Oak Park Village Board will tour Interfaith Housing sites in Chicago

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With a village board vote nearing on a proposal to convert the Comcast building on Madison Street into a 51-unit apartment complex for low-income residents, village trustees will tour two housing projects operated by Interfaith Housing Development this Saturday.

The public is welcome to join in the tour and is asked to call village hall at 358-5770 to arrange details.

Current board members, as well as two newly elected trustees, will tour Interfaith facilities to get a sense of the operations. Sanctuary Place is located at 642 N. Kedzie. Sankofa House is at 4041 W. Roosevelt Rd.

The Oak Park proposal has been approved by the village's Plan Commission and now must go to the village board for necessary zoning changes. If approved, the long-vacant Comcast building, 820 Madison St., would have its current facade removed, and two stories added to the structure.

The Oak Park Housing Authority and Catholic Charities are also partners in the project.

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Posted: May 5th, 2011 3:52 PM

I don't understand the politics involved, but I support converting the old Comcast building into a facility for seniors and the disabled. Rents are high and we are an aging population. This might be a smart plan for the future.


Posted: May 4th, 2011 10:27 AM

If you run together as a slate, chances are you may know the other candidates. Novel idea. You certainly imply they dont think as independent trustees. You wrote" their having the ultimate majority (7 of 7)again. My problem is that the 7 seats make them feel superior, create distain for public input or views,and their relationships with staff, partners, commissions, and developers are too cozy. They also lack creativity, and are too sensitive to criticism." Nothing could b farther fro the truth

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: May 4th, 2011 10:06 AM

I was a commission chair and I did speak and exchange e-mails with my board liaison, Jan Pate, frequently. Ray Johnson is known and respected for his close contact with commissions he supports as board liaison. The best way to resolve this specious issue you created is for YOU to contact Johnson, Tucker, and Saltzman and asked them if they knew each other before they raised their hands on Monday.

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: May 4th, 2011 10:00 AM

I did not say that the village board voted as a team. Nor did I state that in 2010, the board voted unanimously on 95% of non-procedural votes.


Posted: May 4th, 2011 9:50 AM

So how does that connect the the candidates to sitting trustees? It doesnt. You clearly dont know what you are talking about. Just ask the VMA members. How much interaction do you think went on with Pope, Hedges, Brewer and Lueck? If you are involved with any commission you may know some trustee liaison's. Big conspiracy there. The picture you paint is so WRONG. You may want to better familiarize yourself instead of presenting inaccurate info. You did say they vote as a 7 member team right?

john murtgh from oak park  

Posted: May 3rd, 2011 11:17 PM

OP -- you are totally out of touch. #1, Bob Tucker is an officer of the VMA. How could you vote for him if you thought he had never met Ray Johnson? Adam Saltzman was a commission chair. Who was the Brd Liason for his commission. Yes, again -- Ray Johnson. Tucker and Saltman are both members of the VMA. If they never met there, they certainly met at the quarterly Commission Chair Mtg. The slate was announced in Sept. Seven months to buddy. Logic? How can YOU challenge anyone's logic?


Posted: May 3rd, 2011 10:53 PM

Your LOGIC fails me every time john. I thought you a smart guy. Now ...Not so much. Have you seen how they have voted in the past? Come on. Prior to the election, the new candidates don't always even know the other sitting board members, irregardless of party. They meet them along the campaign just like many others. You act like there is this huge conspiracy and they ALL think exactly alike.

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: May 3rd, 2011 9:48 PM

I agree they are well liked, seem to be well received by voter, and probably represent the view of a lot of people. I congratulate their having the ultimate majority (7 of 7)again. My problem is that the 7 seats make them feel superior, create distain for public input or views,and their relationships with staff, partners, commissions, and developers are too cozy. They also lack creativity, and are too sensitive to criticism. Personally, I like every one of them. As a group of 7 - not so much!


Posted: May 3rd, 2011 9:47 PM

Why did john m even bring up the VMA?

epic lulz  

Posted: May 3rd, 2011 8:53 PM

The person posting as "OP" is beginning to sound strangely like the person who posts as "David Pope".


Posted: May 3rd, 2011 8:18 PM

Why don't you identify yourself OP. You're becoming the official VMA spokeswoman hurt and doing more hurt than good for the cause - at least from this chair.

Curious George from Oak Park  

Posted: May 3rd, 2011 7:54 PM

Sally - There is confusion about this project. The email -"Village Board schedules second tour of Interfaith Housing properties: In preparation for an upcoming vote on a proposal to build a 51-unit apartment building on Madison Street targeted to special-needs residents,..." is misleading, and why I think the project fails at fulfilling a mission. There will be an initial attempt to get special needs people into the building, but they are not given a preference. Over time, do they still get in?


Posted: May 3rd, 2011 7:34 PM

john, Ive seen your post pre election and yes you have done everything you could to express how you were voting for anything but the VMA simply because they are a group that has been in control for so long and that doesn't sit well with you. Have you ever thought that maybe those people are well liked and well received in this Village and represent the interest of most people who vote? No need to back away. They dont bite.

