Thursday, February 2, 2006

* Just the Beginning

Bigger and Taller Buildings to Come
Quite a few of you e-mailed me wanting to see a closer look at the building. jeff-0 moaned in the comments section wanting a better peak because he didn't get his lazy ass to the meeting.

So, as the hot new media outlet for Rogers Park, here is the exclusive concept drawings for 7015 North Sheridan Road - The "Starter high-rise," as taken from the Hell Hole's secret spy cam, deep inside the meeting room.

This 79 foot high building offers what one consultant up front said was, "Ms. Abels' retirement fund." 

Joe seemed to think that the crowd was "split" on the project. 

Once again, Joe was NOT paying attention! 

 Even Katie Hogan told them to reject the plan, posted by Ann Sullivan at 10:04 AM today.

 If Alderman Moore thought the crowd was 50/50, indeed he must have fell asleep during the meeting.

So, why do I call this the "The Starter high-rise?"

Make no mistake, Connie Abels is testing the waters on the Lakefront Protection Ordinance, while other bigger shots wait in the wings. Once they find Alderman Moore's tolerance for re-zoning, the paid informercial/community meetings won't be far behind.

And I'm not talking the small fishes like the Aronson's, Coe's and Block's.

I'm talking big fish like Loyola University, McHughes, Whitman Corp, Pritzker's and Wirtz's - who will then come in and build 20-30 and 40 story high-rises - making Connie Abels small time little 79 foot high-rise look really like a poor retirement home.


Craig Gernhardt said...

Speaking of poor, a Connie Abel walk-in supporter last night, one Louis Brody (sp) spoke up in behalf of Ms. Abels and her project, proclaiming ...."we have too much low income in Rogers Park"!

Was Mr. Brody speaking to Connie Abels the citizen, Connie Abel the realtor or Connie Abel the board member on Rogers Park Community Council?

Michael J. Harrington said...

“The Lake Michigan and Chicago Lakefront Protection Ordinance” is a six-page Chicago law, chock full of single-spaced legalese and two maps. It is something a lot of us have referred to over the years.

Besides Chicago/Rogers Park residents, people from around the nation talk about and believe in the import of this historic and precedent setting document. That includes scholars, historians, legislators, and of course environmentalists. Many of us and them can speak to our understanding of the essence of what it means – but most people have never seen or actually read it. I compare it to people talking about a belief in the 10 Commandments in the Bible, without ever having read them, and that's OK.

Earlier this week, Rogers Park Conservancy’s Executive Director Don Gordon had a great idea: as a community service, our organization should distribute copies of the Chicago Lakefront Protection Ordinance at the Abels project meeting. As chair of our board of directors I thought it was damn appropriate, especially since (as her attorney acknowledged last night) this condo / parking / restaurant project presents a challenge and requires an exception to this law.

There is a lot to read in the law’s 4000-word text. I want to share just one paragraph Don pointed out to me in preparation for handing out the 100 copies he had made.

The Lake Michigan and Chicago Lakefront Protection Ordinance 16-4-020 Intent.
“Lake Michigan and the lakefront of the City of Chicago are hereby designated a district having special environmental, recreational, cultural, historical, community and aesthetic interests and values. It is the express legislative intention of this chapter to insure the preservation and protection of that district and of every aspect of its interest and value.”

The law empowers us to have a say – A LOUD SAY – about anything that could affect the district. Think about this law. Spend some time with the full document. . What does it mean to you?

rpobserver said...

The Alderman needs to stop any speculation about this proposed development by immediately declaring his opposition to ANY deviation from what is allowed on this site according to the LPO.Speaking of legacys, how about this for a legacy--'49th Ward Alderman Joe Moore was the first in the City of Chicago to allow an exception to the 50 year old LPO. Thus the precedent was set for what followed on Sheridan Rd.......!!'

rogerparker said...

a 20 story highrise. not far off with joey at the wheel. but first joey is going to go against the community and give her connie 7 stories.


The alderman needs to read this site and plan his strategy to circumvent the opposition!

