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Added Feb 27 2012

On February 17 the Zoning Board of Appeals approved another special use permit for a pawnshop in Logan Square - Fullerton Kimball Jewelry & Gold Buyers LLC at 3401 W. Fullerton. There will now be 6 pawnshops in the 60647 area - more than any other neighborhood in the city. And the ZBA continued a request yet for another pawnshop - this one at 2826 N. Milwaukee. How did Logan Square wind up with all the pawnshop love?

  • Heather C. Dog Lover

    What is the purpose of pawn shops? Is there a legitimate use for these? I feel like they are only used by criminals to get rid of their stolen goods. Anyone out there that frequents these establishments?

  • Wow, we have one and it is closely monitored and they only got in because of they do not classify themselves as a pawnshop but rather a jewelry shop.

    We recently fought to keep a pawn shop out of our community. EZ Pawn out of Texas is a national chain seeking to put mom and pop pawn shops out of business.

    The pawn shops will state they offer those who cannot qualify for conventional bank loans and credit cards access to credit and they work with police to dissuade individuals from attempting to pawn stolen merchandise.

  • Bike Jedi Bike Jedi . I live to bike . Born in the Square.

    They do offer good deals on used merchandise . I recently purchased a hi def TV at American Pawn on Milwaukee and got a great deal .They have great staff , most of them are residents of Logan Sq .

  • alex trebeck Ukrainian Village since 1990

    Pawn shops loan money. You have to leave personal property as collateral to get the loan. I once took out a loan when I was short of rent money. I later paid off the loan and got my stuff back.

  • Doug vanderHoof Neighbor in GGNA, video producer

    I'd love it if someone could clear up something with hard facts. One fishy thing I heard about all these new pawnshops is that they're all in Hispanic wards, nothing wrong with that, though the citizens of those wards are overwhelmingly against them, AND the attorney for one proliferating pawnshop chain is also the attorney for the Hispanic Democratic Organization q.v.
    That's not proof of corruption but it definitely makes me want to hear the real facts. Anyone? Bueller?

  • Doug vanderHoof Neighbor in GGNA, video producer

    Or was it the Latino Caucus? I'm hesitant to even ask these questions in public because the power of untrue publicity is great and I don't mean to smear anyone with a disingenuous question. Does anyone have the straight facts on this situation?

  • Jason W Lifelong Chicagoan

    Other than the predatory lending, money laundering, and dealing in stolen property, they do have some good deals.

  • chicago girl Resident in Portage park for over 38 years

    Blame your alderman for allowing this.No need for that many in one area.

  • Mark Rector Logan Square and loving it!

    If you're in the 23rd or 35th precinct of the 35th Ward (roughly Central Park to Avers and Belden to Altgeld) you can let the Alderman know you are opposed to the proliferation of pawnshops in Logan Square by voting "Yes" on the public question on the Primary Election Ballot on March 20. Early voting started Monday and continues to March 15 http://www.chicagoelections.com/page.php?id=9

  • gerigirl I live and breathe this city!

    You will notice that the Alderman never asked the people who live in the 35th Ward if they wanted all of these pawnshops before....not after! Nothing changes in this city...it's still backroom deals...show me the money! And Blago is going away for 14 years....nothing learned!....Corruption as usual!

  • If you want to know how and why they keep coming follow the money.

    Their Lobby the "Community Financial Services Association" spend millions lobbying for their interest. Find out who's taking money from this "Community Association" and you will find out how they are getting in.

  • I don't like liquor stores, pawnshops, payday loan places or dollar stores to dominate my neighborhood ... but I like empty storefronts even less. How much can we expect to control what sort of business moves into a space which is, after all, private property, and should be allowed to take any tenant that the owner permits?

    Does the alderman have to approve a pawnshop? Do they have any say at all in what sort of business that isn't in violation of the law decides to move into a retail or commercial space?

    Exactly what kinds of businesses are controlled by city/county/state laws? Because all the rest of them are fair game for any space, aren't they?

  • gerigirl I live and breathe this city!

    I guess if the Zoning Board of Appeals is involved....they have to be approved before they move in!!

