Red Hot Rental Market

5 Jul

A quick belated Happy Birthday to America! Hope everyone enjoyed the neighborhood fireworks throughout the city!!

Last week Crain’s Chicago had a quick piece about a $33 million Lakeview building purchase that keeps with what everyone else has been talking about: how nuts the rental market is getting in Chicago. It’s too early to tell if this is a real verifiable trend but one thing is clear, developers think so.

As pointed out in previous blogs our Edgewater neighborhood is growing more attractive by the day to developers. Prices are not has high as Lakeview and downtown but demand is growing. It’s really a matter of time now until someone starts looking at these prime lake front parcels and starts buying and building.

Keep sending in those tips and getting signatures on our petition!



The Flood Gates are Open for Wal-Mart in Chicago

28 Jun

If a Wal-Mart store is less than 15,000 square feet, is it still a Wal-Mart?

Recently Crain’s Chicago reported that the giant retailer from Arkansas is planning its SECOND store in Lakeview, this one only 14,000 s.f. Wal-Mart of course has many stigmas attached to it and understandably so. However, most of these negative impressions surround their larger, ‘Supercenter’ stores that create massive traffic impacts, and often draw criminal elements to their expansive parking lots. Still, I’m not convinced that these proposes smaller stores aren’t simply Trojan Horses being kindly lead into our city walls.

I wouldn’t be surprised if next month or next year we see an application for a 150,000 s.f. Wal-Mart that gets approval, after all, they’re already in Chicago!

On a side note, thanks to everyone for continuing to sign the petition and providing feedback from the neighborhood!

Lake Front High-Rises Continue to Rise

24 Jun

It seems every week another high-rise rental building is being proposed along the lake front. This week, we found out that Magellan is planning a 45 story tower close to downtown. Sure that’s far away from our ‘quieter’ streets in Edgewater, however, the seeming demand for lake front towers does not seem to be slowing and the neighbors can’t twiddle their thumbs until plans are posted on this blog or another!

The property located just north of Foster on Sheridan is ripe for such a massive tower and residents need to be aware of the huge impacts including traffic increases, overwhelming congestion, construction noise, construction dust and pollution, shadow impacts, and more residents that don’t have a stake in our community because they are renters.

If you haven’t already, reach out to Alderman Osterman and let him know your concerns about this property and the seemingly unchecked rental tower development occurring throughout the city.
Contact info:

Ward Office
5533 N. Broadway St.
Chicago, Illinois 60640
phone: (773) 784-5277
fax: (773) 784-5033

Empty Retail in high rise buildings

18 Jun

I was biking around town this weekend and ended up passing by several ‘high rise’ buildings with empty retail at street level. It seems that these large buildings either have 5 stories of parking that help canyon-ize our streets or they preach ‘mixed use’ developments and end up just having empty store fronts because no retailer or local shop owner wants to take a risk and sign some 10 year lease agreement.

This is merely an observation and not a confirmed study but look around and see if you don’t agree…Development can be great and can at times do all that the developers promise but these days it seems less likely and it takes neighbors and residents in the area standing up and making their voices heard to ensure that no one is being taken advantage of!

Enjoy the nice weather and as always, stop and take a look around once and while.

Pedestrian Scrambles and Traffic in Chicago

15 Jun

What’s a “pedestrian scramble”? Sounds like a bad breakfast special, but in reality you can find the answer in this recent article put out by the SunTimes and discussed on The Chicago Architecture Blog.

Turns out Chicago has problems with pedestrian crossings throughout the city and especially near tourist hot spots. More over there are places, such as off high ways and LSD where drivers forget they are on city streets and NOT a major thru-way.

As stated before on this site, traffic along Sheridan is nothing to scoff at and neither are our pedestrian crossings. The media usually picks up stories like this when referring to our ‘downtown’ and high tourist areas, however, our leaders should not forget about the often equally congested northern regions where us tax payers also battle with speeders and txting teens.

Food 4 Thought.

