Victim of River Forest robbery spots attackers on the street

Suspects arrested and charged with felony robbery

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Show/Hide Gallery

By Megan Dooley

Staff Reporter

Two men were apprehended and charged with a late-March robbery in River Forest after their victim recognized them on the streets of Maywood more than a week after the incident took place.

The victim, a 23-year-old Chicago man, was walking in the vicinity of 9th Avenue and Madison Street in Maywood on April 5 when he passed the two men allegedly responsible for attacking and robbing him in the 7300 block of Lake Street on March 23.

Darrell King, 20, of the 1400 block of South 2nd Avenue in Maywood, and Darnell Swanigan, 20, of the 1000 block of South 15th Avenue in Maywood, were arrested shortly afterward by Maywood police after the victim called 911.

They were later turned over to the custody of the River Forest Police Department. Both suspects were charged with felony robbery.

The robbery occurred on March 23 at around 10 p.m. Police were called to the scene to investigate a battery and found the victim disoriented, but able to provide a description of the offenders, who had punched and robbed him.

The River Forest police reviewed their video surveillance system, which helps to monitor criminal activity in the shopping center at Lake and Harlem, and found an image of the two suspects just prior the attack. The picture helped with basic physical and clothing descriptions, but did not capture the offenders' faces.

But the victim spotted his attackers while walking through Maywood on April 5. He immediately called local police, who took the two young men into custody in Maywood.

"Then we brought them over for our investigation," said River Forest Police Chief Gregory Weiss. "Ultimately they were charged by the River Forest Police Department."

While in custody, the men reportedly admitted to being members of the Gangster Disciples street gang, but Weiss said that the robbery was not gang-related.

Love the Journal?

Become our partner in independent community journalism

Thanks for turning to Wednesday Journal and We love our thousands of digital-only readers. Now though we're asking you to partner up in paying for our reporters and photographers who report this news. It had to happen, right?

On the plus side, we're giving you a simple way, and a better reason, to join in. We're now a non-profit -- Growing Community Media -- so your donation is tax deductible. And signing up for a monthly donation, or making a one-time donation, is fast and easy.

No threats from us. The news will be here. No paywalls or article countdowns. We're counting on an exquisite mix of civic enlightenment and mild shaming. Sort of like public radio.

Claim your bragging rights. Become a digital member.

Donate Now

Reader Comments

119 Comments - Add Your Comment

Note: This page requires you to login with Facebook to comment.

Comment Policy

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: April 26th, 2011 2:14 PM

I'm not going to reveal OP. Two wrongs don't make a right.


Posted: April 26th, 2011 1:54 PM

Who am I? Hmmm. Do tell.

OP Resident  

Posted: April 26th, 2011 1:53 PM

Before revealing the identity of the Village board's jester; will you allow us to guess? Is it Ishkabible?

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: April 26th, 2011 1:23 PM

I'm 90% sure who OP is. Interesting use of resources.


Posted: April 26th, 2011 12:54 PM

The Village Board will be touring some other developments that Interfaith has done.


Posted: April 16th, 2011 8:55 AM

This project does cover everything. Tax shelters for the rich, increasing the low income levels in OP, so they get more g money, and a little more g money to redo Madison street. Sounds like a deal with the devil. Lets sacrifice a few (people in the building and those that live on grove street) for the greater good of many. There is some corruption going on here. Smells bad.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: April 15th, 2011 7:12 PM

So OP, here's your chance to educate us...what is your experience with this type of housing? What makes you superior as it relates to this topic?

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: April 15th, 2011 7:04 PM

Which is OP,an insider, a VMA groupie, or ...........................?


Posted: April 15th, 2011 6:42 PM

I referred to P O'Shea as an outsider in terms of her dealings in any development or low income housing for that matter. No, Im not an insider. Never claimed to be. The interesting point is that you all have all these grand ideas as to where and why these people should live except in this building? What's the real issue? Thats what I think is horse pucky. Clearly this building is a different species than all the alternatives you suggest. No need for alternatives. The project covers everything

john murtagh from Oak Park  

Posted: April 15th, 2011 6:16 PM

Wouldn't depend on the bus too much. When Madison goes to two lane-two way traffic, the bus will be pretty slow. It will be Chicago Style bus trip. Also the village already receives funding through HUD subsidies for low income people to buy condos. The fact is "inclusionary housing" does work. Right now HPAC is studying inclusionary housing for all new developments in the village. That is; except in the case of the Madison Avenue Housing Development.

