Most of us would be better off if wages had risen 150% and housing prices stayed flat. I don't see anyone clamoring to pay 150% more for automobiles, fuel or food. Why? I get that people want their house prices to rise because profit. Housing shouldn't appreciate much more than wage inflation.
There are plenty of developers eager to build in Rogers Park right now, as long as sellers are realistic about price. We've seen many, huge sales of large apartment buildings, and there are numerous big developments in planning and construction. And there are plenty of people eager to buy in the neighborhood. But the trouble is, these purchasers tend to be young professionals with higher incomes. Poor people are unable to buy and their rents have risen quite a bit, so they are being pushed out. The properties in foreclosure in RP are almost all properties that are not in as good of shape, i.e., apartments located in poorly-maintained buildings that higher-income young professionals are not interested in.
It's like there are two economies in the ward: young professionals (doing fine) and lower-income, particularly blacks and Latinos (doing poorly). Vacant lots are the LAST problem we have in the ward, because developers in the prosperity economy are salivating over them. In 2016, one developer, Winnemac Properties, paid $20 million for four RP buildings. Just shortly prior to that, Spirit Bascom Ventures paid nearly $19 million for the building at 6807 N. Sheridan Road, with plans to turn the units into luxury rental apartments. A month or so before that, Golub & Co. and real estate private equity firm Alcion Ventures paid $37 million for a 20-story apartment building at 5600 N. Sheridan.
These are not signs of a real estate malaise, Bruce. They are signs that young professionals with incomes are buying into the neighborhood and lower-income folks are being pushed out.
i know the flippers are all over here, which, as long as they do a good job, is great. 2 big houses on my block were flipped by pros in the last couple years. both complete guts, which i am not a big fan of, but the results were solid rehabs that sold fast for the asking price. at the same time, they are picky. the margins are just not that juicy that it is viable at anything other than cheap, cheap. and some sellers get ideas that the market wont buy. there is a 2 flat on the block for sale right now that is just priced too high. 50% higher than the local- worthless house on good land- price for the hood.
Well if you ignore the dynamic, popular new restaurants that have moved onto Howard over the last several years--Peckish Pig, Amazing Kale Burger, Ward 8 Cocktail Lounge, Sol Cafe, Redz Belizean, Sweet Temptations Bake Shop, the new TJam Kitchen (now taking the neighborhoood by storm), and the upcoming Salerno's Italian restaurant moving into the space recently vacated by Unicoco--and if you ignore things like Factory Theater's 3-year anniversary--then no, I guess not much has changed on Howard!
Excellent list Omar. That's really impressive. All those examples of positive change, revitalization and improvement along Howard Street must be almost too much for the 49th Ward bashers to bear. Each new business, community organization and successful volunteer program must just infuriate them to no end. Poor souls.
In some ways, the rules for businesses in Evanston do seem to be different, at least in Ann Rainey's ward. She just loves to spend the taxpayers' money to lure businesses to her ward--at least west of Chicago Ave.. Meanwhile the strip between the L and Chicago Ave., which used to be thriving, is now mostly empty. Even Subway moved across Howard to the Chicago side.
The Chicago sides of Howard are actually more business-dynamic than the Evanston side. Five out of the eight newish places I mentioned are in Chicago territory, three are in Evanston. The north side really only has two major restaurant stars: Peckish Pig and Ward 8, which are the only establishments on Clark that Evanston has supported with subsidies. These two places have done well (Evanston has recouped its investment, making a small profit in the case of Ward 8), but there are only two of them. The five new establishments on the Chicago sides of Howard are doing it without any special support from the City of Chicago.
So it's a myth that we have a flourishing Evanston side and a struggling Chicago side to Howard.
Helen, Rob and Omar the picture clearly shows it is vacant. You all claim it is being built. It is proposed like many things it's proposed. That is different than actually complete.
There were, indeed, two vacant properties on Howard. The easternmost one, formerly occupied by a Chinese restaurant and tire shop, is currently under construction of an apartment building with retail on the ground floor.
Bruce. I have no idea what piece of property to you referring to in the comment just above. You've copied my remark about the property east on Howard, without quotation marks, I note. That property is currently under construction. Are you questioning that statement?
That's the site at Bosworth and Howard that I gave you the link to, Bruce. It's under development. It takes time for all the city permits and such to start, but there's a building going up there. You've identified two properties on Howard: this one (Bosworth) and the community garden.
Your abandoned property search must now continue. I look forward to seeing more pictures.
Reid HyamsX-Art Entertainment • Century 21 Universal
The property where the Adelphi once was on Clark & Estes, is in the process of getting the approval for a multi-family residential development + retail on the ground floor. Joe Moore had a community meeting about this late last fall. This info should be on the 49th Ward site.
Until this location on Howard, and a couple others, are completely developed it might be best to avoid them if you suffer from Kenophobia. An empty space or undeveloped site is viewed by most people as something with much potential as it can be converted to anything a person wants. But for persons with Kenophobia, empty spaces or voids are viewed as something scary. For them, an open space can mean emptiness and being alone and this phobia is closely associated with feas of solitude or abandonment. Engaging in a program of professional therapy can help a kenophobic to understand the fear and how to manage future fear triggers. Such individuals often respond well to anti-anxiety medications. It is important to acknowledge the psychological diversity among our neighbors and have patience while helping them cope with their fears and disabilities.
Bruce, I have seen vacant lots. They don't usually have fences around them awaiting construction of a building that has been in the planning stages for some time now. I really think you hope that the building will never be built at 1531 W. Howard so that you can say "I told you so."
Reid HyamsX-Art Entertainment • Century 21 Universal
Yes, agreed Omar. It had to do with "dorky people" growing old and Mexico's willingness to help Trump build his fence, even if it is only several hundred feet of 4' chain link fence at a time. I researched this, of course... not.