Thursday, January 14, 2010

Alderman Daley's Opening Statement

Good evening, thank you for coming out tonight for this important meeting. It’s important to have a wide-range of voices and participation in discussions that determine how our neighborhood grows. I appreciate the assistance of everyone who helped deliver notices about this meeting, especially from volunteers with the Mid-North and Lincoln Central Associations.

I have talked to a lot of people about this project, and I know there has been even more talk in the neighborhood. Unfortunately not everything that’s been said is correct. For example my husband is not associated with this project or its owners. In case anyone is concerned, for full disclosure, my daughters were born at the hospital some 30 years ago, and I’ve been to the emergency room on several occasions. I also served for a time on the LP Hospital Board but removed myself years ago.

I have established a blogsite about this project that is linked to my website - similar to what was done with the start of planning for the Children’s Memorial site. The developers’ proposal, notes from meetings, and comments that I have received about the proposal are already posted. You can submit your comments if you have additional thoughts after tonight and to follow future meetings if you are not able to attend. Minutes from tonight’s meeting will be posted.

While the discussion about this proposal has been going on for several months, we are only at the initial stages of consideration. No building or zoning applications have been submitted and certainly no approvals, preliminary or otherwise have been granted.

Our first community meeting was in October. I think it’s fair to say that the proposal was loosely conceptual then and lacking a lot of details and definition. The meeting was well attended. The opinions, while similar on some points, were diverse on what should become of the property. There have been other, smaller meetings with the neighborhood associations, Walpole Point, and individual neighbors. I also established a working committee made up of neighborhood representatives and adjacent neighbors around the perimeter of the hospital property to work on identifying key elements and issues with the proposal.

We, the community and I, have full leverage in the future of this property. Currently the only allowed use on the property is medical. This site has been a hospital since 1906 and a planned development since the early 70’s. Any other use requires a zoning change. I will not support any zoning change that does not have a consensus of support from the community and the most affected neighbors. This is how I have addressed and will continue to address, every development decision.

Once a community consensus has been developed about the project, we will move to the business of refining details, setting parameters, and memorializing agreements in a Planned Development document and community agreement. These documents should be as detailed as possible so that the community will be assured of what the site will entail. That is what I did with the former Columbus Hospital. Working together, we set height limits, a maximum number of units, parking requirements, neighborhood parking and detailed construction timeframes.

When the owners of Lincoln Park Hospital first approached me with their concept, I told them that any retail use was going to run into resistance from neighbors. Some community members have told me that it is a change for the better. Many others have disagreed. This single point is the one that has generated the most heated discussions. Please keep in mind that commercial use can be medical, educational or any number of other non-retail uses. I hope that we will resolve this one single point before we leave tonight and that we can then focus on all of the other issues involving this development.

For those who don’t know, I was president of the Mid-North Association for several years before I was elected alderman. Some of the discussions about the hospital site took place in my home. There’s a long history of litigation resulting in consent decrees and community agreements between the former Grant Hospital and its neighbors. These legal documents have passed their sunset dates and there are no deed restrictions.

However, I agree with Mid-North and neighbors who state that agreements like designating the open space on the east side of the hospital and restricting parking on the roof of the garage were granted in exchange for the structures that the hospital was allowed to build. If the new owners are seeking to use these grandfathered structures they must maintain the concessions the community won. I will continue to honor these agreements as long as the community wishes to do so.

Finally, I do believe that we, the owners, the neighbors and my office, have a responsibility to work together respectfully, thoughtfully and productively. A vacant hospital does not benefit the community, and it should not be allowed to become a blight on this neighborhood. I ask everyone to take into consideration how this matter will affect the entire area, take a broad approach. There’s no doubt that we need to bring this property back to life. Successful negotiations require a common goal.

The developers have refined their proposal and have made changes based on feedback from the previous meetings. They will present their latest proposal tonight for our consideration. I ask you to allow them to complete their presentation. After they are done we will open this up for questions and comments from the community.

I am looking forward to hearing your opinion on aspects like the reuse of the buildings, potential uses and about the appropriate density. Again, this is the initial discussion about general concepts. We will not reach a full resolution tonight, but I hope that we will be able to set a direction with some definite guidelines, and some possibilities that will still be open for discussion.

And, again, thank you for your participation tonight.

35 comments:

  1. I am writing in to say that I am in favor of the redevelopment plan as proposed in last night's meeting by the developers. I think is it going to be an attractive property (representing the neighborhoods style) and a good use of the space as proposed.