Curious George from Oak Park  

Posted: April 15th, 2011 5:51 PM

OP - you are sad attempt to market the comcast project. You claim to be an insider, but want to know if this could be a green building? You know the answer, it will be green. FYI- the developer gets merit points on their application with IDHA for building build green, could this be a reason it to be green? What is going in to the west of the project is 23 parking spots. This lot, combined with street parking is 40 spots short by code. A sure way to attract a top tenant in the commercial space

outsider o'shea  

Posted: April 15th, 2011 5:21 PM

OP. I know to you I'm just a measly "outsider", but you didn't answer my question. Is it because you don't know or because you don't want the citizens of Oak Park to know?


Posted: April 15th, 2011 5:11 PM

Whats going in the current Comcast parking lot West of Grove? Bus is a good Oak Park idea. Marco you get points for that. Maybe we can make this building a Green building too. All this opposition for what? NIMBY is all I can think of. Guess what people- YOU live by Madison St. and Oak Park Ave. Major arterial streets in this community.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: April 15th, 2011 5:01 PM

Newbies to this topic...check out

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: April 15th, 2011 5:00 PM

So OP. If the cost of geographically distributed units is so cost-prohibitive, why are voucher programs for low income individuals in use today in Oak Park (by OP Housing Authority) and Chicago (by the CHA) to allow low income people to live in mixed income environments as an alternative to buildings like the one you want to build?


Posted: April 15th, 2011 2:23 PM

Take the bus to the ribbon cutting ceremony because there won't be any place to park your car.


Posted: April 15th, 2011 1:08 PM

J., not sure what your "real" beef is? Pick one and we can handle that. Condos on the market have nothing to do with govt tax dollars. Plus if you spread all those people into different condos the management cost would be ridiculous and you'd complain about how expensive and ineffective that is. This building makes the most sense and lets hope we can see it through to the ribbon cutting ceremony. You can even come.


Posted: April 15th, 2011 12:19 PM

@OP, that is understandable, a place to live. But at what price? estimates of the cost for buying and rehabing the building have ranged(in these pages) form 10 to 20 million. If you use the low number, $10 mil divide by 51 you get $196,078. There are currently 228 condos for sale in Oak Park for $200,000.00 and less. How about use the money to buy those properties and allow low income residents to apply to live there? Just offering an alternative that seems more palatable for all.


Posted: April 15th, 2011 10:44 AM

Its a place to live. No more....No less! There are plenty of people who live in buildings that never even talk with their neighbors. An affordable place for people with less means to live. Whats so wrong with that?


Posted: April 15th, 2011 10:33 AM

Sounds to me like some kind of social experiment. Lets cram 50 people of all different walks of life into a small building with no automobiles and the only thing they have in common is their income levels and see if they can live together happy. Move over Survivor, I think we have our next reality show hit.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: April 15th, 2011 10:16 AM

@Jen-I have listened. I have listened to hours and hours of Plan Commission testimony. I have read volumes on this topic. I have formed an opinion. I am opposed to the model regardless of where it is - Chicago, North Oak Park, South Oak Park... I don't believe it is good for anyone involved (well except for Interfaith perhaps) for a myriad of reasons.

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: April 15th, 2011 10:08 AM

To grasp the Madison Housing Development, you have to understand that it started when the Y was planning to close. OPHA, Solan, and Interfaith's Vietti, an OPHA board member at the time, decided to replace the Y units w Supportive Housing. In 2008, they launched the development. In 2009, the Y said it would stay in OP and keep the SRO open. Having spent a lot of time, Solan and Vietti decided to change the customer base to OP Residents and workers. They made the switch with no research.

J.oak park  

Posted: April 15th, 2011 10:04 AM

Powers that be at, a question for you: Can you put up polls on your website? It would be interesting, to be sure, if your readers could vote and see the results of questions asked. For example you could ask people if they think the comcast project is right for Oak Park? Many questions could be asked and answered, as simple as will you attend a day in our village to more perplexing ones like the recent D97 ref.

J.oak park  

Posted: April 15th, 2011 9:48 AM

@OP, sorry for my absence. The only reason to bring up Lake and Forest is to be provocative, admittedly. That said, would our Village commissions and management/trustees be supportive of such a project in downtown OP? It is a hypothetical question and easy to answer yes, knowing it would never come to be asked in reality. Seriously: why not build on open land, even if it is just east of OP Ave on Madison?


Posted: April 15th, 2011 8:32 AM

@ Patrick. It seems you don't take what anyone says seriously. Yes, REALLY. It's a roof over a head that's not cruel, the opposite in fact. I am not getting it or have assistance it was a hypothetical based on present circumstance. It really is okay to fall on the sword and just listen sometimes. That is a big REALLY.