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: May 3rd, 2011 7:22 PM

I was not attacking the VMA. I was using a quote from their website. What I was pointing out is that Oak Park has gone through incredible change over 60 years, but many in the village do not want to recognize that we do not live in 1952 OP.


Posted: May 3rd, 2011 7:18 PM

john, You clearly have no idea how or what the VMA is about. Who are these so called outsiders that the VMA knows so well? Your brain is a bit foggy. Time for a lesson. If you consider people who live and work in Oak Park "outsiders" then you could be correct. Constituents are people who live and work in Oak Park. Your anti VMA campaign is so old and it's time for a new trick. Do you own a unicycle?


Posted: May 3rd, 2011 7:14 PM

They are HUMANS. Imagine that?

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: May 3rd, 2011 5:47 PM

Hi Sally - the latest terminology from Interfaith is the residents will be "individuals with complex challenges." As far as the VOP-TV and VOP News via e-mail, they all come from the Spin Zone. They are not like Fox News that has a No Spin Zone.

Sally Forth from Oak Park  

Posted: May 3rd, 2011 3:46 PM

(...cont'd) My impression was that this project is about housing low-income adults and that a very small percentage of the units would be built as accessible for the physically disabled? I've heard the constant misinformation campaign coming from Interfaith (and am concerned and irritated by it), but should the village really be putting spin like this into their emails? Have I missed something? Can anyone with the village address this question for me?

Sally Forth from Oak Park  

Posted: May 3rd, 2011 3:44 PM

From the VOP Enews email sent today, "Village Board schedules second tour of Interfaith Housing properties: In preparation for an upcoming vote on a proposal to build a 51-unit apartment building on Madison Street targeted to special-needs residents,..." what does "special needs" refer to? (more...)

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: May 3rd, 2011 2:11 PM

The lead sentence in the History of the VMA on the VMA's website states "In 1952, the VMA mounted a campaign to wrest control of our village government from alderman who seemed more beholden to outside interests than to our citizens." After 60 years it is the VMA and cadre of elected officials, candidates, and supporters who are more beholden to outside interests than to our citizens. The village has not changed in 60 years with the exception of the alderman who left town.


Posted: May 3rd, 2011 1:26 PM

POS, Its real simple. If people are so unhappy, yr after yr, election after election, By ALL Means- Leave. Ba Bye. OP is what it is b/c of the spirit that has been OP for yrs. Philosophically Oak Park has been the same for years.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: May 3rd, 2011 11:13 AM

There's that Oak Park "everyone together kumbaya" spirit OP. Well played. Or do you just feel that way about those who agree with everything you say? This is why I don't put too much stock in your posts. That nastiness is always lurking beneath empty words of supposed inspiration.


Posted: May 3rd, 2011 10:21 AM


Just Be Accountable from Oak Park  

Posted: May 3rd, 2011 3:18 AM

OP, if my home price was as "high" as you claim, I would have already moved from this village to somewhere with fewer people who think (idealistically, but nonsensically) as you do. I love Oak Park, but I just don't think it will continue to be a place I want to raise my children after decades of mismanagement and poor decision upon poor decision.


Posted: May 2nd, 2011 9:46 PM

ALL Moms,dads, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, sons, daughters, nephews, nieces, cousins need a home to live in. We are the wealthiest country on the planet. I think we should be able to house EVERYONE. It takes one step at a time.


Posted: May 2nd, 2011 9:31 PM

Ask him to sit this one out Welfare moms need homes. I love you,


Posted: May 2nd, 2011 6:50 PM

Everybody needs a home- Thomas Cook http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwd7tzbpRLA


Posted: May 2nd, 2011 6:40 PM

Sorry POS, meant to say high home prices.


Posted: May 2nd, 2011 6:24 PM

I Wanna Be Sedated! - Ramones

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: May 2nd, 2011 6:20 PM

Hey OP, do you have one those cute little cheer leading skirts and pom-poms? First we get song lyrics and now OP Cheers. What a wonderful site!

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: May 2nd, 2011 5:20 PM

As much as I appreciate the "Rah Rah Sis Boom Bah", I'm puzzled. Since when are taxes about housing supply and demand? Also, are you sure more people are trying to get into Oak Park than to get out? Without for sale signs it's not easy to tell. Oh and what does any of your post have to do with this issue?


Posted: May 2nd, 2011 3:08 PM

In small community politics you win some and you win some more. On average MORE people than not enjoy the decisions that have been made at our board table. Thats the reason for people wanting to move here. (high demand, hence the high taxes) I'm sure the trustees that vote on this project will look real hard at the overall benefits to Oak Park, Society and the residents lives. We- Are....OP ! Say it again. We-Are.....OP!

Just Be Accountable from Oak Park  

Posted: May 2nd, 2011 5:24 AM

If the Village Board, in their wisdom, chooses to ignore the legitimate concerns of neighbors and builds this thing, perhaps we can ensure accountability by calling it, for example, the "Pope, Johnson, Salzman, and Tucker Building" so that they also remain accountable to the lomg-term outcomes and wear them either as a badge of price (I hope) or as a mark of shame throughout the rest of their public careers. Before you scoff...why should the Board have any less at stake than the neighbors?

OP Resident  

Posted: May 2nd, 2011 1:47 AM

"That's the way that the world goes round" -John Prine

johm murtagh from oak park  

Posted: May 1st, 2011 11:34 PM

Yackety Yack, Yackety Yack, Don't Come Back. The Coasters


Posted: May 1st, 2011 11:02 PM

Give peace a chance- John Lennon

OP Guy  

Posted: May 1st, 2011 3:28 PM

OP, if there's one this I agree with it's that this WILL be a first, but in this case Oak Park is not be the leader it usually is, it'll be the follower... the model it's following has been stated. If this thing happens, I'll look forward to the excuses you'll give when it hits the fan, but until then, you can count on ME and OTHER Oak Parkers to fight for better models that Oak Park HAS lead with.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: May 1st, 2011 11:07 AM

You're 100% right Mary Ellen. If you want the email addresses and phone numbers of the board, go to www.madisonprojectinfo.com and click on "write to elected officials". The issues page on the website is helpful too.


Posted: May 1st, 2011 10:06 AM

Sorry Oak Park Guy, The choice is with the residents and their choice will be clear. They are welcome to live in OP today if they choose. No? Dont get me wrong, many people are living in the capacity you speak of. This will be a first and OP likes to lead by example and I will be proud to be at the ribbon cutting ceremony!

Mary Ellen Eads from Oak Park  

Posted: May 1st, 2011 9:32 AM

We need a police substation in the strip mall housing the the 7-11 on Chicago avenue. It gets robbed regularly. It must be downright dangerous to work there, despite its location in lovely Oak Park. If you don't support the Comcast project and you haven't written to each member of the Village Board detailing your objections, you are wasting your time. Boards don't make decisions based on newspaper comment pages. They pay some (not enough) attention to citizen mail.

OP Guy  

Posted: May 1st, 2011 12:38 AM

OP, MY type would prefer the current model of mixed income housing, but "YOUR types" seem to want to stick all the low income people in one building. I'm getting the impression more and more that "YOUR types" may just be a little more uncomfortable to rub elbows with low income residents. Stick them all in a building, walk away, and feel better about your good deed for the day... Much simpler than trying to actually integrate them in with other Oak Parkers in "unmarked" properties.

OP ( the real McCoy)  

Posted: April 30th, 2011 11:59 PM

OP guy, I brought up the sub station for YOUR types. Not the residents. It seems to me that in order for most people on this site to feel like their objections are heard we have to take action. No more no less. Win Win. No police substation at the YMCA and they dont seem to house criminals?

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: April 30th, 2011 9:52 PM

I was just googling and saw that Sankofa house is advertising one bedroom apartments for rent.

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: April 30th, 2011 9:09 PM

I would propose that we have a moratorium on people against the Madison Housing Development posting on this comment page, but then who would OP have to converse-type with. We better stick with OP. He really miss us!

OP Guy  

Posted: April 30th, 2011 8:44 PM

Gee, a "police substation in the building" you say... why would you recommend such a thing? With such a progressive housing project, why would you every worry about crime from low income residents? Nothing like the hand of the law to make you feel integrated into the community. Obviously there are people in OP who don't welcome this model, but would rather see there money being spent on better models.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: April 30th, 2011 8:31 PM

And then all the people of majestic Oak Park, the land of hope and good, will come together, link hands, and sing and dance together...their voices rising into the starry Oak Park sky. All will be well and all will be happy. And they will live, happily ever after.


Posted: April 30th, 2011 8:20 PM

OPG, OP will welcome this type of project with Open Arms. Police substation in the building? Ive said that before as well. They ALL will have every right to live any where in the community per the system that exists. Im sure this will be something that they will want to live in by choice-if not they can leave at any time. Simple. The "housing projects" housed families and were larger apts. Different kind of cookie. New day new project! Live.

OP Guy  

Posted: April 30th, 2011 7:55 PM

Housing projects have been historically stigmatized due to their high failure rate, and spikes in crime that happens in or around the building will only re-enforce that stigma... those issues in and of themselves create more of a segregated vibe than integrated. So by your logic, if they walk on the same slab of concrete as you, they won't feel segregated. THAT's not my idea of living side by side. Teacher living next to plumber, living next to low income... in the same building is side be side.


Posted: April 30th, 2011 5:23 PM

They will shop with us, they will eat with us, they will enjoy the parks with us, they will enjoy Thurs Nights out with us, they will even swim with us.Thats what I call inclusive. Hardly segregation.That building will be among neighbors on Grove, Madison and OP Ave. and even Washington Blvd. The people who DO NOT live here already will be living with us then. :-) By your logic the Northwest side of OP is segregated by income as is the Southeast. Not a valid point. Yes there are mini markets

OP Guy  

Posted: April 30th, 2011 2:19 PM

OP, you said "The progress is having these folks live in our community side by side all of us" - this is precisely my point, they are NOT living "side by side all of us", they are living all together in a build segregated from the community by income level.

P O'Shea  

Posted: April 30th, 2011 1:56 PM

OP, were you on the tour today? What's the basis of your statements? Epic, your accusation doesn't hold water. The fact is, there is almost no one here advocating for this project and those who are have little to nothing tangible to say. No studies, no statistics. Just a passionate cry. Trust you say. I say trust but verify is a more prudent approach when we're talking 40 yrs.


Posted: April 30th, 2011 1:18 PM

I agree with Epic. It just so happens that the OPPONENTS are 95% of this discussion. No surprise there. There is a huge difference when segregation is FORCED by law and where its a group of similar minded people who WANT to be there-thats not a prob.The only similarity will be working & lower income folks. I think we have them in OP and its not a new concept. They deserve and need to live in our community as well. The progress is having these folks live in our community side by side all of us

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: April 30th, 2011 12:33 PM

I would recommend that anyone for or against this project go on the tour - there will be another one next week. The best way to have an elevated discussion about this and true impacts to the community (positive and negative) is to know what we're talking about vs. speculating.

Chris Koertge  

Posted: April 30th, 2011 12:24 PM

@Epic - please, enlighten us. How is this progress? Not ONE supporter has provided a decent answer to that, yet dozens against have given solid and specific reasons for their objection. It doesn't fill a proven need in the community. It is an outdated model for public housing. It's segregated. The retail is destined to fail per the project's own retail broker. It's Oak Park's loss if this project gets dumped here. And it's the taxpayer's loss to, with a $15 million price tag.

OP Guy  

Posted: April 30th, 2011 11:42 AM

Eric, I don't oppose progress at all... this is NOT progress, it's a resurrection of an out dated and failed model of low income housing. What Oak Park has been doing all along is progressive. If you care about progress so much, as I do, why not support the model that has worked? Oh, and this project is not my loss, it's everyones loss.


Posted: April 30th, 2011 9:48 AM

There was about 20 cops in the Comcast parking lot about an hour ago. They were either catching some bad guys or practicing drills for the future. Keep up the good work!

Curious George from Oak Park  

Posted: April 30th, 2011 7:21 AM

Epic - 50 years ago Oak Park made progress. It took the bold step of insuring racial balance and protecting against racial discrimination in housing. We then took another step in 1990 when a plan to insure that afforbable housing would be MIXED in to housing in the village. This new plan is not progress, it is a step backwards.

epic lulz  

Posted: April 30th, 2011 2:07 AM

@OPGuy, in any debate, those who are opposed to progress are always more vocal and, because they're shouting louder, they appear to be more numerous. But progress always wins out in the end. Sorry for your loss.

OP Guy  

Posted: April 30th, 2011 12:58 AM

It's funny that OP pretends to speak for what Oak Park wants when practically everyone in this discussion is opposing what OP is shooting for. Don't bother asking him/her questions, you won't get straight answers or proof that what he/she supports will succeed. You will however get plenty of passive aggressive responses. My question, which OP most likely won't answer, or answer honestly, is what role in this project does OP play? Is OP just a fan, or does OPs involvement run deeper?

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: April 29th, 2011 10:23 AM

I also have confidence that the board will make the right decision once they have had time to truly consider and answer all of the open questions.


Posted: April 29th, 2011 10:22 AM

I have all the confidences in our Village Board and Commissions. Oak Park is what it is becasue we do things right.

Curious George from Oak Park  

Posted: April 29th, 2011 10:08 AM

OP-Oak Park has been strict with granting additional units, and precedent has been set that ample parking needs to be provided. The offset press development(proposed 50 feet away from this site)wasn't granted extra units and was required to have all the parking. My point, no developer would assume 11 extra units could be built, or 40 spots don't need to be provided. This project has been pushed through. If other developers are given the same opportunity, (RFP)a balanced project may appear.


Posted: April 29th, 2011 9:52 AM

For those new to the conversation who want the full story including a compelling history of how this project stumbled to where it is today, go to www.madisonprojectinfo.com


Posted: April 28th, 2011 11:21 PM

Your idea is a dollar short and a day late. The same site? Its only been vacant for how long. It was avail to any group. No? You will be proud of what Oak Park can do. I have confidence in the process.

Chris Koertge  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 9:53 PM

Boo, hoo. Apparently OP thinks that anyone who opposes this project is a NIMBY. To the over 3:1 ratio of the neighbors who disagree with this plan in the NMR survey, sorry to tell you that OP thinks you are a NIMBY. Boo, hoo. How will I ever get to sleep tonight? I'm sort of numb to the NIMBY thing. Have a better defense than name calling, OP?

Curious George from Oak Park  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 9:34 PM

OP - are you drunk? NIMBY? the opposite. I said that a non-profit developer could improve the low-income development on THIS site. That would keep a low-income building in the same spot. But maybe one that gives preference to people with disabilities.


Posted: April 28th, 2011 8:54 PM

Best NIMBY comment all night. This site. There are tons more sites avail to other non profits. Hello. Have you seen the real estate economy. Wow you amaze me. You could care less as long as it not in your back yard!!! Shameful

Curious George from Oak Park  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 8:40 PM

op - good to see the passive aggressiveness is back! You don't understand english. Chris was saying that we should improve upon this project, and let other developers have an opportunity to take a look at this site. Interfaith is not the only non-profit that could improve this site. In your words. DUH


Posted: April 28th, 2011 8:27 PM

If Interfaith is not the only show, let's build more! Great idea Chris. Genius you are.

Chris Koertge  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 5:02 PM

CG - exactly. Anyone who lives in OP and DOES NOT support affordable housing is probably living in the wrong community. I just ask that we do it right. Once this building is up it will be in service for 40 years. We should take the time to get it right and meet OP's documented needs, even if that means accepting proposals from other developers. Interfaith is NOT the only show in town. It's not a case of take this proposal or nothing will ever go in to the Comcast building.

Curious George from Oak Park  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 4:38 PM

OP-repeating a post. We finally agree on something. Providing affordable housing for people is a core value of this community, this includes me. I am not convinced this project is consistent with what OP has done in the past,ie scattering voucher recipients, that aren't seniors around our Village.(please don't says Mills Tower again). This is not scattered site, it is single site.


Posted: April 28th, 2011 3:54 PM

Oak Park is even more perfect than I first thought for this project. We walk the walk. We know affordable housing....it sounds like Chris. Thanks for the info.

Chris Koertge  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 3:49 PM

ih8idiots - Oak Park actually already has the highest % of affordable housing in any 'burb per a village study. I recall OP is double the % of the next closest 'burb (Evanston). I'm proud to live in a community that ALREADY provides affordable housing to the very workers you cite. I value well planned affordable housing. This isn't well planned. Spend some time educating yourself on the project and objections rather than posting blind character assassinations on the OP blog.


Posted: April 28th, 2011 3:13 PM

Look at the 2 pictures above in the article. Clearly not too dense for me. I've seen renderings for the Comcast building and it doesn't look too dense to me either. john, not such a scientific way of predicting residency in a building. You must really be upset about the new unused prison in ILL that WAS going to take the place of GITMO???


Posted: April 28th, 2011 3:01 PM

@OP and ih8idots. Have you guys EVER heard of Sec 8 housing? OP has 100's of people with Sec 8 vouchers - and so do other communities. You guys make it appear as if it's this one project on Madison.......or nothing for "people who can't otherwise afford to live in (t)his Tony 'burb." Also, OP, it's interesting that you refer to this as a "project." The city & HUD learned that Sec 8 vouchers are much better than dense "projects." Y'know, like the one you want on Madison.

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 2:46 PM

I drove by Sankofa House, 4041 W. Roosevelt Rd. last night a bit after 8PM, and circled the block. About 10% of the apartments had lights on. Maybe everyone was out for the evening or went to bed early but the neighbors nearby were awake and their light were on. and it was evident that many of the rooms were vacant. I would urge the board to ask management about their occupancy percent.

Curious George from Oak Park  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 2:37 PM

OP - I hope we can be more civil then the idiot, ih8idiosts. The commercial space should not be ignored. You asked me if I have shopped in La Grange. Yes and the downtown area has a large surface lot for Trader Joe's, and they had to build a multi-level parking garage for the downtown area, the side streets weren't enough.

Curious George from Oak Park  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 2:33 PM

OP-we finally agree on something. Providing affordable housing for people is a core value of this community, this includes me. I am not convinced this project is consistent with what OP has done in the past,ie scattering voucher recipients, that aren't seniors around our Village.(please don't says Mills Tower again).


Posted: April 28th, 2011 2:21 PM

The development is a huge win for people who work in OP and serve ingrates like Chris Koertge -- bagging his groceries, cleaning his streets, wiping his kids' butts, etc -- but who can't otherwise afford to live in his Tony 'burb. Of course I understand the sentiments of those who don't want their servants in their upstairs sitting room. I understand it, but I also revile it.


Posted: April 28th, 2011 2:11 PM

The residents who otherwise couldn't afford OP are the CLEAR winners. They wont have to live in a low income neighborhood either. Win. OP can and will support a project like this much better than a community that doesn't have or want to. Of course its a win for Interfaith. That's what they do. DUH. I think its the civic duty of ALL of us to provide affordable housing to those with less with out jeopardizing our way of life. We all win here in OP. Its one of the core reasons PEOPLE MOVE here.


Posted: April 28th, 2011 9:41 AM

Where does Federal money come from? The magic federal money fairy...oh yeah right - our pockets. With a federal government in deep debt, a debt that is impacting the economy, we should all be concerned about pork barrel projects. Spending money just because it's there on a failed model of housing is incredibly irresponsible. If you're not part of the solution you're part of the problem.

Chris Koertge  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 8:57 AM

OP - How is appealing to the sense of civic duty of my community the wrong audience? If we don't take a stand against irresponsible spending, who will? Should I be posting to a message board in rural Iowa? Sorry, but I don't see the win-win. It's a huge win for Interfaith and OPRC and the egos of their executives, but no one else wins. Even the residents don't win, as this housing model is outdated by at least 20 years. Have you researched any of your facts? This is a terrible plan.