Know what? Screw the LPO! He should build a 7 story BleedingHeartland Cafe right at Greenleaf Beach, with each of the 7 floors featuring a different culinary disaster.

He should also build a 10 story outhouse at Farwell Pier.

Then we could have the GI distress olympics where you'd have to run from Greenleaf to Farwell for blessed relief!

Carol J. said...

Giving Ald Moore power of attorney in zoning matters is like giving a child matches.

LuntAve said...

I am not a big fan of the precedence that this building would set. I would think that there would be a higher law that could overrule any initiative to build a 7, 8.....story building in this area.

I am not against everything like some on this board, but why doesn't she build this a few blocks down on Morse street. Maybe knock down momma's fish. I thought that building was up for sale too. Are you trying to save that theatre too?

my 2 cents

Charlie Didrickson said...

Based on the drawings........I like this building. It would be the most refreshing and interesting structure built in Rogers Park in the last 75 years. Make it as green as possible and LEED certified. Much better than the pseudo revisionist vintage blah that gets built day in and day out in this city.

I'm still not clear (and no I have not yet read the LPO) exactly how this structure would in any way bring harm to the lakefront? Ok so if it is built...the sky is the limit I hear ya. Would if they got it all wrong back when the LPO was written by excluding Sheridan rd for this kind of development? Just because it is written does not make it right. If it were proposed any further east I would say absolutely no. What if it is ammended and the max height you could build was 79' and no higher?

What if.............

jeff o said...


I really, really, really, LIKE IT!
It brings some LIFE into the area!

I totally agree with charles, great design,
How can you guys hate this?

BTW thanks craig! ;)

and i dont think i was moaning :(

Your photos are improving, but i would like to see more establishing shots, like what does the loyola fieldhouse look like?
You should look at this as history, things are changing, not always for the best, but in this case I think this is a step in the right direction,

Some non RP, and non chicago people would be more interesting in your web site if you have wider angle shots of RP, its a beautiful community, you should show it off,

anyways thanks for keeping track of all the new developments and impending doom in the 'hood

I will be in rogers park this weekend if there are any question

the max height wont be 79 feet high, you guys know that, come on,
highrises SHALL RETURN to Rogers Parks, we have some from the 20-30s already, they are low ones, but we will get more,

rpobserver said...

Come on Charlie! Once the door is's a slippry slope. Why start making exceptions to the LPO.
It continues to serve us well, keeping Rogers Park the unique (in all the city), lakefront community it is. Once exceptions are made, it's just the begining.

krystal said...


I love the way you is sooo refreshing in comparison to all these people on an evil quest...bitch..if there is no development...bitch if there is proposed development...bitch if the Alderman fliers for a meeting...bitch if the areas get fliered...bitch,bitch, solutions...just whining...ahhh and its so nice to have Michael H.
posting again...putting his own little spin on things...ready to pounce on anything that would get him noticed. I do love Rogers Park.

Sick Nicki said...

The drawing doesn't mean shit. I never have seen a drawing that looked like the finished product.

Pamela said...

My perspective on Connie's plan and the meeting:

1. Nice plans. IF said building got built nicely as planned, retail spaced rented, nice dining on top, it would be awesome and I would totally support it.

2. Bad presentation: Connie's presentation was awful on so many levels it's tough to know where to begin. Lame presentation that did not clearly communicate vision; ill prepared to address protection matters (and other issues that may be piddling details but are important); contradictory statements; lack of ownership of past mistakes; tin ear to community concerns and past neighbor issues; no mention of financing (at least til the point I left at about 9 pm).

I walked into the meeting ready to voice my SUPPORT for the project. I walked out thinking "Connie ain't the one to do this." She gave me loads of reasons to doubt her management abilities.

Which is too bad. I liked the drawings and could even get past the "slippery slope" objection (which is compelling, imo). Frankly, I thought it was arrogant of Connie to bring the plan before us and then be so unprepared and unprofessional. It was a sign of disrespect, which, ultimately, mirrors her past neighbors' concerns which seemed to be "you've been a crappy neighbor for decades with this property, why should we believe that you'll now be a good neighbor?"