  • An article about pawnshops said that they are limited to charging 3% interest, and an EveryBlock poster said they charge 400% annually. What is the actual percentage that they charge on a loan, and for what period? Is it 3% per day, week, month?

  • Found this in that article on pawnshops: "Officially all it takes to open a pawnshop is to post a $1,000 bond with the city, pass a background check, fork over a $1,200 annual fee, and make sure you're located in a building with high-intensity retail zoning. But many operators have found that community opposition can make it much more difficult than that. In 1987, for example, residents in Beverly forced Michael Sheahan, then 19th Ward alderman, to downgrade the zoning on a site in Beverly to block a pawnshop."

    So, what exactly is "high-intensity retail zoning?" I understand business zoning, residential, industrial and light industrial and mixed- or multi-use, but didn't know there were different grades of retail zoning.

    http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/the-pawn-experience/Content?oid=879550

  • Nancy Schiavone 35th Ward Democratic Committeeman

    Here is the link to the Illinois Pawn Broker Regulation Act.

    http://1.usa.gov/xqtV0I

    In Section 2 of the Illinois Pawn Broker Regulation Act, pawn brokers can charge 3% interest per month and other monthly financing fees. The monthly finance charge, including interest and fees, cannot exceed one-fifth of the loan amount (20% per month). So, the APR is 240%.

  • Mark Rector Logan Square and loving it!

    Pawnshops have to get a special use permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals. If their application is supported by the Alderman, it usually passes. Most - if not all - neighborhood groups oppose them. Payday loans can cost as much as 456% APR http://www.ezpawn.com/files/OKCFSAFeeChartx.pdf. For pawn loans, Illinois limits the total percentage charged to no more than 20%, including finance charges and storage fees, per month. http://monsterpawn.com/store/index.php?main_page=page&id=10

  • gerigirl I live and breathe this city!

    CROOKS helping CROOKS help CROOKS.....The trickle down effect! Iff I were an Alderman, I wouldn't want or allow that element in my Ward.....it's a breeding ground for corruption.....but then I would have to be a Alderman with INTEGRITY.....hard to find!

  • Jason W Lifelong Chicagoan

    Mark - you referred to "voting "Yes" on the public question on the Primary Election Ballot on March 20" . What question are you referring to? I can't seem to find any info on this. Thanks.

  • Hello city neighbors. Thanx for making this issue a city broadcast This business development is prevalent throughout our city. I do not question that these stores may have value. The question is: How many should be allowed into a business community & what the distances between these stores should be to not have a negative impact on the economic development pattern of the area & the demeanor of the community. I have an ongoing issue with this kind of economic development pattern in: 60632 14th Ward Archer Hts.@ Stevenson SB Pulaski exit. (6) six like or similar businesses From 43 to 51st the Pulaski Orange stop. Pawn Shops, Cash 4 Gold, & Retail Combos stores (stores with both retail license & cash 4 gold license) have just appeared in the last 3 years. My approach is to write a letter to the new administration to encourage their support to develop a broader zoning ordinance to address this kind of economic development in our city. I state comments in this post based on responses that I have received from my letters to the new administration. A form letter body text that can be helpful and adjusted to writing your letter about your neighborhood concern can be found:post Welcome Letter to the Mayor 60632 The new administration is concerned about economic development patterns in our city. Write a letter because we can not question until we have informed. It's the process. Let's make Chicago a model city to address this kind of business development.

  • Bike Jedi Bike Jedi . I live to bike . Born in the Square.

    There are some positives in this . Pawn Shops employ people that helps the economy . They pay taxes . have you seen all the vacant store fronts on Milwaukee ? I don't think one or two is bad but agree a bunch of them would not be so good .

  • Bike Jedi Bike Jedi . I live to bike . Born in the Square.

    By the way it's my understanding they don't deal in stolen property as the police dept's look at their inventory every 3 days and match serial numbers and descriptions against recent stolen merch ...At least they used to . In this age of undermanned Police dept.s maybe not so much . Since an ID is also required to pawn something they can then trace the perp who did turn in the stolen property .( Funny you need an ID for that but not to vote , but I digress ) . I was told this is SOP for the Pawn Shops and the Police , but I have to confess it's ancedotal

  • gerigirl I live and breathe this city!

    Yeah....Fake ID'S are real hard to come by....and diamonds don't have serial #'s......How about filling those vacancies with stripclubs and gambling casino's.....they employ people....they pay taxes....run by STANDUP CITIZENS......Right?

  • Mark Rector Logan Square and loving it!

    The public question about pawnshop proliferation will appear on ballots for voters in precincts 23 and 35 of the 35th Ward. You can see sample ballots at http://chicagoelections.com/

  • fake ID's aren't that hard to come by and yes it's possible to have serial numbers in in diamonds... NEXT!

  • Bike Jedi Bike Jedi . I live to bike . Born in the Square.

    I stated Serial # and " descriptions" . Yes you can get fake ID's . That doesn't at least mean the goods won't be returned to the owner . There is also video tape of the transactions so even if a fake ID is used a lot of times the cops can look at that and still go get the bad guys . I'm not saying this is what happens but it could . As I stated I don't want a bunch but one or two isn't the end of the world . By the way have you ever been in a Pawnshop ? It sure doesn't sound like it . Good Post Mark . Good discussion .

  • gerigirl I live and breathe this city!

    If your talking to me Bike Jedi....yes I've been in a pawnshop....I worked 11th & State Womens lock-up back when I was a Cook County Sheriff and I was Security Mgr. for Saks Fifth Ave......not exactly a NEW KID ON THE BLOCK! LOL

  • alex trebeck Ukrainian Village since 1990

    A poster is claiming to be a cop, but doesnt know that some diamonds have serial numbers?

  • gerigirl I live and breathe this city!

    @alex....A sheriff is not a cop.....A security Mgr. is not a cop....I claimed nothing other then having been around the block a few times and yes, I have been in a pawnshop....nothing more....nothing less! And as far as serial #'s on diamonds....first I've heard of it....but then again, I learn something new everyday on EveryBlock....that's why I enjoy it....very educational!

  • Mark Rector Logan Square and loving it!

    As far as I know, the Chicago Police Department does not monitor pawnshop inventory. The pawn industry admits that around 1% of their transactions involve stolen property - that is, property that has been identified and recovered by the police. The actual amount may be higher. But even at 1%, that means that for every 100 transactions, a household in the neighborhood is being ripped off. 10 households for every 1,000 transactions. I wonder how many transactions the 6 pawnshops in Logan Square conduct annually?

  • Back to the original question, how did Logan Square end up with all these pawnshops... it could be a combination of empty storefronts, decent streets to open a business on, low rent, and a compliant Alderman.

    A place that buys gold doesn't need a special licence, does it? I'd like to see those places gone, but I don't think there's anything I can do to replace them with a boulangerie or another vinyl record store anytime soon. While we're at it,can we ban lottery ticket sales, as long as we're protecting people from economic exploitation?

  • Mark Rector Logan Square and loving it!

    "Increases in the number of pawnshops are shown to raise the
    rate of those crimes in which pawnable property is stolen..."

    "Markets for Stolen Property: Pawnshops and Crime" by Thomas Miles, University of Chicago Law School, 2008. http://bit.ly/nKVck0

  • Mark Rector Logan Square and loving it!

    Correction: The Illinois pawnbroker regulation act requires pawnshops to supply the police with a record of every transaction, and the Chicago Police Department maintains a Pawn Shop Review section.

  • Bike Jedi Bike Jedi . I live to bike . Born in the Square.

    Cook County Sheriffs are Licensed Peace officers of the State of Il . They have full arrest powers like any other cop . They go through the same state mandated courses any other Peace officer goes through to be Licensed . I am a Former Cook County Sheriff . Also a lot of Chicago cops like to down play the Sheriff's Dept saying they aren't real Cops . This is a childish attitude as who do they call when they need intel on the MLD's or other Street Gangs ? Tom Dart is an excellent Sheriff and I wish he would have ran for Mayor . We would be a lot better off with him .By the way the Court Services People and the Corrections Dept are all Licensed Peace Officers of the State .

  • Bike Jedi Bike Jedi . I live to bike . Born in the Square.