    Thank you,

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you, Alderman Daley, for your reassuring words to the community last night. Dealing with people like Zisook nd Novak must be incredibly trying. You must be a person of infinite patience -- I envy that. As an amusing thought, someone should have gotten up during the meeting to say the police were starting to tow all cars from the parking lot that did not have a 143 sticker -- and then laugh when all of Supera's lackeys got up in panic. Thanks again,

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you for allowing a fair public process to move forward last night.Apparently the issues are not as simple as retail or no retail as you opened the meeting with.Density,bulk,traffic, previous agreements and the looming future development of childrens hospital all gray the process.At this point I would cast my vote for NO retail or NO tower.Buzz Ruttenberg’s fear tactics regarding a no vote insuring a vacant building highlighted for me the stale ideas and lack of vision by the developer in this process.What about a LAND SWAP WITH LINCOLN SCHOOL?The above articles are about the L protoype(900 students) at the new Skinner school (smng-a architects).The “C” prototype currently being built at Avondale School or the new Odgen school plan would fit on the north site.The developer then could use the former Lincoln school site with the restrictions of RM5 zoning.This may seem like a crazy idea,but I offer it in good faith.If this is of interest please call.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you for saying at last night's meeting that you support the 3 agreements between the hospital and neighbors. Two items need correction and expansion on that from some comments made.



    1. The 1986 Agreement is a Consent Decree and it has no expiration date as the other Agreements do.


    o That Agreement states that there shall be no new building "on the vacant land next to the Robertson property."


    o The 1972 Agreement clarifies the intent of this: it says that the construction of the tower "is designed....to leave an open space on the east side" between the tower and the property line, part to be a service drive and part to be landscaped. That language indicates that there is ONE open space consisting of two parcels. It does not describe two separate open spaces but only says that the single space will be used in two different ways.


    o Contrary to what was said last night, both Frank Hammerstrom and Roger Whitmer (both involved in both the 1972 and 1986 Agreements) both told me that the reason for this was to serve as a buffer to the tower. That also makes common sense. The tower was "designed" to leave ONE open space; that open space consisted of two lots; so, part of that same open space (the landscaped part) could not be a buffer against the other part of the same open space since it was described as one space. It was designed as a buffer against the bulk and height of the tower itself. That's what the language says, that's what the key principals to the Agreements told me, and that is what logic says.


    I believe there was a faulty memory on that point last night when it was said that the landscaped part of the open space was a buffer to the other part of the open space (the service drive) because it fly's in the face of the language of the two agreements, is contrary to common sense, and is not what the owner of my property told me when I purchased it from him (we actually walked out on Webster to observe that "open space" and he explained to me the history of the neighbors negotiations with the hospital in 1972).


    2. Same thing with the garage doors. The 1972 Agreement allowed one garage door as far west as possible. The 1986 Agreement allowed the hospital to move the door one bay west. But ever since then there has only been one door--the old door is open only to pedestrians and not to cars. It has been that way for 24 years now, so the intent there is clear. The developer proposes 3 garage doors on Webster. That is another clear violation of both the 1972 and the 1986 Agreements.


    The neighbors very much appreciate your support on these points because it is important to many people, and also to the principle of neighborhood rights, precedent involving neighbors benefits derived from agreements, and the character of the Historic area.


    Sincerely,

    ReplyDelete
  5. I just wanted to add my thanks and
    appreciation for holding the public meeting last night (how many emails have
    you received today?). I am thrilled that you are recognizing and making the
    developers respond to the neighborhood's concerns about retail and density.
    When I walked home with Chuck, I mentioned an email that I had sent and
    that, given John Supera's comments that the opponents in the neighborhood
    were "uneducated and dishonest", he clearly has no intention of ever moving
    into the art workshop on Grant Place. It's just not what you'd say about
    your future neighbors. We've also learned that Nancy Turken who sent Mr.
    Supera's email lives at 1757 N. Paulina, not even in the 43rd ward. My wife
    emailed to ask her why she would send that email, and she said she did so
    because she was asked to by John Supera. Thank you again, and here's hoping
    that the developers finally listen to you and the neighborhood.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Many thanks to those of you who came out last night, and even more thanks to those of you who spoke against the retail and proposed development.

    Here is a very good piece that appeared on FOX news. June Rosner who lives on Cleveland was instrumental in getting out the media. She is a great PR person. Click on the link below, once the page pops up, scroll to #3 and
    click on"click for quick review." Please click on the link below to view your QuickView report. If the link isnot clickable, copy
    the entire link into your browser address window andpress Enter http://media.vmsnews.com/MR.pl?id=011310-4321044-A002423689

    ReplyDelete
  7. Mr. Novak: In your final remarks atlast night's meeting you stated that the attached facts sheet provided by the opponents to the proposal contained numerous statements that were untrue, but you never said what they were. I was one of the principal authors, and would appreciate your letting me know
    exactly to what you were referring, as well as providing support for why you claim they are not true (other than the reference to 50,000 square feet of retail which had been in the proposal until at most a few days before the
    meeting).