Posted: April 28th, 2011 8:31 AM

Chris, If its the Fed dollar$ you are not happy with you are speaking to the wrong audience. The fact that this project is in OP gives it a boost from the support and commitment of OP. Win Win for everyone.


Posted: April 28th, 2011 8:27 AM

JBA, I hope you are wrong as well. I am confident that you will be wrong. @CG, Madison has many side streets that lead up to Madison. Have you shopped in DT La Grange? What about Hinsdale? Parking is just a decoy.

Chris Koertge from Oak Park  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 8:23 AM

OP - $15 million of Fed tax money. It's a waste when there's plenty of apartment and cheap condo inventory in OP to subsidize. Interfaith has zero experience with what they are proposing. Their developments are the nicest building in very troubled inner city neighborhoods. They have zero outside of that environment, which is a huge part of my concern. Last, wouldn't this kind of project normally be subject to a RFP process and an impact study? Interfaith isn't the only interested party.

Curious George from Oak Park  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 6:56 AM

@OP - We are going to have to agree to disagree about civic planning. I would plan like Forest Park did. They built multiple parking lots just off Madison Ave, combined this with angled parking on sidestreets. Then they coordinated a big redevelopment (Starbucks building) and required it to have lots of parking for the commercial space. We lost a Starbucks and the Original Pancake house to the development.

Just Be Accountable from OP  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 5:49 AM

If this project gets built, I predict that within 3 years, we will see an increase in crime in the area, a decrease in housing values, and no sustainable retail in the building. This certainly won't fix the Madison St corridor where we already can't sustain many businesses. I hope that I'm wrong. And I assume that EACH of the members of the Village Board will take full responsibility if I'm not. Transparency and Accountability, right? Assure me that you've considered taxpayer interests here.


Posted: April 28th, 2011 12:46 AM

South Oak Park Ave, North Ave, and Roosevelt Rd also uses quite a bit of on street parking. Conjecture? Wow, sounds like a law term. I'd like to call it my eyeballs. Gee, if your correct maybe we should be building parking lots on Madison and business will follow. Whats your real concerns????

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: April 27th, 2011 10:59 PM

Oh, and Forest Park has a TON of off street parking. When it comes to parking and business it's sort of like Field of Dreams. Build it and they will come. Forest Park is proof positive.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: April 27th, 2011 10:58 PM

Can you tell me where you're getting your Comcast operations data? Or is that conjecture?


Posted: April 27th, 2011 10:51 PM

George, George, George: Whats the problem with it being another Apt Building? It will be LESS bodies than were there as Comcast. In developing its a Good thing to blend the same with the same. No? Regarding Parking- look to the West in FP and see that people park on the st. Its so thoughtful of you few local residents that your looking so far ahead. Thanks for that. When there is a need you fill it. I think you need more stores before you build parking- not the other way around.

Curious George from Oak Park  

Posted: April 27th, 2011 10:45 PM

I think, in an earlier post you said that this apartment building will fit in with all the other apartment buildings on Washington. I question, as a matter of planning, the placement of the project. Before you cry NIMBY again, listen, please. I don't live near the site. A high concentration of apartments in one area of OP, is not good planning. I think a further study is needed.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: April 27th, 2011 10:40 PM


Curious George from Oak Park  

Posted: April 27th, 2011 10:38 PM

My concerns are about the future development om Madison Ave. I have a long term view. Your logic fails again. You say there is parking available becuase there are vacancies. Quality retail requires parking as Walgreens shows. I am optimistic about Madison Ave. We will need accessible parking if we want more quality retailers in the area.


Posted: April 27th, 2011 10:25 PM

I believe some will have cars. john M said they wont have money to add to the economy. See previous post. Foley Rice didnt have a parking lot for customers either. Now that the fireplace store is gone and the development is not happening across the street there is ample space on Madison to park. Every commercial space on Madison mostly doesn't have dedicated parking for their customers. Parking is a decoy. Whats your real concerns?

Curious George from Oak Park  

Posted: April 27th, 2011 10:07 PM

OP - you didn't follow me. I believe the tenants will have cars. Your argument is that they won't. The rationale is that low-income tenants can't afford cars. That doesn't jive with "addding to the local economy". Walgreens has a large parking lot. Check? Cars are parked on the dirt site during the day because the lot is too small. Check? Comcast project has no dedicated parking for commercial space. Check?

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: April 27th, 2011 10:01 PM

The problem with the public transport thing is we have great public transport INTO the city, but not great out of the city or amongst suburbs. The low income jobs in the city are taken by people who live in the city. So the low income people proposed to live in this building will more likely work in the suburbs where they need a car. Also interesting is Catholic Charities sponsors programs to help low income individuals acquire cars because they believe it's important. Do you drive?


Posted: April 27th, 2011 9:55 PM

POS- I think some of the spots will be used for staff on site. I don't think everyone there will have a car. Does everyone at Heritage house drive? I would encourage public transportation, when possible. Your parking issue seems to me to be a decoy.


