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Old November 18th, 2005, 04:35 AM   #1
chicagogeorge
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Pilsen Development News

Business
$125 mil. Pilsen development

November 17, 2005

BY DAVID ROEDER AND FRAN SPIELMAN Staff Reporters A


Former U.S. Housing Secretary Henry Cisneros and co-investors have secured control of 6.5 acres in Pilsen and want to build 391 homes on the two-block stretch of mostly industrial land.

The final investment could be around $125 million, said Bill Purcell, president of Kimball Hill Suburban Centers, a partner in the deal. It would be the biggest housing development in Pilsen in years and would try to feed off success of the upscale University Village complex a few blocks north.

As such, the project could stir criticism that developers are carving up the largely Mexican community for wealthy white buyers and pushing out current residents. Cisneros said he has countered that charge by keeping community groups apprised of the plans and by holding his home prices relatively low.

"The hope is that the economic momentum around the University of Illinois will continue into the South Side, but that it doesn't change the character of Pilsen,'' said Cisneros, chairman of a development and housing finance company called CityView.

He said he's looking at similar investments in "work force housing,'' which is priced to be affordable to middle-income families, within Chicago and in East Chicago, Ind. CityView has a $250 million funding commitment from the California Public Employees Retirement System for such projects across the country.

"We expect to be a major force in central Chicago work force housing,'' Cisneros said. CityView is building several such developments in California and, with Kimball Hill, is discussing a deal in Detroit that could involve more than 1,000 new homes.

The Pilsen project extends about a block each way along Peoria from 16th to 18th streets.

Purcell said the standard home prices will range from $250,000 to about $700,000, with most in the $300,000 to $350,000 range. That's well below the prevailing rate in University Village, a 930-home complex on the southern edge of the University of Illinois at Chicago campus.

In addition, the Cisneros group has agreed to call 82 units "affordable,'' which in this case would price them for buyers with 60 percent to 90 percent of median Chicago income. Most "affordable'' designations price homes for buyers within 80 percent to 120 percent of the median.

A source said the investors have paid $6 million to $8 million to secure sales contracts with the land's multiple owners.

Another partner is Chicago-based Mota Construction Co. Inc., a Hispanic-owned company. Mota has agreed to hire mostly Hispanic workers for the project, said David Betlejewski, executive director of a neighborhood business group, Eighteenth Street Development Corp.

Purcell said plans call for Cisneros' company and Mota to own 55 percent of the venture, and Kimball Hill to have the rest.

Pilsen's alderman, Danny Solis (25th), said the Hispanic ownership and hiring commitment "are good indicators of something that I could support.'' The investors have applied with the city for a zoning change to convert the property from industrial to residential use, a step that typically needs the local alderman's blessing to succeed.

Solis said the plan will be the subject of more community meetings. "They have filed for a zoning change, but that doesn't mean this is a done deal,'' he said.

Betlejewski's group works to preserve Pilsen's industrial jobs, but in this case supports converting an old factory site into homes, he said. Tool and Engineering Co., which made prototypes for the Chicago Auto Show, closed the operation years ago.

"We did everything we could to market it, and had no luck,'' Betlejewski said. He said the new homes should generate about $15 million for a tax subsidy district in Pilsen that can be used for other projects within the industrial corridor.

The largest pieces in the development would be two 10-story condo buildings along 16th Street, Purcell said. He said five-story buildings along 18th Street, a commercial artery, would include stores on the ground level and condos above.

The rest of the site would have a mix of town houses and three- to 12-flats.

"We are designing this so the buildings look like they belong there,'' Purcell said. "We don't believe in trying to drop in a design from other places.''

Cisneros is a former mayor of San Antonio who was President Bill Clinton's secretary of housing and urban development from 1993 to 1997. Cisneros resigned under scandal and eventually admitted he lied in an FBI background check to conceal payments to a former mistress.

He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor and was fined $10,000, but Clinton pardoned him in 2001.
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for the Pelasgians, too, were a Greek nation originally from the Peloponnesus
The Roman Antiquities of Dionysius of Halicarnassus
http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/...assus/1B*.html

Macedonia, of course, is a part of Greece". Strabo, VII, Frg. 9
http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/...ragments*.html

But north of the gulf, the first inhabitants are Greeks called Epirotes....
Procopius
http://books.google.com/books?id=9m6...page&q&f=false
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Old November 18th, 2005, 05:22 AM   #2
The Urban Politician
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^Dude, this doesn't need its own thread. Besides, this article was already posted in "da South Side" thread
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Old November 18th, 2005, 05:32 AM   #3
chicagogeorge
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I checked, the thread, I can't believe I missed it there. Anyway, the mods can delete or move it.