Posted: April 15th, 2011 8:19 AM

I'm thinking Perry, this forum would be beneath Ed. Perry be careful what you ask for, this is not like building in Chicago, you will be building under a microscope and accountable for every mistake. Good Luck with that!

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: April 15th, 2011 7:05 AM

OP = Perry Vietti? Or perhaps Ed Solan? The labeling me an "outsider" makes me wonder. What makes you an "insider" and me an "outsider"? Is it that you are one of the developers?

Curious George from Oak Park  

Posted: April 15th, 2011 7:04 AM

OP-I appreciate you trying to evaluate this project, but your facts aren't correct. The Wilmette project is not the same. The Wilmette project is proposed for seniors and people with disabilities. The proposed income levels are up to double the OP project. My understanding is that the project will mix incomes as well. The neighbors in OP said they would prefer this type of development. So I don't know why the OP project is better. I didn't know that single parents with children don't drive.

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: April 15th, 2011 1:48 AM

HUD Consultants worked on the OP Five-Year Consol. Plan & 2010 Action Plan. There work included surveys and interviews with the public, civic leaders, and housing professionals. One of the questions was: "What type of Affordable Housing does the village need?" The response was 53% seniors, 47% and 28% efficiency apartments. The survey showed that the affordable housing needs was on two and three bedroom apartment. In Nov 2009,the consultant told the board that SRO units was no longer an issue.


Posted: April 15th, 2011 12:20 AM

I think the Oak Park Project will be far superior than any other one! That's just me. I guess I'm biased


Posted: April 14th, 2011 10:59 PM

BTW the Winnetka project is 25 units is for the working poor with income up to 48K. This project is 51 units specifically for single parents with a child and income up to 25K. They do not need cars.


Posted: April 14th, 2011 10:09 PM

BTW its Winnetka also that may have a similar project soon. Along with Wilmette.


Posted: April 14th, 2011 10:07 PM

J. Your talking out of both sides of your mouth now. You suggest Lake and Forest as a possible site? Mrs. O'Shea, Let the people who WANT to live there determine whether its cruel or not. Clearly there will be plenty of folk who would love to live in this community that cant afford it right now. For an outsider who has no record of dealing in these types of projects I think its a bit of a stretch.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: April 14th, 2011 1:23 PM

@Jenny. Honestly? I would hope that you would be able to have access to a voucher program that would give you the assistance you need to live in anonymity without everyone knowing that you needed assistance. Bundling 51-102 people into one building known to be for the working poor is just a little cruel I think.

J.oak park  

Posted: April 14th, 2011 12:30 PM

OP, I don't think this project s a fit for OP in any location. I don't actually live near the proposed site, so not so nimby for me. What are my other concerns? Refresh me on what you think I think? Here is one bit for you: I think there are plenty of reasonably priced one bedroom apartments for rent in and around OP already.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: April 14th, 2011 12:24 PM

OP, This didn't start because of McDonald's. It started because the board thought the YMCA SRO was leaving Oak Park. Have you checked out the history on our website URL below?


Posted: April 14th, 2011 12:07 PM

Mrs. O'Shea, We'll agree to Disagree. To J. Your comment is simple NIMBY. Lake and Forest is OK? If your "other" concerns were valid why would it be OK anywhere in OP??? Mrs O'Shea If you think Interfaith just cares about surviving then what do you think about Corporate behemoth McDonald's? Do they just care about making their numbers ??? This all started b/c you support McDonald's and what they do? No?


Posted: April 14th, 2011 11:56 AM

"WE STAND for diversity" If by that you mean we need you so we can judge you & feel better about ourselves & pretend we care (judgement based on on whether or not you live north/south OP) then I agree. This is all silly talk, you guys sound like snobs & a bit racist. I am a white woman, working on my second degree, 1 child.I moved from another state to OP to go to an unnamed prestigious Chicago school. If I lived in this proposed community would you judge me? Sad. It's transitional for some...

J.oak park  

Posted: April 14th, 2011 11:20 AM

Brava, Ms. O'Shea. Said straight to the point and 100% on target. Exactly, interfaith builds projects like this as a way of existing. It is what they do, and I bet they care some about for whom they do it, but not as much about the community in which they do it. And yes I know that one of the leaders of interfaith lives in OP. How about they build on the lake and forest site? it is empty, plenty of parking and near shopping and Public transport...oh and jobs. Land is clear and shovel ready.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: April 14th, 2011 11:06 AM

OP. I would like to live in your world, but I live in the real one. The federal government does not spend money on case workers because they want the community to "feel better". The developers on this project don't give a crap about the community. They care about surviving...about getting another project done no matter how poorly done. It's bull.


