Wednesday, April 28, 2010


 Everyone is urged to attend the Alderman's community meeting to review a REVISED 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 Wednesday, May 5th, 7:00 p.m., at the Willye White Park Fieldhouse, 1610 W. Howard.

 Some thoughts on this 'proposal':
"In addition to the architecturally unsuitable aspect of this proposed building for Howard Street, the larger concern for the community should be the developer's sorry record in our community. Rich Aronson and his various Real Estate entities have, since getting 'plugged in', twelve or so years ago, with the Alderman and various Rogers Park organizations (Rogers Park Builders Group, DevCorp North/RP Business Alliance, the Alderman's 'Zoning/Land Use Advisory Council', the RPCC, etc.) left a legacy of cookie cutter, cinder block, brick veneered condo/mixed use properties. IMO, these buildings will become to Rogers Park what the 1960's 4+1's are to Lincoln Park and other Northside communities: totally designed and built with the developer's bottom line as the only motivation and driving force, irrespective of community concerns. Today, in Rogers Park, many of those 'Aronson' condo properties are partially occupied and/or converted into rental buildings and in today's RE market, who knows what the future holds. Also, it is my understanding that Mr. Aronson has recently faced and/or undergone foreclosure issues. The last time I looked, his Camelot office on Morse Avenue was shuttered.

We are now being told and getting vague assurance (from both the Alderman and Mr. Aronson) that this proposed building on Howard Street will have a 'theatre' and/or resturant and various commercial/retail spaces inaddition to rental and/or condo housing units.  Again, in view of today's Real Estate market, what exactly does this mean and what specific 'businesses' and home-seekers are interested in this kind of space on Howard Street, East of the El?  Additionally, inquiring minds want to know, 'where is the financing coming from for this venture?'

What this community does NOT need is another vacant/failed development project and more vacant residential and retail space staring us in the face OR anymore subsidized property, OF ANY KIND, added to the already over saturated and concentrated subsidized property situation we now have in the neighborhood."

Mike Luckenbach
Celebrating 35 years of living, working in, and service to the North of Howard neighborhood and it's residents.

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