Pilsen is actually in the Lower West Side. Not to get technical.
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for the Pelasgians, too, were a Greek nation originally from the Peloponnesus
The Roman Antiquities of Dionysius of Halicarnassus
http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/...assus/1B*.html

Macedonia, of course, is a part of Greece". Strabo, VII, Frg. 9
http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/...ragments*.html

But north of the gulf, the first inhabitants are Greeks called Epirotes....
Procopius
http://books.google.com/books?id=9m6...page&q&f=false
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Old November 18th, 2005, 05:35 AM   #4
chicagogeorge
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Ok now I saw it there.
Can a mod delete this thread please.
Sorry about that.
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for the Pelasgians, too, were a Greek nation originally from the Peloponnesus
The Roman Antiquities of Dionysius of Halicarnassus
http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/...assus/1B*.html

Macedonia, of course, is a part of Greece". Strabo, VII, Frg. 9
http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/...ragments*.html

But north of the gulf, the first inhabitants are Greeks called Epirotes....
Procopius
http://books.google.com/books?id=9m6...page&q&f=false
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Old February 23rd, 2006, 06:13 PM   #5
wickedestcity
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im sorrry guys i must be blind. i searched this development forum 5 times and could not find the southside developement thread and so im gonna just post the link to an article here:

City endorses Pilsen development plan
Planning commissioners take shots at Pilsen Alliance
http://www.chicagojournal.com/main.a...99&TM=83762.18
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Old February 24th, 2006, 11:57 PM   #6
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Cisneros, Kimball Hill Team on 387-Unit Pilsen Project
By Mark Ruda

Last updated: February 24, 2006 08:13am


A group that includes a company chaired by former HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros plans to build 387 multifamily units on 6.3 acres in a Pilsen community wary of gentrification. The plan commission endorsed the $125-million project by a limited liability corporation that also includes giant private builder Kimball Hill Homes.


Four condominium buildings containing 286 units, 14 townhouses and 87 units in three-, six- and 12-flat buildings will replace warehouses occupied by a melon wholesaler, vacant warehouses and an area used by a construction company for staging. Most units will range from $270,000 to more than $600,000, 18th and Peoria LLC president William Purcell tells GlobeSt.com. However, his group is voluntarily earmarking 82 units--21% of the total--for buyers qualifying under the city’s affordable housing initiative. The decision was voluntary as the developers, 18th and Peoria LLC, are not seeking city financial assistance or density bonuses. Those units would range from $151,000 to $215,000, prices not considered affordable by grassroots activists opposing the project who point to a median income in the area of $27,000.

http://globest.com/news/482_482/chicago/143250-1.html
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Old February 26th, 2006, 12:31 AM   #7
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Bvictor, or ChicagoShawn.... Cough up those renderings... Thanks in advance.
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Old February 26th, 2006, 03:03 AM   #8
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I'm not sure if these are accurate or even the same project, but someone else might be able to confirm them?



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Old February 26th, 2006, 09:21 PM   #9
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^ Nice work, Spyguy.

I like the townhomes--they don't have that repetitive brick University Village look, as I was worried about
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Old February 27th, 2006, 06:19 AM   #10
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^Yup that is the project. One of the best merrits of this project is the affordable housing component, which is being created out of the developer's own pockets. There will be no tax money, subsidation or grants used in the creation of this project. I think that alone is pretty damn admirable.
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Old February 27th, 2006, 06:31 AM   #11
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Looks great. Defintely a type of development that should be built more outside of downtown and the lakefront. I just cant stress that enough, especially around el stations or popular commercial corridors.
I would prefer taller structures in the more desirable areas or near the busiest el stations, but 8-12 stories is fine with me.
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Old February 27th, 2006, 07:28 AM   #12
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I just hope the gentrification of Pilsen doesn't ultimately destroy its uniqueness.
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Old February 27th, 2006, 08:39 AM   #13
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it could stand some change, though i do love it as is,
i always get dirty looks when i drive through there,
seems that the denizens are very angry about the changes going on there, but do they think that through sheer force of will they can scare people away?
true i used my parents suv, so im to them the cliche white yuppie they hate, but in actuality im not moving in there, just curious about the hood,

my ma stopped in the mickey ds there to kill time and she got alot of bad vibes and dirty looks as well,
its like oh no lets stare down the "all mighty whitey",
which is just overgeneralization on their part,
the street does go both ways as far as bad feelings with race/neigborhood relations,
which i can understand,
but its not as if pilsen was invented to be all hispanic and it is their right to keep it such.
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Old February 27th, 2006, 09:07 AM   #14
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DP....!!! Impatient fingers... for a sluggish website.

Last edited by NWside; February 27th, 2006 at 09:19 AM.
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Old February 27th, 2006, 09:18 AM   #15
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Seems as if the architects wanted to blend in the 3-flats with the rest of the colorful neighborhood. I like...