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thank you for hosting the community meeting yesterday. I think you ran a very good and informative meeting and I was encouraged by the large turnout and (for the most part) by the civility and respect that both sides displayed. It was good government and community participation in action!

    I showed up at the meeting seeking to learn about the project and didn’t really have a fully formed opinion one way or the other. After hearing the story (both sides) I came to the conclusion (quickly and fairly easily) that the proposed project is reasonable. If this were a newly proposed, ground-up, development, I would feel differently. However, the high rise and garage buildings already exist. They are ugly beyond belief, unoccupied, and deteriorating. It is inconceivable that they will be reused for their currently zoned purpose (as a hospital). It is unreasonable and impractical to expect that the site would be demolished in its entirety and redeveloped as a low rise, wholly residential site. Therefore, I think that the decision is to select a plan that does the best repurposing of the existing site and structures rather than requiring the owner to tear down and start over (which they won’t do anyway). While I could quarrel with certain aspects of the plan, on the whole, I think that it is attractive (in absolute terms……and positively beautiful in relative terms!), well within the context of the surrounding neighborhood, and thoughtfully laid out. For a number of reasons, I like the inclusion of senior housing. While not extensively discussed, I think that the low rise residential buildings on Grant Place will be a dramatic improvement to the blank wall that exists there now. While traffic and density will be an issue with this plan, they will be an issue with any other plan that could be proposed. I think that they have addressed these issues reasonably well.

    While I was swayed by the “pro” argument, my opinion is somewhat more formed by my belief that those opposed to the project failed to suggest any reasonable alternative. The basis of their argument is unreasonable. They say that a 12 story high rise in this neighborhood is “unacceptable” and they want nothing less than for it to go away. Ooops! They’re a couple of decades too late to make that argument! That building has been around long enough that probably everyone in the vicinity chose to buy or rent their homes with the full knowledge and acceptance that they were living next to a high rise structure. If anything, this project is going to improve the aesthetics and feel of the neighborhood. They can’t roll back the clock. The opposition’s argument is to simply say “no” and they won’t let reality get in the way of a good protest. It’s very easy to protest loudly; it’s much more difficult to come up with a good solution. They utterly failed to do suggest any constructive solutions. Incidentally, I found Mid North’s response and rhetoric to be embarrassing. As much as Caroline and I want to contribute to a good, strong neighborhood association, I’m seriously considering dropping out as a dues paying member of Mid North. Increasingly, I see them as an insular collection of individuals who use Mid North as a bully pulpit to express their personal opinions on development and other neighborhood issues. They often don’t act logically or responsibly and I don’t think they reflect the views or values of much of the neighborhood. I was encouraged to see one of the development committee members stand up and publicly distance himself from the “official” position on this project.

    Continued

    ReplyDelete
  9. Part 2

    One of my takeaways from the meeting is the existence of retail stores is the real hot button in this proposal. My sense is that some of the opponents could accept the project more readily if the two stores were not included. Frankly, I’m not thrilled to have yet another Walgreen’s in our midst. Having said that, having some retail is reasonable and I would accede to the needs and rights of the property owner. More fundamentally, I disagree with the notion (which was expressed numerous times at the meeting) that any retail is or around this area is unacceptable. This is a thriving urban neighborhood, not a suburban gated community (thank goodness!). The notion that there should be highly segregated residential-only areas and concentrated retail areas is what gave rise to shopping malls. Every neighborhood in your ward would benefit from having some micro-local retail where residents can shop for the day to day necessities without constantly getting into a car (which heightens traffic problems and which is environmentally unsound). Sidewalks and stores are where people get out, talk to each other and form a better sense of community! Obviously, we don’t want this to become another North and Clybourn situation…..but the proposed plan is a very restrained and nowhere near this level of density or overdevelopment.

    I think that this project should get the green light. The sooner that site is improved, the better! I thank you for the careful and thoughtful way that you are approaching this. It is important not only for this project, but for the much bigger Children’s project that awaits us (where this will certainly establish some precedent).

