Friday, March 1, 2013

Wilson Men's Hotel, part 2

Where is He Going To Put These People?

A series of articles in the Chicago Sun-Times by Mark Brown

So today I sat down and worked on a timeline pieced together from newspaper articles on-line mostly from last year and early this year.

Cappleman Promises: a timeline

1/31/2007 before coming into office campaigned that he would fight to preserve and maintain existing “affordable” housing in the 46th ward.

1/2012 after elected alderman, Cappleman came into office and established a “Problem Building List” targeting several SROs, a type of housing often the last stop before homelessness and shelters

2/27/2013 From article by Mark Brown: I asked Cappleman if he’d worked to build any new single-room occupancy housing in his ward since taking office two years ago. The answer was no.

The Chateau, 3820-3838 N. Broadway, one of the buildings on alderman’s infamous list

1/19/2012 at a community meeting James Cappleman expressed intention to improve and not close Hotel Chateau, hoping to improve living conditions in Hotel Chateau

AND THIS, before elected, campaign promise: Real Transparency

What process should an alderman use to gather input from residents about new residential and commercial developments?
Would create real committees with real minutes, accountability and transparency

1/29/13 Court Hearing for Chateau:
46th Ward Alderman James Cappleman had previously said more information about the owners would be revealed at the court hearing. But on Tuesday, Cappleman instead declined to state the buyer's name, saying he had promised the new owner not to reveal the identity.

The Chicago Reporter asked Cappleman why he would make such a promise, given that Chateau residents, his constituents, are anxious about the building’s fate. He waved his hand and said, “There’s something called the First Amendment.”
1//29/2013 Commitment to constituents to work on affordable housing
After the court hearing, residents of the Chateau surrounded Cappleman, questioning him about the building's future and their own. Cappleman replied that he was working with the Chicago Department of Family and Supportive Services to help residents find housing. Later Cappelman suggested residents contact the city for information on getting into homeless shelters.

Maryville Property
A developer has plans to build nearly 800 units at Clarendon and Montrose, a 31-story glass building, a 10-story glass building with townhomes lining its base, and 85,000 square feet of commercial space, using TIF funds.

Chicago ordinances require that 20 percent of the rental units be dedicated to affordable housing in a residential project requesting TIF assistance  — unless developers pay the city $100,000 per affordable unit not built.

Cappelman campaigned on:
Mayor Daley’s affordable housing proposal calls for a 10% set aside for certain developments.  These set asides would be targeted to people at 100% or less of the Area Median Income or AMI, which is about $75,000 per year for a family of four. 

Yes, and he would call for a 15% citywide set aside for developments in need of city assistance

JDL President James Letchinger said that 40 to 60 units — or 5 percent to 7.5 percent of the total — would be devoted to affordable housing. “It’s definitely not going to get to 20 percent, like ONE (Organization of the North East, a community organization in Uptown) wants,” he said.

[Cappleman has worked with JDL before, on a mega-construction project on Halsted.
Despite widespread and vocal opposition, freshman Alderman James Cappleman insists, “It’s a done deal” as he seeks approval for rezoning from five stories to the development’s proposed 15 stories. Opponents cite unwanted density and traffic, and a negative impact to affordable housing and property values.

Alderman Cappleman has evoked the ire of several hundred of ward voters because of his staunch support for this mega development at the northwest corner of Halsted and Bradley Place. Many residents and business owners believe the development would greatly conflict with the character of the community and the preferences of a majority of area residents. Impact studies concluded that current residents would suffer from momentous increases in density and congestion; see city water, sewerage and electrical infrastructure greatly taxed at their expense; and lose natural light.

As of October 29, 2012 construction is set to begin.]

From alderman Cappleman’s website—the Maryville proposal is on task to go thru. Goal is to break ground by the end of 2013.

Jay Michaels of FLATS Chicago is buying buildings no other developer wants—SROs with low-income tenants—and converting these dilapidated spaces into luxury rentals, all of which will operate under FLATS. Michael will, with a few exceptions, keep the units their original size, putting the smallest FLATS apartment at 275 square feet. The average unit size, excluding a few multibedroom outliers: 350 square feet. That’s including a bathroom, kitchen and a place to sleep. Rents will range from the $700s to the low $1,000s per month.

ONE, an Uptown nonprofit that champions affordable housing, is concerned about the number of people who may be forced out of the neighborhood. The organization requested that Michael keep a portion of FLATS housing priced at or not much above what current SRO tenants are paying, which can be as low as $475 per month, perhaps using the help of government programs.

Michael says while he doesn’t like the term affordable housing—it’s tricky, he explains, because the city, state and federal governments all have different definitions of affordable—he is willing to work with Lynch-Dungy to make FLATS what he calls “approachable” to longtime Uptown residents.

Early in November, Michael and other designers met Ald. James Cappleman. “We’re happy that some of these buildings, that after falling apart, he’s purchasing and renewing and keeping the feel of the neighborhood,” said Tressa Feher, Cappleman's chief of staff.

FLATS has the support of 46th Ward Ald. James Cappleman. “[Michael] reached out to me,” the alderman says. “Not many developers do that. I was impressed by his willingness and his commitment to connect with people in the community to get their thoughts.”

From alderman’s website (an advertisement for FLATS)

Making the most of a small space — or “microliving” — is on the rise among Chicagoans who want to live simply and stylishly in popular neighborhoods. In the past two years, 31-year-old real estate minimogul Jay Michael of FLATSChicago and his two business partners have embraced the trend, buying up old buildings in Andersonville, Edgewater, Lincoln Square and Uptown, then remaking the run-down properties into thousands of chic apartments for the young and upwardly mobile. This unit in the Edgewater building, dubbed No. 5718 ($1,000/month; rents vary based on unit and building), makes its debut at the beginning of March, and — thanks to some help from the design team at Chicago-based CB2 (which will offer all FLATS residents 10 percent off of their purchases) — demonstrates just how fabulous 400 square feet can be.
The Norman Hotel 1325 Wilson--now a FLATS, for about $1,000 a month (average)

No comments: