I'm thrilled about Pete's, a grocery that has proven itself a community asset on Lake Street. Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. The existing Packard (or Hill Motor Co.) building at Wesley and Lake has to go. Nostalgia for the insignificant is great, but not on this taxpayer's nickel. If you love the building, buy it yourself.
I'm thrilled about senior housing across the street from Pete's. Real estate taxes for school districts 97 and 200 without a single additional student — that's what Soak Park needs more of. Businesses are better for the taxpayer, but senior housing is pretty good.
I'm thrilled to see the Jewel at Elmwood and Madison under discussion for sale and redevelopment. The store is too small for modern full-service grocery concepts and Jewel has not been investing any serious money in the store for quite some time. It's obvious they are just letting the store limp along, hoping the property gets in the way of development and they can off-load it at an attractive price. Looks like their strategy is working out.
All we need now is for the frustrated would-be museum curators in our town to stop getting in the way of every sensible proposal to let the new be informed but not hidebound by the old. Between a Hysterical Commission that thinks everything Wright ever touched is a masterpiece and a village board that thinks it's OK to make owners suffer while it hunt-and-pecks toward a coherent strategy, it's a wonder anything ever gets done here.
Answer Book 2019
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