    ReplyDelete
  10. I couldn’t make it to the meeting last night about the hospital, but I hope you realize that there are probably LOTs of busy moms and families who cannot make nighttime meetings but who really do not want to see our neighborhood over-commercialized. I think scale is important, and if the fliers that went out are correct, I am a little panicked about the reality of it all. Carnival and Braun Drugs are great, but barely hanging in there as it is. If we bring in a big drug store and grocery store, it will shut down our neighborhood stores and be a nightmare of parking and traffic, let alone the lights and loss of open space. It will make Webster feel less like a side street and more like a commercial corridor. Not a good move for people who like their quiet and small-to-scale historic neighborhood.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Pursuant to last night’s meeting, and for the record, I would like to express my support for the Developer’s proposal, subject to review of the final plans, specs, and documentation. I have reached my decision based on review of the Developer’s Proposal, Chicago Zoning Maps, September 15, 1971 Plan of Development (“PD”), August 18, 1972 Agreement and Compromise, November 26, 1980 Agreement, December 29, 1986 Final Consent and Decree, and comments posted on various web sites and blogs. As you are aware this debate has reached a level of acrimony that is preventing productive discourse regarding the Redevelopment. The amount of disinformation promoted by multiple sources has fueled a backlash between the Developers and the community which could negatively impact the neighborhood. I applaud your efforts in trying to get out the facts and bridge the differences. In order to understand my position, let me first outline the history of the site as I understand it.

    History

    The original hospital can trace its roots back to the early 1900’s, although it occupied a smaller footprint than does the current. Expansions through the years, with major changes starting in 1971, left us with the current plan as shown on the Developer’s Exhibit. That expansion was negotiated and approved with the city and the community, subject to PD 84 and modified pursuant to the 1980 and 1986 Modifications. The Modifications do have a July 1, 2007 sunset provision, however, I think it is unclear as to the reversion rights of both the property owner and the community. As I am not an attorney, I will not venture into that territory, notwithstanding, it appears that PD 84 remains in force.

    Developer’s Proposal

    Exhibit A outlines the most recent Developer’s proposal. It provides for two retail stores, one not to exceed 15,000 square feet and the other not to exceed 20,000 square feet. One is to be located on the southwest corner of Webster and Lincoln while the other is situated on the Geneva and Webster corner. The prospective tenants have been represented to be a national drugstore and a regional food store. As shown in Exhibit A, all redeveloped structures are to be stripped and reclad in materials consistent with neighborhood character. There will be no other retail in the project. Although the development contemplates the recapture of 15,000-20,000 square feet of garage space, approximately 230 garage spaces will remain, with no parking on the roof deck. This is more than adequate to service retail stores, ancillary development, and general neighborhood needs. Ingress and egress for both the retail and public will be in the center of the structure on Webster and no alley access will be required.

    The Webster Street building will be redeveloped into 120 units of high end, for sale condominiums. Average size for these units has been represented to be 1,500 square feet with pricing at $500/square foot. This pricing exceeds the comparables being achieved at Walpole, the area in general, and would reflect positively on our resale values. Underground parking would be constructed under and behind the building with a green roof providing a basic amenity for the property. Ingress-egress would be achieved with a reconfigured entrance located west of the current service drives, which would be converted and sold as two individual residential lots.

    (continued)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Page 2

    The Geneva building, aside from the proposed northeast first floor retail, is to be redeveloped into, not more than, 170 units of independent senior living. Units are to be approximately 500 square feet and parking would be available in the existing Webster garage. Generally, senior parking requirements are low and the garage is more than adequate to handle any prospective need. The proposed developer/manager for this portion of the project is Senior Lifestyle Corporation (www.seniorlifestyle.com). They are a highly regarded national firm whose principal is known to me.

    The vacant old hospital building located on Grant Place is to be demolished and replaced by not more than forty condominiums or townhomes which height shall not exceed that of the existing building. Setbacks and architectural finishes will be consistent with the neighborhood.

    Conclusions and Observations

    The Developer’s proposal is an adaptive reuse of a fully depreciated antiquated facility. As stated previously and subject to review of final drawings, the contemplated new PD documentation, legal review, and some additional caveats that I will not go into here, I am comfortable in endorsing the project. My endorsement also takes into account the possibilities that might occur in the event that a negotiated resolution cannot be reached.

    If the Development does not go forth as proposed, the Developer could possibly “bank” the land until such time that the residential market recovers. I am not confident that we will see a recovery any time soon. Although the developer has implied that a hospital might want to lease the entire facility, I do not see that as realistic. However, it is realistic to assume that smaller “research, medical, and related” tenants, as allowed under PD 84, would have interest and thus reduce Developer’s carrying costs. We would continue to live with the eyesore for an indeterminable period and be subject to undefined “related uses”.

    Regardless of the public outcry and focus on getting a three acre single family/townhouse solution, it should be remembered that the Developer is a property owner and has rights. As stated earlier, I am not a lawyer, but having been a real estate investor/developer/manager for most of my working life, the thought of resolving this issue in court is less than appealing. Aside from the cost and the time, an argument can be made that the owner/developer has the right to some level of B zoning. Previous zoning maps could be used to support that position with a possible result of the Developer being allowed to construct retail in an amount greater than the proposed 35,000 square feet. Equally as relevant is the amount of units that are allowable in the event that PD 84 is withdrawn and reversion zoning implemented. I believe that, with the exception of the two west corners, the balance of the property is RM5. This type of district is intended to accommodate multi-unit residential buildings. The Developer has represented that +/- 330 residential units could be built on the site. I believe that number to be somewhat less when Floor Area Ratio and height restrictions are factored in. Regardless, I see no benefit having to wait for this scenario to play out in the far future when a progressive project can be jumpstarted now.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I suggest that the hospital be torn down and replaced with rowhouses in the style of The Pointe rowhouses on the former Augustana Hospital site. This would keep the area residential and not allow for retail which could put out the small grocery and drug stores that are a few blocks away. A high rise residential in the Mid-North neighborhood is not in the context of this neighborhood and is unwanted along with the 50,000 square feet of retail. I live less than 2 blocks north of the hospital on Geneva and more high rises will lead this neighborhood to become nothing more than another Gold Coast which is not a good thing.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Neighbors -

    The "Point" at Armitage and Lincoln is not the answer for this location. The Point is a sprawling townhome complex that belongs in the suburbs and not the middle of Lincoln Park. It sits on almost a 2 block stretch of Lincoln and is an eye soar. The redevelopment of that site was a failure. Do not make the same mistake here. A solid mix of retail and residential serves the community and is in demand.

    It seems the voice of the few are representing themselves as the many by going door to door and scaring people with threats of decreased home values. Bringing controlled retail to the area with increased housing units will only help our community. We need a grocery store within walking distance and I welcome the plan. The increased housing units will certainly help our struggling storefronts with an increase in foot traffic. For those of you who so strongly oppose this development, please inform us of your alternative? More $2 million homes is not the answer!

    Regards,

    Webster Resident

    ReplyDelete
  15. I am strongly opposed to ANY additional housings in this area as the schools are already crowd as hell.

    As many people addressed above, we NEED a grocery store!!! I live right cross LPH and I don't agree with some people's concerns around the traffic. I believe the retail use of the site would actually increase livability as there would be more stores within walking distince. Also, movie theater also sounds good.

    I vote for retail use of the site.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I agree with webster resident, the point development is unnattractive and provides none of the charm and character of the many diverse and unique homes and shops throughout the rest of the neighborhood.

    ReplyDelete
  17. First of all, thank you for all the things your office is doing for our Ward and neighborhood.

    I do want to add my voice in opposition to the most recent plans for the development of the Lincoln Park Hospital site. I do not oppose senior housing, but I strongly do oppose any form of tower/high rise structure and the inclusion of commercial/retail space. With all the empty retail space on Clark street already zoned for such purposes, I do not think it is necessary to build new retail space on the Lincoln Hospital site. I do think our neighborhood would definitely benefit from more public parking and it would be perfect to have such a structure on the site being developed. The feel and nature of this wonderful community in which I have lived since 1976 would be greatly damaged by any high rise structure on Webster and Larrabee. And I fear that the children and families who make such wonderful use of Oz Park would not benefit from the crowds and traffic of any new retail space on the hospital site. The corner at Lincoln/Wesbter/Larrabee is already a dangerous crossing space.

    As I walk the streets and see the homes and families to be most likely impacted by any such development, the signs are definitely in opposition to the high rise tower and retail space.

    Thank you for your consideration of my comments.

    ReplyDelete
  18. T and C M 2100 HudsonJanuary 19, 2010 at 9:20 AM

    We attended the Lincoln Park Hospital discussion last Tuesday night. Our perspective is that this development could be a very positive thing for the neighborhood if the following issues are addressed:

    1) Walgreens - the neighborhood does not need another drug store. There are 2 existing CVS stores, 1 Walgreens, and 1 independent store within a 4 block radius. However, we understand that a retirement home needs pharmacy and health care access. One thing that is fairly common in retirement homes is a REDUCED SIZE, SATELLITE pharmacy/drug store that acts as a dispensary, getting frequent deliveries from a large store nearby. We think this would be much more suitable for the development, and would satisfy the needs of the retirement home residents without creating a lot more outside retail traffic.

    2) Grocery store - the neighborhood needs a grocer. However the neighborhood already has a grocer 1 block away - Carnival. I hate to see a local, independent store get run out of business. Is it possible that the developer could offer the Carnival owner an attractive option on the new space? If Carnival elects not to take it, then they can compete with the new store, and que sera sera.

    3) Signage - it would be great to set a precedent of subdued, architecturally integrated signage. Many suburban developments and town centers are adopting this. Signage needs to be of a reasonable size and integrated with the elevation, with restrictions on lighting - particularly outside of business hours.