Sally said...

Gee, Where are all the cars that drive up and down Sheridan Rd all day? Where are the parked cars? Meters? I always see those things when I walk down that side of the street. Will these items no longer exist when this building get erected?

Paradise said...

I very much regret I could not be at that meeting last night, but I had a job interview that lasted till 7:45-couldn't get up the road till almost 9.

I like the building,from what I see in the drawing on this blog. I I was hoping for a set back at the 4th or 5th floor but it's still attractive and interesting, would add some 'punch' to Sheridan Road.

I'd like it even better on Morse. My dream is to see Morse zoned for higher buildings, which means that all the owners of the cruddy little one-story storefronts and those two slummy 4+1s might get offers they can't refuse. Morse could be an exciting and interesting multi-use street.

If there is going to be parking for 32 cars, where will that be? In back? A parking garage?

It would be great to see more really significant and interesting buildings and houses be built in the area.

Perhaps letting a building this high is a "slippery slope" but this place is beautiful.

Who is financing this? Does anyone know?

mclnoh said...

I wonder if the RPCC has or will take a position on this proposed assault on "their" (our) LPO. Hello, RPCC Board, we, the Rogers Park community, are waiting!

Been There - Done That said...

Let me think this one through....... :-(
Ah! That's it!
Connie the Condo Queen has adopted a new persona/image and has become the Connie the enABLEing High-rise Whore?

Charlie Didrickson said...

rpobserver said: Come on Charlie! Once the door is's a slippry slope.

To what.......were not talking about a community with 100% single family homes. From my window I can see 2 buildings that are at least 7 stories high. They don't wreck my day. Where are all the liberal accepting open minded thinkers?

Where are all the forward thinking liberal greenies that are supposedly the backbone of Rogers Park? Oh yea they all moved to Evanston 20 years ago.

Again I does this get in the way of my enjoyment of the lakefront? Something by the way I take advantage of every day.

Come on folks can't you look at both sides of an issue ever?

Here is an idea. Let's fill Sheridan rd with these buildings and close off the street to all traffic except bicycles, pedestrians and pubblic transportation. Think of the truely amazing beach side community we could build then! We could have are very own Venice Beach of the midwest. Sheridan rd full of people night and day combining the best that Urban/Natural living has to offer.

Now that is a visionary "Big Picture" meeting at which I would love to take part in.

RPneighbor said...

I too thought that the crowd was more against than for this proposal. While I appreciate Connie's idea about a restaurant with lake views and providing some parking, I just don't see this building as appropriate for the space.

To me, the design is okay, BUT it clashes with the surroundings in height and style. The architecture in RP is more consistent than inconsistent. There are mainly vintage buildings, homes & 2-flats with some exceptions (4+1s etc...).

This neighborhood is a place where people stay. I look forward to growing old with you guys really- never a dull moment!

I almost died at the meeting when James alluded to possible influence with Connie's zoning lawyer. It was awesome.

Craig- that is hilarious that woman gave you her card and it said Remax(see last post). True life is way better than fiction.

But back to the point, I agree with many of you that the building would be much more appropriate on Morse Avenue or Howard. Not everyone will agree.

And just because people have ideas about how a community should be developed thoughtfully- doesn't mean that they are all "negative" and against all development.

It was nice to see many of you there!

Hugh said...

> I walked out thinking "Connie ain't the one to do this."

Don't worry. She's not. She's fronting for someone who for some reason doesn't think their identity will help their cause. She's the friendly neighborhood face.

Moore routinely lies to us about the ownership of the development projects he works for. He told us "Chad" Zuric is the owner of the Adlephi. He told us Rich Aronson was the owner of the Pinewood in attempting to hide Robert Coe. He told us Block owned those buildings near the Morse El Stop. I could go on. It is important that we insist that the developers who ask for our support fully coomply with our City's economic disclosure requirements. It seems our City and our Aldermen are all to willing to let them slide.We have a right to know EXACTLY who we are being asked to change the laws of our City to accommodate.