Wong... I also get "dirty" looks in Pilsen, and I'm 100% Hispanic... lets not over generalize on your part.
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Old February 27th, 2006, 09:42 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NWside
Seems as if the architects wanted to blend in the 3-flats with the rest of the colorful neighborhood. I like...

Wong... I also get "dirty" looks in Pilsen, and I'm 100% Hispanic... lets not over generalize on your part.
yeah i guess i may be overreading shit, i dunno
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Old February 27th, 2006, 10:58 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mohammed wong
it could stand some change, though i do love it as is,
i always get dirty looks when i drive through there,
seems that the denizens are very angry about the changes going on there, but do they think that through sheer force of will they can scare people away?
true i used my parents suv, so im to them the cliche white yuppie they hate, but in actuality im not moving in there, just curious about the hood,

my ma stopped in the mickey ds there to kill time and she got alot of bad vibes and dirty looks as well,
its like oh no lets stare down the "all mighty whitey",
which is just overgeneralization on their part,
the street does go both ways as far as bad feelings with race/neigborhood relations,
which i can understand,
but its not as if pilsen was invented to be all hispanic and it is their right to keep it such.
You arrogant white person you.



Seriously, if you know the less gentry neighborhoods of Chicago, they're all like that. I don't know if they're giving you dirty looks, or if they're just looking at you. It could easily be misinterpreted to be a dirty look when its just a normal inquisitive look.
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Old February 28th, 2006, 06:04 PM   #18
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http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...alnearwest-hed

Pilsen goes on historic list
Homeowners who rehab eligible for property tax relief

By Oscar Avila
Tribune staff reporter
Published February 28, 2006


The Pilsen and Heart of Chicago neighborhoods will be home to one of the most bountiful state historic districts, a bid by neighborhood leaders to help longtime residents stay.

The owners of about 4,200 buildings will be eligible to have their property taxes frozen for eight years if they invest 25 percent of the assessor's estimated market value into rehabilitating their buildings, preservation officials announced Monday.

The new historic district, approved earlier this month by the National Park Service, comes as Pilsen residents try to balance new condominium development with the needs of longtime homeowners who worry that they will eventually be priced out.

"I hope this will help keep people in the neighborhood," said Ald. Daniel Solis (25th), who received a plaque from a state preservation official.

William Wheeler, associate director of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, said the new district has the most properties of any urban district in the state.

Pilsen and Heart of Chicago are unusual in that nearly 90 percent of the properties will be eligible, Wheeler said. Owners could opt out of the historic district if they chose.

Researchers at the University of Virginia created a building inventory for the area, which was settled by Czech immigrants in the early 20th Century and is now a thriving area for Mexican immigrants.

Although the initiative has the support of several neighborhood groups and merchants, some critics of rampant development worry it will shut out the most vulnerable residents.

Alejandra Ibanez, executive director of the Pilsen Alliance, a neighborhood group, said few homeowners will be able to afford the minimum expenses to qualify for the tax freeze.

Ibanez also said that city officials also need to take steps to protect renters facing a rising cost of living.

"It is one strategy. But we've seen that gentrification is a tough fight to engage in and there is no silver bullet," she said. "We have to be more steadfast and creative to find other solutions."

Solis said he hopes many neighborhood residents will participate.

He hopes to work with lending institutions to offer discounted loan rates for homeowners who want to rehab their properties and qualify for the tax freeze.

Solis said his model is the city's initiative to preserve bungalows, which also includes discounts from home-improvement stores.

Cecilia Gonzalez, 59, said she heard about the initiative through a newsletter and sees it as a way to stay in the neighborhood she has called home since 1959.

Gonzalez, who owns a three-flat built nearly a century ago, hopes to redo the building's plumbing and electric, a task that might have been too expensive without the tax freeze.

"I would love to spend the rest of my life in Pilsen," she said.
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Old March 13th, 2006, 11:58 PM   #19
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This is probably a little old

http://www.nearwestgazette.com/Archi...storye0306.htm

Protests, praise meet new Pilsen development
By Hayley Carlton




Plans for a housing development in Pilsen were unveiled to mixed reaction at a crowded meeting held in February at Providence of God Church, 717 W. 18th St. The development, which will be located near 18th and Peoria Streets on two city blocks of former industrial and railroad land, will feature almost 400 condominiums and townhouses, of which 21% will be set aside as affordable.

While some at the meeting claimed the development would be good for Pilsen, others said it would lead to more gentrification. A group of protesters held signs in front of the church stating “Pilsen is not for sale.”

“Are these truly affordable?” asked Alejandra Ibenez of Pilsen Alliance, which led the protest. According to Ibenez, the new housing will leave out a large portion of the area’s population “who are not really going to benefit.”

