Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Alderman's Response:


Per your request, below is the status of the various projects in the ward:

1) the project that was proposed to happen at the corner of Rogers and Sheridan

Ownership of the property is in dispute and is now a subject of litigation. The developer, Peter Tutera, believed Bong Kim, the property's original owner, sold him the property. But Mr. Kim also sold the property to Sargon Issaac,the neighboring property owner. Tutera claims fraud and the matter is now in court.

2) the Walgreen’s that was talked about at Howard and Sheridan where the Marathon gas station is?

Walgreen's had second thoughts and pulled out of the deal quite some time ago.

3) the on again/off again town home project at Ashland and Howard

After a two years of negotiations, the developer, my office and the city finally came to an agreement on the design for this proposed 43-unit townhome/condominium development. The Planned Development received all cit approvals nearly a year ago. Obviously, nothing has happened since. The developer, Johnny Trazakis, clearly is not interested in developing the site. Because the property is in a TIF, the City has the ability to acquire it by eminent domain. I have asked the City to place this property on the acquisition map, which is a shot across the bow that hopefully will get some action from the owner to either sell the property or begin to develop it. If that doesn't work, I will ask the City to acquire the property and issue an RFP (Request for Proposal) for developers to come up with alternative proposals for the site.

4) the community center at Marshfield and Howard

The Public Building Commission has taken over responsibility for constructing the community center and just last month authorized the award of the construction contract. Construction should commence soon and finish by some time in 2007 I have a meeting with PBC officials tomorrow at my office where I hope to get a construction schedule.

5) the Pivot Point project that started and then stopped

The construction work you have seen was simply work to improve the facade and internal demolition. The owners of the property need to receive a zoning change in order to proceed with the conversion of the property to 37 condominium units. A community meeting was held last month on the proposal and the 49th Ward Zoning and Land Use Advisory Committee voted unanimously to recommend I support the zoning change. I will accept their recommendation pending a determination by the Zoning Administrator that no parking is required.

6) the residential development project at Clark and Howard on the Evanston side

The project, a 17-story apartment building, is going forward as planned. My office has been in discussion with the City, the CTA and the developers about traffic plans during construction. Howard Street may need to be narrowed to one lane in each direction on that block during construction, and the developer needs the CTA's cooperation to allow cement trucks travel the bus lanes next to the Howard el.

7) the liquor and amusement license being applied for at Biddy’s

The applicants applied for an incidental liquor license and public place of amusement license. I met with them last week and they told me they wanted to operate a restaurant and a nightclub. It was pretty clear to me after meeting with them that the nightclub was their primary focus and the restaurant was secondary. While they plan to serve food, it was evident to me that most of their revenue would be derived from the nightclub. Accordingly, I asked them to withdraw their application for an incidental license. If they fail to do so, I will go on record opposing the application.

If they apply for the appropriate license, which is a license to operate a bar, I will ask them to meet with the community and make their case. If they fail to win community support, I will oppose that application as well.

I hope this answers your question. Please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions.

Joe Moore

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