QuestionAuthority said...

Zoning is all about planning, planning for the types of structures we will and won't allow. The current zoning for this property is there for a reason, it allows a 6 unit building of similar height and density to those on either side of it. This R4 zoning therefore acheives a well-established plan to maintain consistency with the status quo on this stretch of Sheridan. Adopting the requested zoning and allowing this vastly different structure, it seems to me, should require acceptance of a well-debated and thought out new and different plan to redevelope Sheridan, our mostly residential thouroughfare along the lakefront. I oppose any such plan for redeveloping Sheridan and I certainly oppose giving piecemeal zoning upgrades without community acceptance of an overall plan for the goals we hope to acheive.

rpobserver said...

Hey QA,
That certainly seems a resonable and very responsible approach to the present and future development direction of our unique "main street on the lake".

Charlie Didrickson said...

Well said QA

gf said...

hey fellow hellholers-

i did a little analysis of the proposal since the meeting last night. there is a fair amount of reading but i feel strongly about this issue so i tried to be as thorough as possible.


Anne Sulli said...

Check out tomorrow's Reader for some of the "community improvement" work Connie Abel's zoning lawyer is up to:

Hugh said...

Remember Vilma!

" ... Matlak is in danger of going the way of aldermen Jesse Granato and Vilma Colom, who in 2003 were ousted by voters largely over the issue of overdevelopment."

Joe On Estes said...

Build the structure!
The proposed project in not in the park!, however it is on one of the busiest streets in Chicago. Sheridan Road deserves bold architectural statements. Zoning is like a coloring book, the best pictures/stuctures are drawn/built outside of the line/box. Variation in city-scape architecture is a pleasure of urbanism.

Joe on Estes

rpobserver said...

Right Joe, just like Sheridan Rd. between Devon and Hollywood.

Charlie Didrickson said...

Hey Gary,

Thanks for that thoughtful and very well written commentary. I know exactly how you feel when you talk about your conflicted thought regarding such a bold development. I am in complete agreement with you in terms of the potential sucess and what impact it would have were it to fail miserably. The idea of granting a varience to the law should certainly not be taken lightly and I don't assume that it is.

I also wonder just who will spend this kind of money on a condo with very limited natural light, commercial operations top and bottom? Then I just drive around the city and wonder why people buy 1/2 the condos they do. There is no real common wisdom that prevails here, I'd guess that the condos would have no problem selling. The idea that the project includes a restaurant in order to provide for the community a much desired service is in my opinion a much larger risk. Of course that is largely dependent on it's concept,management, quality of product and service. I don't believe in the idea that "if you build it they will come" You don't have to look far to know that is rarely the case.

I welcome such bold and contoversial projects such as this. I believe it helps to gauge the pulse of the neighborhood and provides a little comfort that Rogers Park is and will remain one of the most unique neighborhoods in the City

Weather or not it should be built in it's proposed location is a question that at this point I am not able to answer. I would like to think most people are in the same position.

Thanks for raising the bar and thanks for being so honest.

welcometochicagonowohome said...

Why don't you people stop thinking about someone other than yourselves.

Why don't you imagine yourself living next to it with your living room window facing a brick wall. Why don't you try to sell your condo and see that the value of your investment just dropped like a rocket because YOU HAVE NO SUN AT ALL AND NO BREEZE

Why don't you think about living across the alley and opening up your window in the summer to get some air and all that comes into your house is diesel fumes from idling delivery trucks. Now picture that when there is no breeze - 95 degrees 100% humidity. If you or a family member has asthma you will be having attack after attack...the Lung Association tried to get a bill passed to prohibit trucks idling for more han 15 minutes because of that.

Now - here you are in the morning - going to work or dropping your kid off at school. You live at the end of the T - that's the only way out people - the top of the T. But oh - there are deliver trucks backed up in hte alley - do you think they'll move for you? No - htey won't. Have you ever lived or worked near a restaurant and sen hoe they clog up the alleys?