Posted: April 13th, 2011 10:08 AM

Being from Italian descent, and seeing as there is a low population of Italians in this town, I think we should change the admission to the project for only Italian-americans working in Oak Park. Maybe we can call it Cabrini on Grove.


Posted: April 13th, 2011 9:39 AM

Mrs O'Shea, Case workers are another layer for all those that are scared. You should welcome a case worker. Keeping tabs on the folks that SOME think will bring down their property values is a good thing. Another note is that not only do those building have case workers they have LOTS more. Tons more. This all started because you support McDonalds and what people can achieve there- just like the potential residents for the Comcast project.

Mary Ellen Eads from Oak Park  

Posted: April 13th, 2011 9:27 AM

I'd ask the same question as Sims. And I had no idea that Oak Park had such a high percentage of affordable housing.Is it the super-cheap condos raising the percentage? Who approved the obvious overbuilding of condos here, anyway? The same plan commission and village board who are ruling on the Comcast project? Great. This does raise questions about why the developers of the Comcast project chose Oak Park, hardly a laggard in the cheap housing department. Are we viewed as an easy mark?

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: April 12th, 2011 11:21 PM

Here's the difference. No one requires the residents of the buildings you cite to meet with a case worker. It's a different type of housing that requires that.


Posted: April 12th, 2011 11:06 PM

Mrs. O'Shea, You forgot one important characteristic of those living in Heritage House, Mills Tower and the Oaks: Low income. The same as what is projected to occupy the Comcast project. Maybe they will throw in some disabled and seniors and make it really diversified for some. What is the model that doesn't work? This wont be a housing project on a mass scale. I guess I miss your point about some model that's been tested and doesn't work. It works in OP

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: April 12th, 2011 10:29 PM

Real cruel an real crude, Lutz.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: April 12th, 2011 8:38 PM

No Epic. You're wrong. The Free Association went criminals, McDonald's, defense of McDonald's, association between McDonald's and the Madison project. You're dead wrong here. Anyone can read it and see that's how it went.

epic lulz  

Posted: April 12th, 2011 4:51 PM

"What does an article about a crime in River Forest committed by Maywood residents have to do with a proposed low-income housing project in Oak Park?" Simple. Show racists a picture of a couple of black guys, and all they can think about is the affordable housing development planned down the street.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: April 12th, 2011 11:30 AM

OP, Heritage House, Mills Tower, The Oaks...are all senior/disabled housing.


Posted: April 12th, 2011 10:02 AM

Marco, Buy the bonds for the Ridgeland Commons redo. Solid return.


Posted: April 12th, 2011 7:57 AM

48 cities "need" affordable housing. Do you know how many will pass that? One, Oak Park. Hey John do you know where I can invest, I would like a 40 year tax exemption.


Posted: April 12th, 2011 7:33 AM

Mrs O'Shea, Are Heritage House, Mills tower and the The Oaks failures? This project's group of residents will be working to IMPROVE their economic level.


Posted: April 12th, 2011 7:24 AM

What does an article about a crime in River Forest committed by Maywood residents have to do with a proposed low-income housing project in Oak Park?


Posted: April 12th, 2011 4:25 AM

What should be Oak Park's affordable housing goal? If 35% is't enough how about 50%, 60%, 70% or higher? What is the optimal level and who should subsidize it?

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: April 12th, 2011 3:59 AM

It is easy to understand 35% affordable OP housing when you realize that 40% of OP'ers live in apartments. That is 20,000 renters.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: April 11th, 2011 10:16 PM

I should add...we don't even have a discussion board because we want to ensure the tone of the site is "just the facts ma'am".

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: April 11th, 2011 10:12 PM

Curious George. It's all fact based. It is coming from a place of opposition, but the team who put it together thought it important to put all the information we had about this there. You'll find links to the applicant's information, news from both sides, FAQs etc.

Curious George from Oak Park  

Posted: April 11th, 2011 10:08 PM

OP- there is nothing to disagree on. IHDA did a study and found 35% of OP housing affordable. I have more concerns about this project then just where it is located. I just think that the placement should be studied, and not assume it is good to put one apartment next to another. @O'Shea does site have facts or just complaints?

