Very brief overview of a not so well orchestrated meeting:
The circa 1928 Pivot Point building was to be demolished in plans long ago. The Pivot Point Company begged and pleaded to stay and avoid eminent domain. Joe Moore granted their stay of the wrecking ball and a year or so later, the Pivot Point Company relocated leaving that poor, decrepit building high and dry and totally empty. Along comes the developer to save the day. Many different angles were looked at, commercial and residential. The final decision was commercial on the first floor and residential above. The studies leaned toward the building being too outdated for dentists, doctors and such, so go residential.
Due to its isolated spot in a commercial area, it’s considered to be non-conforming use, close to the buses and CTA. The highlight was the change in zoning administrators and the change in zoning laws that occurred after the development began. These obstacles, according to attorney Graham Grady, precluded the developer being legally required to provide parking as they occurred after the rehab began. Now that the other stories are up, I’ll just link to Craig and Uncle Crabby. The alderman and others had answered questions on the 10% set aside of low income condo’s on the CPAN program and jobs created by the TIF. So out of 37 condos there will be 4 ‘low income’ condos but no price was available. The others had prices ranging from $169.9K for a 1BR to $224.9K for a 2BR. If new owners have the additional expense/luxury of a vehicle, they can park it in the CTA garage for 125/month, on the street, or possibly after hours in the Mall lot. Or ride a bicycle.
Something more interesting caught my thoughts. The discussion took a minor detour when the subject of the Lerner building and its presentation a couple of years ago came up. We gave approval, after years of disapproved designs, the land is still sitting as it was 3 years ago, and more years for many of you. Apparently, since the developer has made no move, the property is, or soon will be, on acquisition (sitting in a TIF area) by the city which would give them power of eminent domain.
Another interesting turn was a statement about receivership of rundown, mismanaged buildings rather than eminent domain. So, there you are folks, since the alderman admitted several rundowns went into receivership, were rehabbed into affordable housing why are we not attending meetings from that type of sympathetic developers? One embarrassment of Ward 49 are the outrageous Jay Johnson buildings NOH. They’re in disrepair, they’re deplorable, yet where’s the receivership for them? That’s how he got them, so what are the politicians waiting for? It’s an election year, so get those Broadmoors, and CIG rundowns into receivership. I heard recently that several of the former IMC rundowns were to be placed into receivership. No word on the Broadmoor yet and Broadmoor East. And while we're at it, how about getting Coe's Crib on the 'receivership' list too? He's left a gaping hole on Morse and a gaping row of empty stores on Howard.
If the City is taking the Lerner building and properties on acquisition, then why not build low income condos with all that TIF money, the CPAN program? But it has to be an honest, sincere, properly managed development. Then some of the dust could settle between the factions who for years have fought to keep NOH low income and development nearly everywhere but NOH. And, what better way to spend tax dollars? They could create a neighborhood with proud homeowners who would contribute to it rather than destroy it. I’d rather see tax dollars spent on productive, well-designed buildings where young families could have a start-up or those reaching retirement age having an affordable place. That's an extra $60K-$80K for the people, not to a four week GED crash course.
Howard Area's job program has been there for years and the cost saving is almost $60K-$80K.
Now does any of this sound logical and sensible? An alderman can do almost anything with TIF dollars.