Remember - trucks for bread, meat, fish, dairy, supplies, laundry (table linen) it never ends....all day.

40 to 50 restaurant patrons who will take up YOUR parking spaces. Oh - 150 metered spotsare around there....if tey're on Sheridan Rd they won't be there during rush hour, or when the snow is over 2 inches or in the winter overnight (in cse you have to pay for parking in your own neighborhood) ten you get to move YOuR car after the restaurant closes and the workers clear out. That's ertainly neighborly.

It's a residential area people - there's a reason for that.

What will it do for the lakefront - it will contribute diesel fumes like you wouldn't believe. Day after day after day. And the diesel particles don't go away they're heavier than air.They drop. Do you like the way the snow is so pretty and white in the winter? Well take a picture cause it won't be like that for long.

you think it'll be great to turn N Sheridan into the condo canyon of Edgewater - you know what? It's dirty, filthy and congested down there. You can't go to the lake there - you can only see it from your terrace. If you let them build ON SHERIDAN, it's onlt a question of time before they buy anything that's up for sale going down the block and build highrises there.

Look at the bigger picture, the one that's bigger than your self-centerd I-want I-want selves...think about the people that have to deal with it on a daily basis.

Then think about the people on Morse that would love to have something like that to spruce up their neighborhood. And it would.

And Jeff-o before you start bitching about how people should walk - what interest do you have here anyway. You live in Milwaukee but have investment property here - architect, developer, realtor - what?

Single people should think about those with families and children who may not goto public schools because they suck. There are nobuses for many private schools - you have to drive your kid. Kindergartners can't walk miles to school. God you people are thoughtless and self-centered.

ow about demanding and environmental impact study before anyone does ANY development east of Sheridan?

Hugh said...

> Who is financing this?

Sad that there are many people out there who read your question and know the answer, but they won't answer you because they don't want you to know.

Once the zoning change is approved, a banker pal might finance all or most of the construction cost on the basis of the project pro forma. After all, a lot on W Morse between Clark and Ravenswood fetched a $20M mortgage for Aldermanic pal Steve Golgovan.

But in the mean time, architects and Aldermen and zoning lawyers like J. J. Banks don't come cheap. On 12/23/05 Abel took out a mortgage on 7015 N Sheridan for a $1.5M line of credit (Cook County Recorder of Deeds document number 0536132044). This is not a serious attempt at financing the construction, it is financing the project development. Significantly, the loan was collateralized by, not only Abel's house, but also with the building next door to the south.

7015 N Sheridan, PIN 11-32-111-004 "Lot 7" Abel's house

7001-7013 N Sheridan, AKA 1154 W Lunt, PIN 11-32-111-003 "Lot 8"

This second property is the 4-story, 72-unit, red brick rental apartment building on the NE corner of Sheridan & Lunt. You may recall this is one of the buildings Abels described as "you can't afford to drop it" in an attempt to convince us her plan is unique, one-of-kind, special, and represented no generalized threat to streetscape of Sheridan Road. This building is owned by a trust and managed by and taxes are paid by Rany Management.

Robert Yassan
Rany Management
1950 W Montrose Ave
Chicago, IL 60613-1036
(773) 728-9000

Web page includes a listing for an apartment available in 7001 N Sheridan.

So one answer to your question is: whoever owns 7001 N Sheridan is helping finance Abels' project.

Who owns 7001 is tough.

Charlie Didrickson said...

welcoetosumthinernother said: Look at the bigger picture, the one that's bigger than your self-centerd I-want I-want selves. think about the people that have to deal with it on a daily basis.

We are those people.

Charlie Didrickson said...

Hugh said: Who owns 7001 is tough.

I know who owns it. Do some more research. I bet you can figure it out if you dig deep enough.

Paradise said...

UH.........Something nasty just occured to me.

Abels couldn't possibly intend to demolish the beautiful old courtyard at 7001 N. Sheridan, could she? COULD SHE?