    4) Citizens' board - it might make the neighborhood as a whole more comfortable if the developer would voluntarily agree to establish and work with a citizens' board regarding design decisions. We'd be happy to participate if such a board were established.

    Thanks for organizing the meeting. We hope that these points will be addressed.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I was out of town for Tuesday's meeting about the hospital redevelopment but *** attended and brought home the info...looks like a definite improvement for the neighborhood!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I am against the large number of residential units in the proposed plan for the hospital. I am also against any retail space. Either or both would create untenable congestion. Please do not allow either. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I am opposed to the current development proposal for the Lincoln Park Hospital site for the following reasons:

    residential density in the proposal is too high;

    any residential plan should respect the height limits of current residential units in the area--this means eliminating the 12 story tower;

    traffic congestion would increase in an already congested area;

    child safety would be compromised;

    additional retail is not needed--efforts should be made to use existing available retail space before adding more;

    and the argument that this proposal adds green space to the area is specious at best.

    Thank you for considering my views.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I have been following the proposal for use of the Lincoln Park Hospital site. I appreciate your close attention to a significant -- and hotly contested -- issue in our neighborhood. I live on Fremont, west of Oz Park. We frequent the park (especially with our dog) and our daughter attends Francis W. Parker School. We have lived in the neighborhood for over 20 years.
    I oppose the developer's proposal, as it currently stands. The area needs parking options, and a senior housing facility may be a good use of the hospital site. However, the sheer size of the proposed development -- including the retail concepts -- would over-burdens the neighborhood. That three-way intersection is already overloaded with traffic. Mornings and afternoons are particularly busy, in light of the many students traveling through that intersection on their way to the various schools. Further, while I hope the retail outlook improves soon, we have way too many empty storefronts in the neighborhood. It seems crazy to add more retail capacity at this time.
    I also fear that all the traffic will discourage use of the park. Oz Park is the largest neighborhood park in the immediate area, and attracts a wide variety of users. Let's not discourage people from going there, by forcing them to suffer through the increased traffic.
    I am hoping that the developer follows your suggestion to submit a revised plan, more consistent with our wonderful neighborhood.
    Very truly your

    ReplyDelete
  23. J and R K 2200 ClevelandJanuary 19, 2010 at 9:35 AM

    It was built by Bruce Graham as his home and has been our home for almost 20 years. We recently renewed the house with the guidance of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency (the house is a Landmark). The tower of Lincoln Hospital looks down upon us. We understood and accepted the hospital for the good it provided that outweighed the bad. A residential high-rise is another matter. Such a development hurts everything. It takes away our privacy. It adds congestion. It changes the atmosphere. It invites others. Retail at any level would be inconsistent with the neighborhood and add intolerable traffic. With the death of the hospital we can now find parking on our street during the day for the first time. Please do not permit anything on this location other than low-rise residential.

    Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Alderman Daley,

    I would like to express my appreciation for your constructive and positive role concerning the community meeting held on 1-14-10 regarding the proposed redevelopment of the Lincoln Park Hospital.

    I would like to thank you for supporting community's rejection of the planned retail element of the proposal. The proposed retail was not appropriate for this location for many reasons. The community is united in its opposition to the proposed retail.

    Thank you also for acknowledging the importance of preserving the results of the various historic agreements reached with the prior owners of the property in any new zoning approvals. These principals have been crafted over decades to maintain a healthy interrelationship between the hospital property and the surrounding neighbors.

    Thank you also for allowing the community to voice its united opposition to the proposed density of the proposed residential portions of the project. This density is much greater than the surrounding residential neighborhood. The community is united in their opposition to such a disparity between the very high density of the proposed project compared with that in the surrounding neighborhood.

    In addition, several design problems and questions exist with the proposal. First, the proposed residential units were not designed to reflect the project’s proximity to the Mid-North Historic District.

    Second, how could a developer possibly place the Senior Housing’s parking across the street from the senior residences? This highlights the fact that their proposal is not only inappropriate for our neighborhood, but that it is internally inconsistent and requires significant work to become a functional and successful reality.

    Third, the extensive use of Webster for access, loading and utility functions is another sign that the developer has not designed a proper development for this site. Webster is a well traveled street. The addition of a loading zone plus other driveways would overload it.

    Fourth, the project has no green space. The developer seeks to destroy the small amount of green space that exists on Webster. The green roof that they will install cannot be considered to be green space. It will never see the light of day, literally, as the height of the proposed tower would prohibit same. Even plants that can grow with minimal light will have difficulty in that dark environment. The planted areas proposed for Grant are front yards and will likely be fenced or otherwise made private.

    Thank you again for your constructive role regarding this project, and for permitting me the opportunity to voice my opinion as a neighbor. I would also ask that anyone posting to this blog provide address so that blog readers can understand their proximity to the site.

    Kind regards,

    J Glazier - 2156 N. Cleveland

    ReplyDelete
  25. R A M-D 2200 GenevaJanuary 20, 2010 at 8:17 AM

    As far as I am concerned, the plans for the hospital site are a disaster in the making. I have lived next door to this site for 47 years. I think this makes me creditable in regard to my opinion and experiences these many years.

    Six corner streets are very dangerous under the best of conditions. Even though the hospital has been 90% empty for a long time, traffic on those corners make crossing the street or driving time consuming and dangerous.

    This is a historical district zoned R5. We have worked diligently over the years to turn what was a slum, (believe me, and a dangerous one too), into a good place to live. The plans that the developers have projected, would cause the area to deteriorate rapidly.

    Business has never done well on Lincoln Avenue in all these years other than bars, a few pizza places and clothes cleaners. The huge stores they are planning will probably go belly up but not before forcing our long time local service stores out of business.We will be left with a greater eye sore than what we have now.

    The housing for seniors should be no higher than R5 allows, and parking should be on site, not across a busy street that they would be tempted to cross in the middle of to, save steps to get to the parking lot's door.

    Thank you for holding these public meetings. I am sure that you are aware that those who are for the project live a distance away from the site. We who live next door to it, are almost entirely against it, for good reasons.

    ReplyDelete
  26. HK and AK 2100 ClevelandJanuary 20, 2010 at 8:19 AM

    Thank you Alderman Daley for hosting the meeting regarding the Grant Hospital redevelopment. I was at the meeting and want to reiterate my position:


    1. All prior agreements with the neighborhood must be honored;
    2. Absolutely no rooftop parking (included in item #1);
    3. No retail; however, I would support retail space solely used for medical, dental, or
    other such services:
    4. Residential housing less dense than what was proposed and consistent with the
    historic/landmarked district surrounding the current hospital;
    5. Has an architectural style consistent with the historic/landmarked district
    surrounding the current hospital;
    6. Height limitation of 5/6 stories, certainly NO HIGH RISE.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Alderman Daley, thanks for listening to all the opinions at the meeting last week. It may seem like the community is all over the map but I believe the retail component is what the vast majority are worried about. If you are able to convince the developers to drop that part of the proposal it would go a long way to getting the support needed to make this project a reality, which I believe will benefit Lincoln Park.

    ReplyDelete
  28. As a resident of Lincoln Park, living on Hudson Ave, I oppose the retail component of the LP Hospital re-development as presented at last week's meeting at LPHS.

    I purchased my condo on Hudson after careful consideration of the street and integrity of the neighborhood in 2004. Although our growing family needs more space, we have stayed in our condo because of the wonderful neighbors, friends and location.

    I oppose any large retail/commercial re-development of LP Hospital including chains such as, Walgreens or a grocery store.

