Save Lincoln Square

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by leekohler, Dec 7, 2007.

  1. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #1
    Guys,

    I need your help. The city is trying to take a block in my neighborhood using eminent domain. The goal for the city is to make more tax money off the block. The businesses affected are local and supported by the community. They are mostly immigrants who wanted to realize the American Dream. I patronize most of these businesses. They are my neighbors.

    I feel bad asking you all, but this is important. If they get away with this here, they'll keep doing it elsewhere. I don't expect certain people to care, but I hope most of you do.

    I'm probably breaking a rule in this forum too. But this is too important. This is where I live. Go to this website and please help us. http://www.savelincolnsquare.com/

    Lee

    P.S. I never thought in a million years I would have to do this in the US. I thought we were the land of the free. I also never thought I would have to be careful to mention this on a website. If I get banned, so be it.
     
  2. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #2
    I don't think there is a rule against somebody trying to save their neighborhood...

    Though you will likely get a debate on ED here.

    Were they even trying to get it thinly disguised as a neighborhood revitalization project, or cleaning up blight?
     
  3. leekohler thread starter macrumors G5

    leekohler

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #3
    I just moved to this hood. And the yuppies and the mayor are trying to take it away. I'm sick of this crap. Until we all stand up as a nation and say no more, we will end up with what we deserve. If we say nothing, we have no one to blame but ourselves.

    Were they even trying to get it thinly disguised as a neighborhood revitalization project, or cleaning up blight?

    They are trying to say it's blight, but it clearly isn't. The businesses are great- all examples of the American Dream.
     
  4. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #4
    This is actually one of the worst times to try to redo a neighborhood, since their is a damn good chance that these projects may fail either right after razing the buildings or at some point during construction.

    I know they are doing everything to plug budget shortfalls, but this could make it worse.

    Before I moved to Arizona after the last housing boom, they tried to do a lot of big projects, but the budget crunches nailed a whole lot of them mid stream.

    So there were scads of neighborhoods in Phoenix -- where the biggest slum lord in town was the city.

    Of course they sold them to clean up the neighborhoods and immediately had to rebuy after the homes were fixed to widen roads.
     
  5. leekohler thread starter macrumors G5

    leekohler

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #5
    This is what you're missing. This neighborhood is a great conglomeration of black/white, rich/poor, and immigrant. I love this neighborhood a lot. I walk out of my house each day, and all my neighbors says hello. I care about all of these people. They have small businesses here. If the government gets away with this, whos next?
     
  6. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #6
    I'm saying worry about this actually creating a blight problem, while it destroys the neighborhoods.

    Edit: if it is condos, those are imploding all over. If it is anchored by a big box retailer, the above worry vanishes and it is just the neighborhood being destroyed.
     
  7. leekohler thread starter macrumors G5

    leekohler

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #7
    Is anyone paying attention? This is the government coming in and taking private property and giving it to someone else. We in the community are fighting to save these businesses. That you all are so callous about this just confirms my belief that the the US is no longer the "land of the free, the home of the brave". If you think these businesses are "blight" then I need to leave the country. I can't believe what I'm seeing here.

    I'm sorry everyone. I'm just a bit emotional. :eek:
     
  8. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    #8
    corruption runs high. I seen stuff like this get abused way to much. What makes it worse the the city will play 2 sides. When they collect taxes they use the jack up property values to get more money but when it comes to taking the land they will cause the values to magicly drop to below 75% of the previous value.

    I say fit and clearly it time to get some people out of office. They abuse this power way way to much. It is one thing if a company is coming in and trying to build something and they legally bought all the land but lets say one property and they are offering well over its value. But it another when it a huge chunk of people.
     
  9. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #9
    Lee -- Camcorder -- YouTube

    Do a walkabout video, interview the neighbors, show the businesses as viable local enterprises
     
  10. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #10
    You go ahead and fight with emotions, and you will lose. They pray people will be too emotional to organize properly.

    However, if you swing around and hammer them with the what ifs, and possibly make the project to expensive to complete -- you might increase the chances of winning.
     
  11. leekohler thread starter macrumors G5

    leekohler

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #11
    Well, we agree on this. Do you live in the US? Lately, private property rights mean nothing. These are people who've owned for years and it doesn;t seem to matter. If this continues, there is no incentive to own property.

    Read the article. They're about to lose. We're very organized.
     
  12. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    #12
    Texas. City I am current living in has a very corrupt city council and is pulling this crap. Wanting to be build some visitor's center and taking out minority business to do it. Plus a part town that not exactly a large number of people really would go though and a visitor center in Lubbock to me just not something that makes since. But they want it and are trying to pull that crap to do it.

    Plus I know of quite a few other times cities have done it. Now I have seen it used correctly for both city and case like the private one.
     
  13. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #13
    I looked at it, and if you lose, all I can say about is ... "Welcome to Wal-Mart" or something similar.

    The condo/retail model they had is likely a bust, so the building will likely sit empty, create true blight, and the city will foist the land off on a big box retailer.