I have always loved this buiding and deplored the condition it is in, which looks worse than ever. When I looked at it to rent there, many years ago, I walked away because of the horrid baths, after being attracted by the appearance of the building itself.

It would rehab beautifully, especially if the developer had the sense to retain the original floor plans.

Does anyone have any idea what might be intended for this great-looking old place?

Hugh said...

Connie told us 7001 N Sheridan was already rehabbed.

welcometochicagonowohome said...

this goes back to looking at the bigger picture.....not the it-would-be-great-to-have-a-restaurant picture - this is Chicago - not St. Louis or San Francisco or New York.....this is the way business is done here - in back room deals - there's a reason tobacco shops were exempted from the no smoking ordinance.

welcometochicagonowohome said...

gasp - UH.........Something nasty just occured to me.

Abels couldn't possibly intend to demolish the beautiful old courtyard at 7001 N. Sheridan, could she? COULD SHE?

welcome to go home

rpobserver said...

7001 N. Sheridan once housed an "up-scale" restaurant. I can't recall the name but I do know it went 'belly up' for lack of business.

Charlie Didrickson said...

rpobserver said: 7001 N. Sheridan once housed an "up-scale" restaurant. I can't recall the name but I do know it went 'belly up' for lack of business.

The Distant Mirror

Was run by the current owner at the time. It was a Tapas restaurant.

Blogger Bob said...

Let's see if I win the prize Charlie on "Who is the owner of 7001 - 7013 N. Sheridan AKA 1154 W. Lunt Ave:

Owned by Capstone Partners, L.L.C.

Non other that Nancy Haag / Nate Jarvinen, DEVELOPERS, of other units in Rogers Park.

UH OH!!!

If I'm not right, please excuse my private investigator abilities. I'll have to find another line of work!!

Charlie Didrickson said...

Blogger Bob said: Let's see if I win the prize Charlie on "Who is the owner of 7001 - 7013 N. Sheridan AKA 1154 W. Lunt Ave:

Well you were close and partly correct, however they sold it in 2001.

Hint: The same owner bought at least 2 other properties in RP at around the same time. At least one is also located on Sheridan rd.

Happy Hunting Bob.

welcometochicagonowohome said...

To Charlie

Unless you live on that block you don't have to deal with it everyday.....don't anyone fantasize that they do.

jeff o said...

yeah its pretty funny, these are just nimbys who are against "the man" and abhor capitalism to their own detriment, i suppose they are more for SPRAWL,

you guys should wear PROSPRAWL shirts because that is what you are if you are against highrises, I suppose you hate farmland, and you want to pull up the drawbridge and just keep Rogers Park a hermetically sealed time capsule,

Well I was AGAINST the destruction of 1225 west FARWELL, because it was a beautiful building, which had nothing wrong with it, and i was AGAINST the destruction of the Adelphi for obvious reasons

However this crusade against this building is RETARDED, you guys are acting like FUCKTARDS,
im sure ill be censored for this, but you havent lived until youve been censored by craig ;)

well this is the direction that RP is hopefully moving towards,
WickerPark by the lake sounds great to me, because wickerpark is doing fabulous,

jeff o said...

I remember the distant mirror, i remember it more for being a cigar bar,
when those were all the rage in the late 90s, i really liked that place, what happened to it?
it seemed like it would do well,
probably was ahead of its time, or just a trendy destined to be short lived place

gf said...

hey charlie-

thanx. as i just commented to hugh, that peice could have been anyone's thoughts after leaving that meeting with as little information and hard data as we were given. in this vacuum, no one is right or wrong. it's all speculation, feelings and opinions except for the research hugh and others are doing.

the only truth for me is that the lpo should not be touched and the presentation did not make anywhere near the case to alter the lpo imho. there are still, far too many questions that need answers.

they need to present the VIEW. are we just to beleive that it as good as advertised, because honestly, i don't think it is.

and of course, again it's just another opinion.

rpobserver said...

Don't let the door...!