    Thank you for your time and consideration.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Thank you, Alderman Daley for hosting the January 12th meeting and allowing me now to express my strong feelings against the massive project proposed by the developers. I live one block from the hospital and will be intimately affected by any decision. I am not a developer, architect, or real estate person -- merely a resident (of 35 years). I have read most of the comments both for and against. Understandably, the developers and their cohorts want to make as much profit on their investment as possible.They purchased the property KNOWING that the property is zoned for medical purposes only, and they need the Alderman to agree to any changes; and she has reassured the neighbors that she would not agree to any changes without the consent of the majority of the neighbors. As of now, the large majority of neighbors (especially immediate neighbors -- those who will be most affected by the results of their plan) are strongly opposed. It is not the neighbors' or the politicians' job to ensure their profit (especially a large profit).They do not care about the real consequences to the neighborhood of their project, so long as they make their money; so why should we, who care about the livability of our neighborhood, care about their profit? They bought a hospital and their threat of last resort to the community is to keep it a hospital. As stated before by many others, the hospital preceded many of the residents; and most of us were comfortable with that institution. To make any profit, the developers cannot keep the hospital functioning; they can only threaten to do so. They can, however, make a very large profit by the "re-use" (what is being re-used if the interior will be just about gutted and the exterior reclad and reconfigured? -- any savings on re-use will accrue only to the developers' pockets) of the hospital, producing the first residential high-rise west of Clark St (SO FAR). This high-rise will sell for big bucks because IT HAS NO OTHER HIGH-RISE (so far) TO BLOCK ITS VIEW. At the meeting, the developers showed several slides to point out the precedence of retail (only small modest places)in our neighborhood along Lincoln Ave. In no slide was there a residential high-rise. And with the support of our Alderman, this project will not be that precedent.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I live on Cleveland Ave., in shadow of the property. I'm totally against any high-rise residential (I am not against a high-rise hosital -- the structure that is there now -- hospitals provide an invaluable community service and I am sorry to see it go). I am also against any large retail development). Just imagine, neighbors, a beautiful summer Saturday or Sunday (days when hospitals are almost inactive). Picture the traffic we normally face as people throng to our area. Now add the activity of a large retail establishment or two (supermarket?)and the people living in the 330 residences proposed by Mr Zisook. Good luck getting anywhere on Webster (would you rather try Fullerton or Armitage). Hard to picture now in January, but wait til June! The safety issues that will ensue will be on the developer's conscience; the consequences of parking, traffic, safety, pollution will be things that we and our children will have to live with indefinitely --it's just not worth it just to be able to walk one block less for that tube of Crest or that gallon of milk.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Zisook told the New York Times Friday that the battle against the hospital was "the biggest classic case of 'not in my backyard'" he'd ever seen. He said Wednesday that he stands by the quote.
    The above is taken from the New York Times expanded Chicago coverage-and while I can understand how Mr. Zisook feels-I do not believe that he is correct. Normally, the allegation of Not In My Backyard refers to people who, although they understand the communities need for something, be it a homeless shelter, a prison or a waste dump, do not want it near them. Rather they want it-but in somebody elses backyard. That is pretty far from the case here. Zisook is proposing building 50,000 or so sq. ft. of retail in a neighborhood that has a lot of retail space already-including over forty empty spaces within a few blocks of this site. He is proposing a grocery store a block from another grocery store and a drugstore two blocks from another drugstore. The community does not need this. And those who talk about jobs should remember that building retail space does not create succesful retailers. The empty or under-utilized spaces at Buzzy Ruttenberg's Belden center can attest to this. Is retail recovering. Interestingly, in the fourth quarter of last year, though retail sales were up-brick and mortar sales were down. The growth was in on-line retail. This may be sad-but it is true and does not seem to be changing. Ruttenburg should know-that is what happened to Tower Records-which he has not been so succesful replacing.
    As for condos-not really a need. In fact, the demonstrable need for any of this is so weak that the developers are trying to get the retail built because pre-leased retail is the only thing that they can get a construction loan for.
    So cutting to the chase, Richard Zisook is not answering the call of the community-only to be thwarted by selfish neighbors. Rather, he is trying to use what my neighbors and I have built up in the area to make himself some money-which is fine-but not in My Historic District.
    thanks
    Fred

    ReplyDelete
  32. I find it extremely interesting and ironic that Mr Zisook would stoop to name-calling of any kind, but most ironically: "NIMBY". He knows where we live -- Lincoln Park, and more specifically, a Historic Landmark District. But where does he live? According to easily-referenced internet sites, he lives in Northfield, in a neighborhood of large sprawling mansions,with nary a high-rise or a large retail in sight. In his "backyard" (and in many of his neighbors') is a good-sized swimming pool. I can only just imagine the "uproar" that would ensue if a developer wished to put up a strip-mall or a highrise anywhere near his enclave. NIMBY indeed: something about people living in glass houses throwing stones. Yes, he is "suburban" and we are "urban", but as we also all know the old technical distinctions have been long-since blurred -- just look at the urban-type sprawl of Woodfield or Oakbrook in contradistinction to the suburban-type sanctuaries of Sauganash, Edgebrook, and, yes, some areas of Lincoln Park.We are all NIMBYS. The key thing is RESPECT for the already-established community: whether it be in Lincoln Park or in Northfield.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Can we convince Portillo's to redevelop the land? I think we can all get on board with that!

    ReplyDelete
  34. The owners/developers of LPH threatened the neighbors that if they didn't get their way, LPH would become an eyesore. And they are doing everything they can to carry out their vendetta: closing the garage, putting in a charitable-front trailer, building ugly fences, etc (even the "tagging" was probably at their initiative (I see no other tags in the area). I heard much moaning in the past that owners/developers "have rights". Apparently they do not feel that they also have obligations -- to keep up the property they own. It only goes to prove that the neighborhood and the 43rd ward just cannot have faith in or trust the promises or stated intentions of Mr Supera and Zisook. I simply do not understand how their planned deterioration of their property is supposed to add to the spirit of compromise that Alderman Daley wishes or to the cooperation of the neighbors and the Alderman that the developers need.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Chicago desperately, dare I say *urgently*, needs more high rise housing. We just don't have sufficient supply of this stuff. But I don't want it in my back yard. tongue firmly in cheek...I think people are misusing the "NIMBY" term.

    ReplyDelete