Posted: April 27th, 2011 9:52 PM

Chris, Who's taxpayers funds? OP's or the Fed's? The concerns have MOSTLY been the NIMBYS. This group is a proven organization and has developments to prove that. Come along for the tour.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: April 27th, 2011 9:48 PM

The Plan Commission specifically said they were allowing not enough parking to discourage driving. So are you for driving or against driving? I'm confused.


Posted: April 27th, 2011 9:47 PM

George: Your website says NOT enough parking. Check. I never said they wont have money. john m said so. Check Madison is a commercial corridor that has 1000's of cars everyday. Top notch retailers are looking for that. See Walgreens. Check Maybe they could use a local co like DK who has a proven record of such. Did Foley Rices customers drive to their site? Check

Chris Koertge  

Posted: April 27th, 2011 9:12 PM

OP: I don't prefer blight, but I do insist upon responsible use of taxpayer funds on projects with a proven need. This isn't a reasonable development. It's a pork barrel project that has been rubber stamped by the Planning Commission despite the many concerns raised by the community. Regarding testimony, when did you testify? I'd look it up, but you're unwilling to post under your real name so I can't. Do you even live in Oak Park?

Curious George from Oak Park  

Posted: April 27th, 2011 9:02 PM

@OP-Here is a test of your logic. I will phrase it like a David Pope post, so you will understand it. We don't need parking for low-income residents because they can't afford cars. Check? But, you think the people that don't have money, magically "add to the local economy".Check? Last, the non-profit developer, with no retail experience will recruit a top notch tenant. Check? But this top notch retailer's customers will not be driving to or from the site during the day. Check?


Posted: April 27th, 2011 9:00 PM

I am curious why you so curious.

Curious George from Oak Park  

Posted: April 27th, 2011 8:49 PM

I am always curious. Why don't you answer my questions?


Posted: April 27th, 2011 8:46 PM

I was happy with the final outcome of what was approved. Its seems to all be a mute point at this time. It seems all the opponents to the interfaith project prefer blight over reasonable development. Sad.

Curious George from OaK Park  

Posted: April 27th, 2011 8:39 PM

OP-you said "I didnt hear any testimony from you either " So I was wondering if you attended all the meetings


Posted: April 27th, 2011 8:34 PM

PO- They would cram the vans in by inches- meaning you couldn't get them all out at once. The majority of them were in the lot to the west. They ALSO had a lot south where Wags parking lot is today. Then you have the people who drove those vans' car's which were parked all over. Point is the parking was DENSER than the project will be. CG:I said Patricia didn't fight the project.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: April 27th, 2011 7:56 PM

OP, are you saying there were more 73 vans used out of that facility?

Curious George from Oak Park  

Posted: April 27th, 2011 7:44 PM

OP - you said you didn't hear testimony from us on the Offset press building. Did you attend all the meetings?

Curious George from Oak Park  

Posted: April 27th, 2011 7:30 PM

You raised a question to Patricia O'Shea that neighbors didn't fight the Offset print project. You inferred, neighbors are only rallying against this because poor people will live there. This is not true.


Posted: April 27th, 2011 7:16 PM

In regards to density, look at what was there before- a building with MORE people and MORE VANS plus cars. The workers who drove those vans had to get to work!!!


Posted: April 27th, 2011 6:59 PM

George, That question was directed towards P.O. But now that I think about it, I didnt hear any testimony from you either. Hmmm, didnt know CG could talk. I must check the minutes. The decoys for all of your objections are nonsense. Not enough parking? Ask john murtgh how many of these low income people will have cars???? He did the math and I'm not sure they can afford them.


Posted: April 27th, 2011 6:18 PM

I didn't live here at that time OP. Perhaps tonight you could sleep on the idea that you don't know everything. The way you put words into my mouth and the way you show ridiculous disrespect by playing with my name - which I have the cojones to use I might add AGAIN - just diminishes what you have to say in the eyes of me and the many here who are adult and willing to have adult debate. Kind of puts you into the not only uniformed, but a little crazy category.

Curious George from Oak Park  

Posted: April 27th, 2011 6:07 PM

yes I know it is spelled ignorance not ingorance, a typo OP, in case you couldn't figure that out

Curious George from Oak Park  

Posted: April 27th, 2011 5:55 PM

OP - you seriously show your ingnorance time and time again. The neighborhood rose up against the Offset press project. The NMR was formed because of this project. Why? Because it was too dense and didn't provide enough parking. The developer asked for 46 units with 56 parking spots. The neighbors said no. They insisted on 36 units and ALL required parking. The only thing I have ever seen you say, that is correct, is that humans will live in the Comcast building.


Posted: April 27th, 2011 5:42 PM

Patsy, Are you kidding me? I've seen the 100's of posts fromn you NIMBYs and ALL of these objections that I state have been raised. Maybe not All by you, but someone! Do you think I just made them up? I'm so glad then that you ares o concerned about THIS particular project. Where have you been for the project that was green lighted for the opposite corner where Offset press was??? No need for an answer. Those people would have had more money. Sshameful. Heritage House, Mills (Tower).