Charlie Didrickson said...

whachamacallit said: To Charlie

Unless you live on that block you don't have to deal with it everyday.....don't anyone fantasize that they do.
# posted by welcometochicagonowohome : 2:46 PM

Well I did live on that block for 10 years and if i STILL LIVED THERE my train of thinking would be no different.

What's up with the fantasizing?

watch_them_lie said...

For the owner of 7001 Sheridan see below ….. I believe you will find that Capstone is long gone ……..

The reason to oppose the development @ 7015 Sheridan is that it will lead to Sheridan, north of Devon, looking exactly like Sheridan north of Hollywood. Without a real comprehensive long term plan for development, and leadership that will follow the will of the broad community (read Alderman not in the pocket …. ) the big time high rise guys will be coming soon.

As for Connie’s Mini-rise ….. I will engage in a little speculative fiction if you will humor me …..

The 7001 connection is VERY interesting and great sleuthing Hugh - And, it paints bright red a very sweet LIE (call it lie # 1 for this note) on Connie Abel and Joe Moore’s part. Think of them as Connie/Joe for the rest of this post (I think they are a great team don’t you?). If Connie has some interest in 7001 Sheridan her little project at 7015 makes a bit more sense. The 30+ parking spaces proposed at 7015 will just about solve the parking requirement problem she would be facing when it comes time to condo 7001 / 1154. Remember, Connie/Joe told us they were included in the “proposal” - please read done deal - to "GIVE BACK" to the community out of Connie’s overflowing love of RP and her big big heart? She will own the spaces and she will proceed to apply them to the parking needs of a condo conversion next door when the time comes – as an amendment to the Planned Development. This is why they are using the Planned Development process – Connie/Joe you are a sly one you are!!!! So was she maybe LYING to the community she loves so much just a bit when she said the bulk of the spaces would be available to "the community" to help lift the parking load? It will add additional public parking until her next development takes those spaces off the market. Why is Joe Moore SHILLING these kind of half truths to the community? Sorry – just being rhetorical. I DARE JOE MOORE TO DISCLOSE HOW MUCH MONEY CONNIE HAS DONATED TO HIS CAUSE IN THE LAST FEW YEARS DURING WHICH TIME SHE HAS HAD ZONING ISSUES IN FRONT OF HIS OFFICE AND THE CITY. How do you say “On the Pad” in polite company?

Lie #1 implies Lie #2 –

Lie #2 is that (just maybe – see below) there IS NO RESTURANT being planned for Connie’s mini-skyrise. Not today. Never was. Originally, Connie wanted to go real real high with lots of fancy condos at 7015. Connie/Joe admitted this in public – with Ha Ha’s all around to let us know how much Joe was ON OUR SIDE. Do the math – 12 stories, 5 stories of parking – say 14 condos and 50 parking spaces. 14 spaces for her luxury condos, and 30+ for a future 7001 Sheridan conversion. Joe tells her that as much as he’s like to, with that pesky election coming up, he just can’t get behind her on 12 stories. Let’s try 7.

And by the way folks, watch out after the election if this doesn’t happen - If Joe Moore’s in the drivers seat, they’ll be back, and Connie/Joe won’t care so much what the aging old hippies think of Developers and Politicians overbuilding the lakefront.

But still, why no restaurant you say? Ask your self the following questions:

1 – Why, when asked, couldn’t Connie even say how many seats the restaurant would have? Had no idea what would go up there on her own roof. If I recall she said she “hadn’t really thought much about it.” Pardon me but what BS. Connie Abel may be many things, but she is not stupid. She is one smart cagey detail oriented business woman, and if she was really planning a restaurant high up there in the sky located in the Lakefront Protection Zone, she would know, sure as I’m typing this rave, EXACTLY how many seats it would take to make it profitable. Didn’t know because maybe it’s not in the plan?

2 – Look at the picture Craig has provided us – Why would you build a restaurant in the sky and then CUT IT IN HALF????? Could Connie possibly have given us a pretty rendering of 2 PENTHOUSE units? Last time I looked you get top $$ for that kind of thing.

So why bother with pitching a restaurant? Why give us a rendering of penthouses and call them a restaurant?