Outside inluences on neighborhood character

10 Jun

I was reading through the new website Chicago Neighborhoods First and stumbled upon a great point regarding development and our neighborhoods- ‘too much outside influences can diminish the unique character of our neighborhoods.’

This isn’t necessarily an argument for NO DEVELOPMENT but it should strengthen the resolve of committed residents to really taking a look at what’s being proposed in their area and what impacts might come about if such a development is approved.

Characteristics can include building size, height, tenants, architecture styling, destruction of relevant and old buildings, the list goes on.

This weekend as your walking around (trying to stay dry) check out the real details of our neighborhood and decide whether or not you should be participating more…


7 Jun

Yup, it’s our monthly push to keep tabs on the site for a potential high-rise building on Sheridan Road near Foster! Some of the recent development and Real Estate news in our area centers on the fact that Andersonville and Uptown have seen the single largest percentage increase in home values over the last decade! This of course is great news to us home and condo owners but it also demonstrates how desirable our neighborhood is becoming.

These increases in property values are extremely appetizing to developers and with limited plots of land near the water and on Sheridan it is only a matter of time before we get that notice in the mail: “proposed high-rise development on Sheridan Road. 200 feet tall. Come to local meeting to see the plans!”

More recently folks have mentioned the idea of rezoning the property NOW. This is a great idea and should be pursued. In the mean time keep checking in here and call Alderman Osterman to find out what’s really going on in our neighborhood!

Stay cool!



Weekly Nearby Development Updates

3 Jun

Crain’s reports that the Old Prentice Hospital’s future is still up in the air as the Landmark panel deferred its vote yesterday. Check out the full article here.


Harbor View low-rise development remains abandoned  at 434 W. Melrose in Lakeview as reported by Curbed this afternoon.


Edgewater Branch Library update from the Alderman’s office via EdgeVille Buzz. The CPL as many know is looking to build a new branch library at the site of the current building at 1210 West Elmdale. Look forward to seeing its progress!


500 foot high-rise being proposed on Clarendon

30 May

The highrises continue to creep up from downtown!

Every once and a while you’ll hear someone say, “If you don’t like tall buildings, move to the suburbs!” but the reality is never that simple. To begin with if you’ve purchased a home than simply ‘moving to the suburbs’ is not remotely possible unless you’re willing to pay a large chunk of your savings to sell your place. Secondly, most cities,  have low rise residential neighborhoods that provide the ease of city living (transportation, good restaurants, access to downtown, the list goes on) without the cement canyons of living in their financial districts or business districts. It seems that this is urban planning 101.

As stated in an earlier blog- tall buildings cast huge shadows and bring with them an increased density and congestion.  Most will agree that the area north of this proposed site is arguably one of the densest places to live in the city and for good reason! People want water views, and park and water access. Great, but buildings like the one proposed represent a selfish disregard for the current residents that made the neighborhood liveable and safe and attractive for developers to build in the first place. It seems they should have a serious say when such a massive building is proposed. The same goes for the Sheridan Road property near Foster Ave.

This Week’s Development Updates

25 May

Not too surprising but the concerned citizens in Lincoln Park are suing the City of Chicago and the developer. This case seems to be a sad one because everyone was expressing their opinions but no one was listening…now the courts must listen. We’ll see what happens….

The proposed Edgewater Library gets community blow-back. The Edgewater Community Council (ECC) and the Edgewater Environment Sustainability Project (EESP) have written a letter to the Chicago Library Commissioner expressing their concerns for lack of community involvement. More on this here.

Finally, our Alderman, Harry Osterman has his new 48th Ward website up and running. He says: ” I welcome your ideas and suggestions on what we can do together to move our community and city forward, and please contact my office if there is an issue we can be of assistance with.”

Check it out and let him hear our concerns on Sheridan Road!

City Hall Office
121 N. LaSalle St., Room 300
Chicago, IL 60602
phone: 773-744-6860
fax: 312-744-0804

Ward Office
5533 N. Broadway St.
Chicago, Illinois 60640
phone: (773) 784-5277
fax: (773) 784-5033

Ward Office Hours:
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. – Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays & Fridays
9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. – Tuesdays