    Mark made some good points about Pawn Shops both Pro and Con . Good posts by everybody

  • Mark Rector Logan Square and loving it!

    Oh, I'm definitely con, Bike Jedi! Especially since I'm a recent homeowner with a pawnshop opening at the end of the alley, 25 yeards from my garage! I know some people like pawnshops, but I've never heard anybody say, "Gee, I sure wish a pawnshop would open up next door to my house!" They are fundamentally predatory lending operations and magnets for criminal activity. They set a bad example as "alternative" lending institutions. I'd much rather have a cafe', a clothing store, a hair salon, or a real bank in the space. End of rant. :)

  • gerigirl I live and breathe this city!

    THANK YOU JEDI!....Much APPRECIATED!

  • Bike Jedi Bike Jedi . I live to bike . Born in the Square.

    @ Mark , Ok , but you seem to post both side of the issue which is pretty fair . I'm not opposed to one or two Pawn Shops , but I agree we don't need a bunch . I also agree , as Much as I like a good deal I would rather have a coffee shop open 25 yards from my Home then a Pawn Shop .

  • gerigirl I live and breathe this city!

    @JEDI.....My reason for being against Pawn Shops is because, crime is very high right now and I see them as enablers for criminals and neighborhoods just don't need that element in them.....and yes, Tom Dart would have been my choice also....He's a Man's Man!

  • alex trebeck Ukrainian Village since 1990

    I see two sides.

    Drug addicts need the fix. They will sell stolen merchandise for pennys on the dollar. (Professionals who steal, rob, burgle etc ....im not sure they are the real problem at a pawnshop.) Also, most people dont write down the serial number to everything they own, and the criminals know this. This all means that pawn shops, to some degree, take stolen merchandise as collateral. The only question is how much/often they look the other way.

    On the other hand, low-income families live practically paycheck to paycheck. One sudden expense can literally mean they dont eat or pay rent. These people can really depend on a quick loan to get them thru a tight financial spot. Banks wont help. And a pawn is much better than having to sell their stuff at a firesale price. Pawnshops do offer a valued service.

    So I dont see a huge problem..... if the number of shops are limited.

    I also have a big problem with the huge pawnshop interest rates allowed in Illinois. Its legal usery. But again, for the poor, its either a pawn shop or the firesale option. (Or worse ... a loan shark.)

  • gerigirl I live and breathe this city!

    @ALEX.....Bike Jedi....Mark and myself have all agreed that 1 shop is enough....more is overkill and would show the crooks that the sharks are waiting for their business.....not to mention that they want business from people looking for a loan who are in financial straits.....they want to take advantage of the poor economy.....GREED!....Not the family owned shops were use to in our neighborhoods, that as you say "do offer a valued service"......but these guys.....it is not their intent!

  • Inactive user

    Logan Square is the last good neighborhood before you enter the wild wild West and the Crazy as they can be Northwest...Set up a few outpost Pawnshops and make all that good money. Its about Safety for the Employee's. Close enough to smell the poverty but not feel it.

  • Jason W Lifelong Chicagoan

    So which pawn shop do you think this stuff will end up in today?
    http://chicago.everyblock.com/announcements/mar01-another-robbery-logan-square-4780819/

  • gerigirl I live and breathe this city!

    @MARK.....So what's the bottom line?.....is this going to happen.....or is the sign in on the Ballot you spoke of, a game breaker, depending on how many voters are for... or.... against?

  • Mark Rector Logan Square and loving it!

    The pawnshops that have passes the ZBA process will probably be built - including 2 on Fullerton and 1 on Milwaukee across from the Congress Theater. The ballot question is one more way for the community to let the Alderman know that pawnshops are not welcome in our neighborhood. If you live in precinct 23 or 35 of the 35th Ward, be sure to vote early or vote on March 20! http://www.chicagoelections.com

  • gerigirl I live and breathe this city!

    @Mark....Thanks for clearing that up for me...I guess it will be a "wait and see"....should be interesting, thanks again!

  • Mark Rector Logan Square and loving it!