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: April 11th, 2011 10:07 PM

OP,on your claims that this bring diversity... Concentrating poverty in one location is a proven failed model. It may be easier to have 51 individual single-occupant units than to provide mixed use housing, but it is a lazy approach. It is well established that concentrating poverty in public housing creates chronic social issues both for those living there and the community. OP already has 35% low income spread through the Village in integrated housing. That proven approach encourages diversity

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: April 11th, 2011 9:48 PM

I think there is a good bit of poor information/rose colored glasses out there on this topic. If you would like to read the whole story, go to


Posted: April 11th, 2011 9:31 PM

CG: It seems your only problem is location. Its fine somewhere else but Madison and Grove? I disagree with the 35% affordable housing stat. It cant be 35% of ALL OP housing stock. Seems a tad bit high. These 51 units will hardly put a dent into the % if you ONLY consider apartments in OP.


Posted: April 11th, 2011 8:42 PM

Marco is hilarious. First he complains that this is in a residential neighborhood; then he complains that is in a commercial neighborhood and should stay commercial. Sounds like Marco argues whatever side of an argument will keep poor blacks out of Oak Park.

Curious George from Oak Park  

Posted: April 11th, 2011 8:03 PM

OP-we agree that OP has stood for diversity(35% affordable housing is one example). We should, and will continue to improve on this. If this is a diverse development, it should mesh into the fabric of our village. It should be able to be placed anywhere. It could be placed on the empty lot on South Blvd near Maya, near train,bus and biz dist, or the old villager site, near Harlem,trains and downtown biz dist. Do you envision 51 supportive housing units, meshing with the central biz district?


Posted: April 11th, 2011 4:56 PM

The reason OP is a great fit is because WE STAND for diversity. (in all forms) Hardly arrogant. Clearly this is a good spot for it. Close to trains, buses and commercial district in which residents might just work. John you seem to think because OP has a higher % of affordable housing than other communities than we should scrap the plan. Might I ask - Where,if not there, would this fit into our Village?


Posted: April 11th, 2011 4:26 PM

What I don't understand is why anyone is still posting on this board? In the forum on the Holley Court Garage David Pope stated that people were only posting because of the election, which is now over. By Pope's math we are supposed to stop caring about our village, at least until the next election. This project is not a fit for Oak Park. Go to the Interfaith web page and see that the projects they have built are not in any neighborhood like OP.

Curious George from Oak Park  

Posted: April 11th, 2011 4:17 PM

@OP - This is the logic that doesn't make sense to me. People think that we should put low-income housing in an area because it already has affordable housing and apartments. The Madison Street Corridor Plan identified this area as more diverse, and having more affordable housing, as compared to the Village as a whole. Should we put ALL of the low-income housing in this area because it "fits"? This is how we embrace diversity? This Monkey is scratching its head.

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: April 11th, 2011 3:56 PM

OP, you are correct about Wllmette not being a recovering village (congrats). Unfortunately, you missed the point. Wilmette was cited by the Illinois Housing Development Authority (remember the name, it is the state organization that give a paycheck t0 Ed Solan of Oak Park Housing Authority's and sponsor of the Madison Proposal. Wilmette was cited along with 48 cities for not having sufficient affordable housing. All 49 had less than 10%. Oak Park has 35% Affordable Housing. Nice try!


Posted: April 11th, 2011 3:42 PM

Your mixing stories. There are none in wilmette. That is another town where interfaith is looking to invest because there is a "need" for low income housing. There is no "need" here or there. If you say it will be successful just because it is OP, Then I put you in the category of arrogant. This building is commercial and should stay that way with no residential housing. We need to focus on bringing good retail stores instead of a make believe "need".


Posted: April 11th, 2011 3:22 PM

Marco, You say " the first in a solid family residential neighborhood." Madison is hardly family residential. The only block the project would directly impact could be the 400 S. Grove Block. Even that block has multi-unit apartment buildings on it. Less than a block to the North is Washington Blvd with many apartments in which not too many families reside. This project will do great BECASUE its in OP. I would hardly call Wilmette a recovering neighborhood.


Posted: April 11th, 2011 2:12 PM

Not changing my tune at all. There are so many problems with this project I don't know where to begin. Yes I am fearful that there will be an element of thugs. All of the other buildings are in recovering neighborhoods. This will be the first in a solid family residential neighborhood. You will be the test for futures projects. Hope it works out, or will it be a 40 year mistake.


Posted: April 11th, 2011 1:47 PM

Marco how soon you change your tune. Now you refer to them as poor not THUGS. So kind. Curious, I believe I saw somewhere that people went on a tour of some other places and actually walked through some, not all.

Curious George from Oak Park  

Posted: April 11th, 2011 1:33 PM

OP - I have been trying to locate a commercial space Interfaith has developed. Could you give me an example of a successful commercial space that Interfaith has developed?