Former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Henry Cisneros is one of the developers and spoke at the meeting. “People are leaving for Cicero, for East Chicago, for the suburbs because we need homes,” said Cisneros. He added that, of the 82 units earmarked as affordable, 34 would be set aside at a price of $150,000. “A family making $35,000 [combined income] could afford this home.”

Later, during a question and answer session, a woman in the audience stated, “You said that a family making $35,000 could afford these homes, but the median income in Pilsen is $27,000.” Cisneros responded the median income is rising, while Alderman Danny Solis (25th), who supports the project, noted, “Median income means that half is above that figure and half is below.”

According to the developer’s plans, the affordable units will be 50 one-bedroom condos, 29 two-bedroom condos, and some additional three-bedroom condos. All 18 of the townhouses in the development will be sold at market value.

Cisneros said his company would work with Pilsen community groups to market the affordable units and set them aside “so that Pilsen residents would have first crack at them,” he said. “We can’t say that only Pilsen residents can live there. That would be illegal. But we can allow these community organizations to market them.”

Besides Cisneros’s CityView company, the development is being built by the Chicago-based firm Mota Construction and Kimball Hill Homes. CityView and Mota will hold 55% of the development while Kimball Hill holds the rest. Mota Construction founder Ray Mota is from Chicago and the son of Mexican immigrants. Mota Construction has worked on other Pilsen area buildings including El Hogar Del Nino, Cristo Rey High School, and the Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum, where Mota sits on the board.

The buildings will have retail on the ground floors and include amenities such as meeting rooms, exercise rooms, balconies, and green space. Each unit would have one parking space. “It’s very exciting green space,” said Patricia Saldana-Natke, owner of Urban Works Ltd. She explained that more than an acre of green space will be added to the development and “will be open to the public.” The development also will feature “the character and beauty of the Mexican landscape.”

Ibenez counters that an acre of green space is not enough. “An acre sounds like a lot, but really it’s just four city lots,” Ibenez said. “You’re going be having 600 to 1,000 people in one acre of green space.”

David Betlejewski, executive director of the18th Street Development Corporation, supports the project. “There are some very good aspects,” he noted, explaining the project is not “taking any TIF money” and it defines affordable as 60% to 90% of the city’s median income.

The project is being built on the site of a former factory that has been closed for years. It used to be part of the Pilsen TIF.

“TIFs are supposed to last for 23 years”, said Ibenez, who stated the present Pilsen TIF is only seven years old and that Alderman Solis “hasn’t done enough.”

Betlejewski countered that the area was “gerrymandered” into the current TIF. “It stuck out like a sore thumb,” he said. In his opinion, the present Pilsen TIF closely resembles the Pilsen Industrial Corridor, “which no one can touch,” and the current plans fit in better with the area “which is mostly residential. This is the single largest development in the history of Pilsen.”

Concerns from audience members included whether the project would cause overcrowding in Pilsen schools and if day care would be located in the development. Solis stated Pilsen schools such as Perez, Jungman, and Wall are currently under-populated. No day care center is planned, but because retail space will be included, the developers believe it is possible someone will open a day care center there.

The Chicago Plan Commission approved the development on Feb. 16, but opponents still have the opportunity to raise objections before the City makes a final decision.
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Old March 14th, 2007, 04:22 PM   #20
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University Village / Pilsen

Univeristy Village / Pilsen is NOT SOUTH LOOP.

There are different politics here and a different mindset. It is much more diversified here with a a very strong Mexican population. The diminishing ABLA population still have a presence, albeit a much, much smaller one.

Ivy Hall is shaping up and seems nice, albeit very consistent with the rest of the development. People generally hate this or love it depending on a person's idea of whether conformity is a good thing or something to live without. The retail at the UV Marketplace is a restaurant / bar center with a few dress shops thrown in. I love the Italian Sandwich / Gelato shop on the square next to Barbara's bookstore. MUCH BETTER DEAL than the rip off center Cold Stone Creamery down the street. The rest of the retail is SLOW to lease, especially the large space on the corner of Halsted and Maxwell.

University Commons AKA South Water Market is almost done, and new construction (the Murado?) condominium complex is being marketed right behind University Station as "University Village." Roosevelt Square is ongoing, but I worry about how this new construction will age with the decades.

At 16th and Halsted, brand new condos stretch the entire length toward Podmajersky's "artist" colonies. UNION ROW is a new development at 16th and Union. Residents there wonder whether Podmajersky's son will help transform the neighborhood when the old man passes. They have a real estate empire over there.

The Gentrification argument continues but the drumbeat goes on and the condos are coming in. Chantico Lofts, the HUGE Centro 18, Union Row, etc., etc.,

University Village / Pilsen is VERY different than the South Loop. Technically, UV is "near west side", which is the west loop, and Pilsen is "lower west side."
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