Alderman Schulter Redevelopment plan

Download the alderman's re-development plan here.

SUMMARY:

On Wednesday, December 12, at 9am, business owners from Save Lincoln Square will hold a rally before the full City Council meeting to protest the abuse of eminent domain in Lincoln Square, Chicago.   

On Monday, December 10, Alderman Schulter told Chicago Soccer, Decorium Furniture, and The Dental Corner that he is introducing a new ordinance that will not allow the acquisition of their properties through eminent domain.  Five parcels, including a Walgreens and many small offices, will still be subject to condemnation if they don’t sell.

The city was expected to authorize the acquisition of the 16 properties on the 4800 block of North Western Avenue at its full meeting on Wednesday, December 12.  Alderman Schulter has claimed that he is trying to “control development” in the area—specifically, by condemning and marketing the land to private developers for new retail and condominiums.

Schulter pulled the ordinance and introduced the substitute less than one week after 250 community members joined together at Chicago Soccer to learn how to stop eminent domain abuse in Chicago.  After the meeting, over 100 residents marched to Schulter’s ward office, shouting “Save Lincoln Square – Stop Eminent Domain.”  The ordinance has been sent back to the Committee on Housing and Real Estate, and will not be put to a vote on Wednesday.

“Alderman Schulter is saying he won’t condemn our businesses now,” said Imre Hidvegi of Chicago Soccer, “yet we’re still on an acquisition list.  We will not allow him to come back and try to do this again later.  If city officials think that resistance from the community will die down, they better think again – it’s only growing.”

“My business may be safe for now, but if my neighbor’s business is being taken, who’s to say the city won’t come back for mine?” said Tim Le, owner of Decorium Furniture.  Tim and his wife, Kim, fled Vietnam by boat in the 1980s in pursuit of the American Dream.

Hidvegi and Le will speak at the rally about their meeting with Alderman Schulter and what still needs to be done to stop eminent domain abuse in Lincoln Square.  If you have questions, contact Imre Hidvegi

What's Going On?

In 2000, the City Council passed the Western Avenue North Redevelopment Project Area Tax Increment Financing District Eligibility Study, Redevelopment Plan and Project, which designated 437 buildings on 70 blocks as a "conservation area" - giving the city the power to condemn our businesses for private developers. The standard to be declared a "conservation area," similar to a "blighted area," is subjective and vague.

On September 11, 2007, the Community Development Commission approved a resolution submitted to it by the Department of Planning and Development authorizing the acquisition of our 16 businesses on the 4800 block of North Western Avenue, citing that that they "do not represent the highest and best use of the land, they do not realize their potential tax-generating ability, and they include obsolete structures." This could be said about anyone's home or business, because anyone's property could make more money as something bigger and newer. This resolution was then approved by the Committee on Housing and Real Estate, and This resolution will likely be heard at the next full City Council meeting on Wednesday, December 12.

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Contact Alderman Schulter at 773-348-8400 or ward47@cityofchicago.org and tell him you oppose the use or threat of eminent domain for private development in the Western Avenue North TIF area.

Send us your comments at speakup@savelincolnsquare.com and we'll post them on the site.

Any questions please call 773-271-2255 and ask for Imre Hidvegi.