Monday, February 22, 2010


Announcement From 49th Ward Alderman Joe Moore:

Community Meeting on Proposed Development at

1557-61 W. Howard

Dear Neighbor,
I am writing to invite you to attend a community meeting to review a proposal for a new residential and commercial development at 1557-61 W. Howard (currently the site of the old Wisdom Bridge Theater building and the former DevCorp North office building). The meeting will be held on Monday, February 22nd, 7:00 p.m., at Willye White Park Fieldhouse, 1610 W. Howard.

Developers Richard Aronson and Scott Sinar will present their proposal for a seven-story mixed-use building. The building would contain 60 residential units and 15,000 to 30,000 square feet of commercial space. The proposal would also include 60-75 parking spaces located within the building.

The first three floors of the proposed development would contain parking and retail and office space. No commercial or office tenants have been identified, but the developers have indicated a desire to locate a live theater company at the site. The top four floors would consist of either condominiums or rental units depending on market conditions at the time of completion of the project.

The property currently is zoned B3-3. A zoning change to B3-5 would be required to allow for the proposed development.

I have attached below a rendering and floor plans for the proposed development.

icon 1557-61 W Howard Elevations[1].pdf (1242 KB)

icon 1557-61 W Howard Floor_Plans[1].pdf (481 KB)

I urge you to attend the meeting to provide your opinions of the proposal. If you are unable to attend, please feel free to reply to this e-mail ( with your thoughts and suggestions.
Joe Moore


Save Street End Beaches said...

Will the Wisdom Bridge building be torn down?

mcl said...

Based on the site drawings included in the meeting announcement (which you can link to) that would appear to be the case.

Save Street End Beaches said...

Great, another Rogers Park landmark bites the dust. Thanks Joe.

Bill Morton said...

Joe Moore and Rich Aronson, tearing up our neighborhood again!

Now, whose great idea is it to put a mixed-use building (another storefront), on empty-storefront Howard Street? Nearly every storefront in Rogers Park along Howard Street is completely empty.

You know, the condo skyscraper on Howard went into foreclosure shortly after it opened. What makes Rich Aronson's cookie cutter condos any better?

This post that I read recently, sums it up nicely:

This the Adelphi Theater, the North Shore School and Lerner building all over again. Another dangerous eyesore hole in the ground for years and years to come.

Joe Moore has a long history of supporting fraudulent and foreclosure developers.

Let's see the numbers. He never discloses the dollar amounts or investors involved. Joe also doesn't take the time to do the proper research on those he backs, picking loser after loser after loser.

Just look at Swanette Triem's rush demo of the North Shore School to avoid the IEPA busting her for exposing our community to Asbestos in the air we breathe. Chad Zuric.

Let us remember Chad "Cedomer" Zuric, and the now defunct Golden Hands Construction corporation that demolished the Adelphi Theater and left our neighborhood with that dangerous abandoned Hole of a Mess.

Rich Aronson is the Chad Zuric of 2010.

Bill Morton said...

Another very important note is that, Joe Moore did not have an inspector check the land that the Wisdom Bridge Theatre stands upon.

The land directly beside it, the Lerner Hole, once was a laundry facility that contaminated the land. Because this land is contaminated, no one can build anything on it.

Ever wonder why the Lerner hole, located on Howard Street and Ashland Avenue (across from Willye B. White Park and directly next to the Wisdom Bridge Theatre), still has large equipment digging holes?

It is because no one knows how deep the contamination goes from the former laundry facility. Until the contamination is cleared, no buildings can legally be built on the property.

What are the chances that this is also true for the Wisdom Bridge property? Great.

Ask Joe and Rich Aronson about the land contamination and catch him in a jitter.

If the Wisdom Bridge Theatre is demolished, it is guaranteed to remain a vacant, dangerous hole in the ground for at least a decade. Just like the former Lerner Building Property.

Joe Moore is not looking out for the best interest of our community on this one. He has a financial stake in this deal.

mcl said...

For more on this go to:

mcl said...

From: Don Gordon, 1228 West Lunt
To: Alderman Joe Moore & The Residents of Rogers Park

Though I will not be able to attend tonight’s meeting, I would like to offer my comments and questions on the proposed development at 1557-61 Howard Street:

1. Who are the principals in Noble Development and what projects have they done and completed so that we can get a sense of the quality of their work. They have a web site but it’s only one page and says very little about them. Noble Law Group, of which Scott Sinar is a partner, is a real estate law firm and it appears that this is where the name comes from.

2.It concerns me that Rich Aronson is involved in this project. He has other properties in Rogers Park which have not done well and his store front on Morse seems to be closed and his web site for Camelot real estate is no longer active. He has yet another venture called Stage Development located at the same address as Noble Development and Noble Law Group. I would like to know more about the financial stability of Mr. Aronson and all of his various entities and the status of all his other developments in Rogers Park.

3.The site is within the Howard TIF. Does this mean that the building will have subsidized housing units? My concern here is that the area already has far too much concentration of subsidized housing and that any projects in this TIF area should not add to that number.

4.As for the project itself, it doesn’t appear to fit into the historical character of the street (field house aside) and the architecture of the buildings east of the tracks. From the PDF’s provided, the quality appears to be sacrificed for additional profit and the expansive use glass walls is in deference to the brick and stone design of other older buildings on the street. There should be some architectural guidelines set for the street east of the tracks so that developers know what the community would like to see.

5.Will there be any setback? It appears that the project will go to the lot line of the sidewalk and given the 7-story height, which I assume is within code, it will only add to a canyon affect on the street. The development west of the tracks on the Evanston side was pushed to the lot line and the sidewalk, though attractively streetscaped, is hardly pedestrian friendly, being as narrow as it is. This is not a good example that should be followed on new development east of the tracks if a pedestrian friendly commercial street is to be developed over the coming years.