    Which is the problem about a solution to blight without a plan, especially at this stage of the economy.
     
  14. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2004
    Location:
    OBJECTIVE reality
    #14
    This is actually an excellent idea, if you can get it to go "viral". Public pressure still means something to politicians. After all, what they want more than anything else, even pandering to the corporations, is to be re-elected.

    That said, I'm sure you're aware of that Supreme Court decision a year or two ago, Lee, that was in favor of the cities/corps. Legally, unfortunately, they've got a leg to stand on. :(

    Doesn't mean I have to agree with it or like it. I visited your link and sent them an e-mail.
     
  15. leekohler thread starter macrumors G5

    leekohler

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #15
    You're right- I misunderstood you. Let this be a lesson to you all- don't drunk post on MR- which I did last night. :) I should have talked about this right away here.

    But as you say- we have empty condo buildings all over the place on that very same street. It's scary- I feel like we could be facing a depression again in the US.

    Thanks so much Thomas. It means a lot. BTW- we did get video. The Sun-Times was there all night and recorded everything. I and others have been talking to everyone we know about this. I thought initially I'd just get the cold shoulder from a lot of people, but the response has been incredible.
     
  16. adrianblaine macrumors 65816

    adrianblaine

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2006
    Location:
    Pasadena, CA
    #16
    I studied things like this in my "Legal Issues in Architecture" class. And as an Urban Designer I will have to deal with things like this in the future. This is not the answer to urban renewal. Have you read about the Atlantic Yards in New York? This has got to be the most disturbing use of eminent domain in history.

    This is one of the streets in Brooklyn
    [​IMG]

    And this is what they are proposing.
    [​IMG]

    If everything happens the way the developer wants it to happen, there will be over 20 skyscrapers like this one in a neighborhood that is predominantly 2 and 3 stories tall.

    This is such an aggravating topic that I don't know what else to say without getting so angry it will put me in a horrible mood for the rest of the day...
     
  17. leekohler thread starter macrumors G5

    leekohler

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #17
    You are exactly the kind of person our city needs to hear from. Go to the website and send an e-mail. And yeah, I know what you're saying. If the alderman in my hood gets his way, this will continue throughout our neighborhood. I've seen the plans for it.
     
  18. adrianblaine macrumors 65816

    adrianblaine

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2006
    Location:
    Pasadena, CA
    #18
    I've been pondering where to start on my email for the last hour or so :). I'll have one written by the end of the day.
     
  19. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #19
    A condo/retail project will likely implode before they build anything, even if they fast track it.

    Going back to the point where banks will not lend on condo projects, so it would all have to be investor funds -- and investors are likely nervous about adding to the glut of condos.

    So it would be a tough sell for than condo/retail model, and the only model that would work if those plans fail are the national retail chains.
     
  20. adrianblaine macrumors 65816

    adrianblaine

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2006
    Location:
    Pasadena, CA
    #20
    I think it depends. Suburban development is failing to bring people in at the moment, but urban development is growing rapidly. Almost every major city is building in their centers and they are filling up as fast as they build them. I think Americans are beginning to see that suburban life is not as dreamy as it first appears. I live in an apartment complex in Pasadena that was built within the last year or so with over 600 units. They are now over 90% of capacity. You could not do the same thing in suburbia.
     
  21. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #21
    Does your neighborhood have any attorneys who can help out? Unless you can win on the politics, you'll need to challenge the city's finding of blight which underpins the eminent domain action.

    FWIW, the description of eminent domain on the web site might be good for riling people up, but it's not really very accurate.
     
  22. leekohler thread starter macrumors G5

    leekohler

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #22
    Unfortunately IJ, that description is accurate in Chicago. They can basically take whatever they want here if they think they can make more taxes on it. The definition of "urban blight" in Illinois is so vague, they could almost take a mansion from a billionaire and tear it down. We do have a great lawyer from DC who specializes in eminent domain abuse on our side, as well as some local lawyers.

    Here's a link to an article the Sun-Times did yesterday:

    http://www.suntimes.com/news/neighborhoods/685700,CST-NWS-hoods07.article

    And yes, I was at the meeting and the protest.
     
  23. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    #23
    Good luck fighting this Lee.

    Emphasis mine. Seems to me that's part of the problem.
     
  24. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #24
    It doesn't look like any projects are immediate, so that's good. I don't know anything about Illinois redevelopment law (and just a bit about Chicago politics -- I lived there for a year), but in California at least it's required for a city to have an adopted redevelopment plan before they can begin acquiring land through eminent domain. The definitions of blight may be vague, but that doesn't mean the findings can't be challenged in court. I hope your neighborhood is exploring those options.

    The web site implies that the Supreme Court changed the way eminent domain could be used. That's not true, but we discussed this issue here at the time, and it doesn't make much difference for your situation anyway. Just making the point that the use of eminent domain is about local government and state law, not the Supreme Court.

    Fight the good fight. I hope you win.
     
  25. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #25
    Yikes. No kidding. The man must be a fossil -- along with the entire ward political system.
     

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