    84% of voters in precincts 35 and 24 of the 35th Ward send a resounding "NO" to pawnshops in Logan Square. Will the Alderman listen?

    http://www.chicagoelections.com
    http://on.fb.me/qNKknH

  • gerigirl I live and breathe this city!

    Lets hope so Mark......will tell us alot about him....if he chooses to ignore the 84%......

  • Mark Rector Logan Square and loving it!
  • Joe Kopera Logan Square resident since 1961 (54 years in Jan)

    Signage has also gone up on the 2142 N Milwaukee location of EZ Pawn. The 1st ward alderman approved this location over the objection of the community. EZ Pawn bought their way in by providing incentives to the community. Then the alderman used the same lawyer who worked for this EZ Pawn location as part of his team while working on the word remap. WOW!

  • Mark Rector Logan Square and loving it!

    Since we live around the block from the Fullerton EZPawn, we're going to update our home inventory. https://www.knowyourstuff.org/iii/login.html

  • I hope you guys are ready. We have a Jewelry and Loan aka Pawn Shop and the owner has nothing good to say about EZ Pawn practices especially customer service. The little give back to the community $500-$1000 is an insult.

  • Veronika Fashion Designer,Gallery Owner,Web Designer, Muse

    ok what's going on with the pawn shops...an EZ pawn just posted there sign on a storefront across from the congress theater at 2100 n milwaukee!

  • Veronika Fashion Designer,Gallery Owner,Web Designer, Muse

    and btw, after seeing that Moreno is so concerned about cleaning up the neighborhood that he is going after the Congress Theater, but yet allows all these pawn shops to open up? wtf?

  • Doug vanderHoof Neighbor in GGNA, video producer

    Veronika,
    Your neighbors need you in the Greater Goethe Neighborhood Association. Since you're interested, help decide what goes on.
    (Plus, I just checked the by-laws and there's no reason we can't have a Sub-Committee on Glamour. Think how powerful it would be to send someone in one of your 2012 Femme Fatale collection outfits to a hearing. Maybe the dagger strapped to the thigh wouldn't get through the metal detector, but I still think it would say Agent of Change.)
    Alright, seriously, please think about coming to a meeting and adding your voice and influence. Or at least getting on the listserve at yahoo.com.

  • Jason W Lifelong Chicagoan

    Veronika, Rey Colon had this territory at the time the pawn shops were approved, not Moreno. Moreno did rezone to allow one at Ashland/Milwaukee in the "old" 1st Ward, but nothing like what Rey's done.

  • Doug vanderHoof Neighbor in GGNA, video producer

    Jason,
    Just to clear up a small point, I think Veronika's talking about the one across the street from the Congress Theater that Joe Moreno (generally doing some good for the ward, though I disagree with him on a few things) approved a month or two ago. I was at the public meetings about it and I'm pretty sure that's when the approval happened.
    And yes, Rey Colon has been really strong for pawnshops from what I see on the neighborhood listserves.
    I'm ambivalent about pawnshops. I'm glad I'm not the final arbiter on this one.

  • Jason W Lifelong Chicagoan

    Well corrected Doug, thanks.
    I tried to find any info about this online and came up empty. In fact, I found little about Moreno at all. Any good sources? He's my new alderman, and I'd like to know anything about him, hopefully objective.

  • Doug vanderHoof Neighbor in GGNA, video producer

    Quite welcome, Jason. (I hope it seemed non-confrontational enough. Cybertext can be pretty uninflected.)

    About Joe Moreno, I only know what I've seen him do, which is maybe 75-85% things I want him to do: Encourage inter-ethnic unity, greenify, welcome neighbor input, and lots of smaller things like helping shovel snow, fight graffiti.
    I'm on the other side from him on the protest restrictions; that was important.
    He's smart and has union affiliations in his background, which are encouraging.

    Anyone else want to weigh in with some facts?

  • Veronika Fashion Designer,Gallery Owner,Web Designer, Muse

    Doug, first of all thank you. I haven;t heard of the Goethe Assoc?
    and lol, thank you for checking out my work. ;)

  • Veronika Fashion Designer,Gallery Owner,Web Designer, Muse

    Doug,, I accidentally deleted your email....can you resend it? Sorry ;)

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