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: April 27th, 2011 2:48 PM

Have you looked at www.madisonprojectinfo.com? Only one of the things you listed there as my reasons for opposition are on the website at issues OP - the probable failure of the commercial. Interesting strategy putting words into other people's mouths. Take some time, read the informaiton that is out there. You'll see where the oppostition is really coming from.


Posted: April 27th, 2011 2:38 PM

P O'Shea, If the opponents were NOT JUST NIMBYS then maybe the community would listen. No-your property value will NOT go down. No-crime will not go up in the immediate area. No -these people wont bite. No these people wont ruin the local commercial economy. Yes these people will live in our community with us. Yes they add to the local economy. Yes they will be your neighbors just like all the others on Washington blvd in all the 1000 apts.Yes they will be just like the human that YOU are.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: April 27th, 2011 10:16 AM

If the supporters of the project had anything more than "Nanny nanny poo poo! You are a nimby!" to say in this debate it would be much more engaging.

W.R. Hearst  

Posted: April 27th, 2011 10:08 AM

"[Oak Park] is primarily a mid to upper income town." -straight from the mouth of those who came into money the old-fashioned way: by inheriting it-- aka the NIMBYist elite. While googling NIMBYism, why not google 'social diversity.' It's the wave of the future, bra.


Posted: April 27th, 2011 8:32 AM

I have always wondered how neighborhoods in Chicago with big, beautiful homes are now wastlands. I also wondered why you cant have for sale signs in Oak Park. I can see now, if you build something that the neighborhood does not support, guess what they will move. They will also sell their homes below market value to get out. That will be the new market value of the neighborhood.

OakParkBob from Oak Park  

Posted: April 27th, 2011 6:52 AM

This makes no sense. Stacking poor people on top of poor people has failed all over the US. These housing projects have been torn down. Why would we think it will be different here? Is it OP's arrogance or stupidity? Put in a mixed use project with 20% of units reserved for poor people and the rest geared to middle class residents with an open market rate. That's what is being done elsewhere. Why not here?

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: April 27th, 2011 1:37 AM

The residents of the Madison Ave Housing development might spend money in the neighborhood, but not much. Residents have to earn less than $26,000 before taxes, social security. etc. There rent is $706 which is more than a third of their gross income if they make $26,000. If the residents earn minimum wage and work 40 hour weeks for 52 weeks a year, their $706 rent will be about 50% of their gross wages. Can't see the residents being big spenders -- at all!


Posted: April 27th, 2011 1:07 AM

Pat Weaver you say "designed for, low income neighborhoods." Maybe those types of projects you are speaking of are to keep the neighborhood down. NOT this project. This is to keep the neighborhood vital and alive. These residents might even buy things in our local economy- Really. As alarming as that might be. I bet Pat Weaver doesn't even live in OP or the immediate area.

Pat Weaver from Oak Park  

Posted: April 26th, 2011 10:29 PM

OP Resident, I'm not wrong. Just honest. The fact is the two IHC properties are located in, and designed for, low income neighborhoods. It doesn't make them or the people in them bad or inferior, only different than all of us living here. Like it or not, this is primarily a mid to upper income town. Those few here with lower incomes are able to use vouchers, etc to live all over town. Again, there is no natural market for this project. At the altar of "economic diversity" is a false god.

OP Resident  

Posted: April 26th, 2011 10:07 PM

You are right about being wrong, Pat Weaver. Don't try to excuse yourself while at the same time posting really nasty comments. Fight the good fight but fight fair.

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: April 26th, 2011 9:10 PM

In the army, we used to have to paint the rocks when dignitaries were coming to town. In the auto industry, the floor sparkled, not a drop of oil was on the hardware, and the safety signs were freshly painted. I am sure that Perry Vietti will have his buildings ready for inspection. The board would have been better served if their visit was spontaneous. Despite my cynicism, I hope the tour is beneficial.

Pat Weaver from Oak Park  

Posted: April 26th, 2011 8:34 PM

Forgive me for pointing out the obvious, but does Oak Park Ave & Madison St and the surrounding neighborhood resemble the area around these two properties in any way, shape or form? Are the proponents of this project looking to pull "upscale" OP down off it's high horse, or are they just practicing trickle-up poverty? I'm sorry, there is no natural market for this project, not when so many available 1 BR apts exist that substitute for this mini-Cabrini Green. Not PC, I know, but accurate. Big NO


Posted: April 26th, 2011 6:25 PM

For those new to the issue, recommend you visit https://sites.google.com/site/concernedmadisonoakpark/ to learn more. You'll find issues and a very interesting history of the project. You'll also find links to interfaith, the application on the Village Board site, Frequently Asked Questions and more.

oak park resident from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: April 26th, 2011 5:29 PM

This project is such a bad idea I don't even know where to begin.

epic lulz  

Posted: April 26th, 2011 4:52 PM

Thank you for confirming that the public is invited to attend the tour. I received the email announcement from the Village, and though it provided plenty of information about the tour, it neglected to add that little tidbit.

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