Posted: April 11th, 2011 12:56 PM

At a 15-20 million dollar price tag to build this, Jesus can help a whole lot of people, so could you. You do realize this is a buisness deal, low income people are just pawns. Where else can you get 40 year tax exemptions. That is why they are expanding their plans in other places like Wilmette. Big buisness in helping the poor!


Posted: April 11th, 2011 11:23 AM

Marco, I hate to break the news to ya but NO ONE will sell their house at a PREMIUM. Those days are ova! TRY like 2006. It will be a long time (yrs) before you will get the same price for any real estate in this or any other place. Ignorant and Arrogant. Two more choice words from you. You couldn't be any farther from the truth. This model has worked and interfaith can give you real examples that exist today. Really! I bet Jesus could get 500 people in there- but he's Jesus.


Posted: April 11th, 2011 11:02 AM

OP, I hope there is enough people who agree with you, so I can sell my home for a premuim. It seems like to me the only supporters of this project are ignorant (what would Jesus do) or arrogant (segregating low income people in a crammed environment even though that model is proven not to work.)


Posted: April 11th, 2011 10:14 AM

Marco, To be honest, the property value would go down more so from the vans. Secondly, THUGS? Really? Think again.

Violet Aura  

Posted: April 11th, 2011 9:08 AM

@Calvary Lover (if you love it so much, perhaps learn to spell it properly?!): What would Jesus do about what? This article is about two thugs who beat someone in RF. I wonder what Jesus would do about that?


Posted: April 11th, 2011 8:44 AM

Hey OP would you rather live next to a couple of vans beeping in the middle of the night, or have a couple thugs watching you leave to go to work.

Curious George from Oak Park  

Posted: April 10th, 2011 10:22 PM

Calvery Lover - I don't know. But, I am looking for passages about taking federal tax dollars and developing 5000 sqft of retail with 9 dedicated spots, in a soft market. No luck so far. Any guidance?


Posted: April 10th, 2011 9:44 PM

John, I think its premature on YOUR part to state demand that DOESN'T include the demographics which will live there. This project WILL NOT make your home values go down any more than The Comcast building did. Who wants to live next to the Comcast building with sardine like parking lot with all those trucks coming and going every night. This is relief and you all should be thankful. This project fits better in OP than it would in FP on Madison.

Calvery Lover  

Posted: April 10th, 2011 7:02 PM

What would Jesus do?


Posted: April 10th, 2011 6:23 PM

You would think with the referendum passing and everyones taxes going up even more, that building something that will for sure lower your property values would be on everyones mind.

Curious George from Oak Park  

Posted: April 10th, 2011 2:18 PM

@OP-So, it sounds as though you don't think that the proposed development is appropriate for a quaint, quiet street.

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: April 10th, 2011 1:25 PM

The village, OPHA, and Interfaith have not revealed the criteria for residence in the Oak Park Housing Development. Your insight into demand is a little premature.

Craig Chesney from Oak Park  

Posted: April 10th, 2011 10:32 AM

@epic lulz. In November, the Village Board engaged a consulting group to design plans for streetscape on Madison. One concern on Madison is the width of the street. I think there has been open discussion about reducing the width of Madison as well. There has been talk in the WJ that the Village is considering to plan for a bike lane for this avenue. Seeing the Video of Tom Barwin looking at protected bike lanes in Manhattan, confirms that this will be seriously considered.


Posted: April 10th, 2011 10:09 AM

Another point is that FP Madison and OP Madison are two different creatures. First and foremost is the width of the street. FP has a much more quaint feel with its more narrow street vs OP which is much more spread out and less pedestrian friendly. OP's "FP Madison " is Oak Park Ave or Lake St.or Marion.


Posted: April 10th, 2011 10:05 AM

I am suspect when the most vocal opponents to this projects are folks who may live immediately in the vicinity of the project.(NIMBYs) Maybe your concerns of bad things happening can be handled. I dont think they will have ANY problems with occupying this building. There is PLENTY of demand for people who would love to live in a brand new building in OP at an affordable rent.

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: April 10th, 2011 1:49 AM

OP-R, Plan Comapproved the development. The board needs super-majority votes to override. The word is that the board's vote will support PlanCom. The board, including new members, say they have not made up their mind. The target schedule for the board receiving the Madison Development is 5-16. The village planner says the meeting could be on 5-9, a week after the new members swear in. That is hasty, it is a complex subject. There is a non-gov't Mad. Development website going up this weekend.

