened exactly like that. Anyone remember when John Burns, a former John Buck Co executive, bought up that entire strip of Milwaukee with the intent to do a massive redevelopment??? Well the prior alderhack, Manny Flores, spent two years dicking him around and delaying the rezoning until, what do you know, the economy tanked and John Burns' development went under.

In case you didn't know, Manny Flores is the idiot who installed Joe Moreno as alderman after he resigned in the wake of the V-Live shooting (and a few other things). I can't wait to see him lose in the next election, I'm confident he'll be a one termer.


PS: PKDickman, I'd love to grind axes together, but mine is already razor sharp. Maybe we just get together for beers and I'll help you sharpen yours. Haha.
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  #20099  
Old Posted Aug 26, 2013, 11:22 PM
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Haha, I forgot to mention I went to the skydeck at the Sears Tower today... Or did I!? Ha!
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  #20100  
Old Posted Aug 26, 2013, 11:25 PM
PKDickman PKDickman is offline
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
Alderman have some pretty solid control over zoning. If the zoning there is still -1, it's because Moreno wants it that way, not because developers haven't tried to get an upzoning or because an upzoning is inappropriate.

I wonder if Moreno would support affordable housing? It would be gentry-neutral, just as affordable to the Latino community as it is to yupsters. There's definitely a deal to be made here.

Problem is, someone has to ask.

Back in the heyday, no one bothered to. They were getting big money in bucktown. They would ask for a change from -2 to -3 and shoehorn in $300.000 condos. Why bother trying to go from a -1 to a -3, if you are only going to get $165,000 condos. That barely covers construction costs. Best use was to buy cheap and slap shopping centers on it. Even that was problematic. Not enough income in that strip for big rents. You had to play a long game, that means tenants like banks, drugstores, and chains that can sign a long lease.

The income numbers also nix most affordable housing plans. According to the Milwaukee Avenue Corridor Plan 58% of the residents within .5 miles make less than 50k. 17% less than 15k.

Your affordable units would have to rent for $850 month or sell for $125,000.

Best way would be to rezone the whole strip to -2 and let smaller developers build 3 story mixed use as of right. It probably wouldn't cure everything but it would at least get something pumping.
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