OP Resident  

Posted: April 10th, 2011 12:44 AM

Is this a done deal, John? Do you think the newly elected trustees will ask David Pope to take a look at some other options? Something really inventive would generate a lot of buzz about Oak Park. The new hotel is going to need more than house tours to draw tourists. Let's go for the WOW!

epic lulz  

Posted: April 9th, 2011 11:54 PM

"I'd like to see this stretch of Madison be a place where people stroll, shop, eat, and extension of Madison in Forest Park." That's not going to happen until the Village puts some serious traffic calming measures in place, like, eg, removing a couple lanes of traffic.

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: April 9th, 2011 10:38 PM

Patricia O'S--Here is some additional info supporting yr view. In OP Five-Year Consolidated Plan & 2010 Action Plan prepared by Mullin & Lonergan (HUD Consultant) following surveys and interviews of the public, civic leaders, housing professionals, etc, did not result in a single reference of a need for housing for "singles". In the survey of housing needs, only 28% of respondents replied that Efficient Apartments were needed (55% saw need for senior housing and 47% for handicapped housing.

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: April 9th, 2011 10:28 PM

Hi OP Res - Forgot your earlier question re the future of the Comcast Bldg. 1)the village never tried to market the site, 2)it was chosen by OPHA in 2008 when the conversion of the Y failed, 3)Village wants a Big Box on n/e corner of OP Av&Mad - makes n/w corner ripe for a retail/offices/and housing combo. 4)Chase has 2 small sites on same street and OP Ave/Mad. site is too small for a major building. 5)Give Chase a major bank in elther new bldg for n/w property 6)Comcast -- integrate or raze.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: April 9th, 2011 10:07 PM

I agree with you on a mix of shopping and entertainment venues. I'm delighted with what Walgreen's did with their space. I'd like to see this stretch of Madison be a place where people stroll, shop, eat, and extension of Madison in Forest Park.

OP Resident  

Posted: April 9th, 2011 8:28 PM

Good point, Patricia. What would you like to see happen to the Comcast property? I think OP's post has it wrong about the economy being in the tank. We have seen encouraging signs of recovery. John really call it with his summary of the state of Madison St. The planned housing complex just doesn't fit in the scheme of things we want and need in that area. I'm worried that OP is missing an opportunity to create an exciting atmosphere of shopping and entertainment venues.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: April 9th, 2011 8:13 PM

Oak Park's Housing Program Advisory Committee issued a report, most recently updated on August 18, 2010, titled "Report on Affordable Housing Strategies."%uFFFD This document outlines the current housing needs in Oak Park.%uFFFD%uFFFD The first area of need is for senior housing.%uFFFD%uFFFD Oak Park Residence Corp's Market Study showed demand for 40-49 additional independent living units for Oak Park seniors with incomes between $20,000 and $50,000.%uFFFD The largest generation in this country, the Baby Boomers, is just entering this demographic and I would assert that the growth in demand for affordable senior housing likely eclipses all other segments over the next 10 to 20 years.


Posted: April 9th, 2011 5:50 PM

Note to John RE:Madison from OP Ave to Home. The economy is in the TANK. This project is Affordable housing for a DIFFERENT age group. I dont see any difference when it comes to compassion for those with less. BTW how much is Comcast asking for the property and does it include parking lot West of Grove?

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: April 9th, 2011 5:18 PM

I agree that Madison has potential. It's a tragedy that the Madison Corridor Plan is amuck. From Oak Park Avenue to Home is particularly bad. Parking lots, abandoned building, and a depressed retail sector filled with inactive professional storefronts and hair & nail shops. Public housing cannot enhance a dismal street. No one in the village has considered the Comcast Building for business renovation. Before Comcast moved out, OPHA had its eye on it for a Y SRO replacement. What a disaster!

OP Resident  

Posted: April 9th, 2011 4:28 PM

John, you do know your stuff! What's your idea for this location? I was hoping for "Fitzgerald's on Madison" or some type of entertainment establishment. S.P.A.C.E in Evanston books first-rate talent and I don't think their facility is as large as the Comcast building. Madison Street has a lot of potential. An apartment complex jammed on to a prime location will stifle growth and development. There have to be better ideas than what Interfaith is planning. They should build in the neighborhoods.

sick of it from Oak Park  

Posted: April 9th, 2011 4:22 PM

Hey FP, i don't see one racist comment. Please explain. They are dirt bag losers, doesn't matter if they're black or white.

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: April 9th, 2011 3:28 PM

The use of the com'l property for the Madison Avenue Housing Development is restricted by the a lack of insulation or venting, or something like that. The commercial space cannot be used for business with high heat. For instance; a Subway can be there but not a full kitchen restaurant. Com'l renting is a huge problem for the development. The plan commission chair asked the Interfaith Retail Consultant if any of the business he represents would be interested in the site. He said,"No."

OP Resident  

Posted: April 9th, 2011 9:49 AM

My thanks to Curious George for the info. I was pretty sure that the trustees had not been approached with any other proposals. This is such a prime location for retail that I am surprised there has been such little interest. You would think that Buffalo Wild Wings or a sports themed bar/restaurant would be a perfect fit and really jump start the area. Jamming people into small living quarters is not an idea that shows much vision. Low-income housing is needed in OP but this plan is foolish.

CuriousGeorge from Oak Park  

Posted: April 9th, 2011 6:58 AM

@OP Resident. Other options haven't been presented. But, what other developer has been given variances on this site for 11 extra units, and a variance for 30 fewer parking spots then required?

Curious George from Oak Park  

Posted: April 9th, 2011 6:51 AM

Mills Tower is affordable, Senior Housing. The proposed project is supportive housing. I think there is a difference.

OP Resident  

Posted: April 9th, 2011 3:02 AM

What other options have been presented to the trustees for the Comcast building? Retail seems to be logical especially with Walgreens across the street. We really to think about Madsion Street as an important business corridor. There are already too many parcels that are off the property tax roll. Fenwick plans to construct a parking lot that will be exempt.


Posted: April 8th, 2011 11:41 PM

Is Heritage House institutional housing? Its called Affordable housing John.

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: April 8th, 2011 10:18 PM

OP,are you endorsing institutional style housing in Oak Park?


Posted: April 8th, 2011 6:23 PM

Its not quite apples to apples. This building would not be the same kind of "normal" resident building of which the OP HA speaks to. The Comcast building would be the entire building just like Mills tower or Heritage house or the likes. I'm sure the OPHA is in full support of projects like the Comcast building.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: April 8th, 2011 4:01 PM

dispersion of those who need housing assistance. Thus Interfaith's plan for this development is directly contrary to the policies of the Oak Park Housing Authority.

Patricia O'SHea  

Posted: April 8th, 2011 4:01 PM

The Oak Park Housing Authority states on their website, "The Oak Park Housing Authority asks that owners rent not more than 25% of their building's units to families that participate in the Housing Choice Voucher Program (A program for low income families). Ed Solan, Executive director of the Oak Park Housing Authority and Executive Director, Oak Park Residence Corporation (a partner on the project) stated that this 25% policy was to limit concentrations and increase geographic (cont. above)


Posted: April 8th, 2011 12:57 PM

How the heck did a street robbery where two dirtbags beat and robbed (oh I forgot) "allegedly" beat and robbed a guy walking down the street turn into a conversation about McDonalds? Who are you people? Good job River Forest by the way.


Posted: April 8th, 2011 11:26 AM

So if they lived in the area between OP Ave and Home on Washington in ALL the apt buildings that would be OK with you Mrs O'Shea? Not quite sure I see your logic. Much harder to manage/control the whole process that way.

F.P. from Forest Park  

Posted: April 8th, 2011 7:58 AM

You all are racists!

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: April 8th, 2011 7:49 AM

My objection is not to spending tax dollars assisting people who work hard. It's to lazily herding them all into one building rather than providing the opportunity to live integrated with the community. A long held value and proven model for success in Oak Park.


Posted: April 7th, 2011 11:48 PM

Dont worry, these guys are NOT the types that would live in the Comcast project. The people that would qualify to live there are the types Mrs. O'Shea points out that may work in a McDonalds that provides opportunity and they can work hard.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: April 7th, 2011 10:58 PM

The current president CEO of McDonald's and current President of McDonald's USA started in the restaurant. McDonald's is a place full of opportunity for those who work hard. (not this guy obviously)

Violet Aura  

Posted: April 7th, 2011 7:12 PM

It's hard to land a job when you are grabbing your crotch holding your sagging jeans!

Rebecca from Oak Park  

Posted: April 7th, 2011 6:33 PM

The one in braids looks like the guy who robbed my husband at gunpoint; who just happened to have worked at the McDonalds in River Forest. Good job River Forest police!

OP from oak park  

Posted: April 7th, 2011 6:15 PM

these guys couldn't even work at mcdonalds

Keith from Oak Park  

Posted: April 7th, 2011 4:36 PM

Get a job and stop taking the money from those who do.

Facebook Connect

Answer Book 2019

To view the full print edition of the Wednesday Journal 2019 Answer Book, please click here.

Quick Links

Sign-up to get the latest news updates for Oak Park and River Forest.

MultimediaContact us
Submit Letter To The Editor
Place a Classified Ad

Classified Ad

Latest Comments