Connie wants a 12 story tower. Joe Moore tells her he can’t sell that idea. Connie comes back with pretty pictures topping out at the magic 79 foot mark. Joe says “gee Con … that is still pretty tall … and there is that stupid Lakefront Protection thing ….. Connie/Joe put their head together, go into marketing mode, and decide the “spin” to get this thing done is “How wonderful Connie’s project will be for the PEOPLE OF ROGERS PARK. How much she is “giving back”; All that needed parking and a really cool restaurant with views we can all go up to and have a nice $7 BURGER. She LOVES us all SOOO much.

But oops …. The renderings show 2 Penthouse atriums, and Connie doesn’t want to waste any more $$ asking to do what she should be THANKED for doing - in her opinion. Anyway - Rogers Parkers are stupid and lazy and don’t work and don’t have a clue - if you listen between the lines of Connie’s arrogant presentation. They’ll never notice. Just show ‘em the renderings we’ve got. They’ll never notice.

Connie/Joe … we love you ……

Ownership of 7001 Sheridan:

If my memory doesn’t fail me, Robert Yassan / Rany Management fronts on occasion for one Reza Tabouli, owner of Rezas Restaurant in Andersonville and Oak Brook. Reza is a bit of a heavy hitter real estate developer, as well as a nefarious slumlord in Rogers Park, but he hides his ownership behind his friends like Yassan when he’s run a building down enough that the city is starting to notice, or the IRS is snapping at his heels. He trashed 7001 Sheridan as well as 7301 Sheridan.

I bet Reza and Connie/Joe could see eye to eye on lots of things.

One thing I’m sure of – in Rogers Park, the way SOME development is done, the way the Alderman works, we’ll never know the truth until it’s a done deal.

Hugh said...

>The 30+ parking spaces proposed at 7015 will just about solve the parking requirement problem she would be facing when it comes time to condo 7001 / 1154.

7001 is currently 72 rental apartments. Condo conversions are specifically exempt from parking requirements. They would only have to add parking if they added units.

Parking and Loading

Hugh said...

> ... 2 PENTHOUSE units ...

Claims made by Abels:

1. The parking is for rental.

2. The top floor is for a restaurant.

3. The street level is for retail.

We as neighbors have NO WAY to hold a developer to claims like this. It's a blunder to take them too seriously. In evaluating these presentations it is important that we consider not only what they SAY they are going to do, but also what they are PERMITTED to do. Say business is slow on the top or the bottom. Once the project is approved and built, the owners own it, and they would be perfectly within their rights to, for example:

Sell the parking spaces.

Remove the glass top floor entirely

Convert the top floor or the ground floor to residential condos.

Sell the top floor or the ground floor as commercial condos.

Duplex the top two floors and create two smashing Great Rooms.


Hugh said...

In March, 2005 Reza Toulabi sold Rogers Park's most beloved home, the Emil House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, to James Pritzker for $1.7M.

Frank Lloyd Wright's Bach House Auctioned

QuestionAuthority said...

Thanks folks for this great info -- it's starting to make a lot of sense. Parking isn't required for condos at 7001, but it sure makes them more saleable. It would just figure that Connie would partner up with someone like Reza Tabouli -- she sure knows how to pick them. If you haven't seen the back and forth about her involvement with the infamous Mohammed "Mike" Kakvand, I suggest all readers check out the comments to "Standing Room Only Meeting at Loyola Fieldhouse" post below. Let's just say that some of us think she has some actions to answer for in this Kakvand matter.

FYI, that was $1.17 million for the FLWright house. Tabouli had the nerve to put a giant sign up "Auction: Development Site Zoned R4!!" Joe Moore beat him to the punch though by moving to downzone to R1 before the auction took place.

I'm sorry folks, but I don't agree with this talk about done deals with Joe. I've always felt Joe to be honest and concerned about the community at large. I think the way he effectively bitch slapped Tabouli showed good community leadership (probably cost Tabouli big time at the auction) and it will really suprise me if he goes for Connie's nutty plan for this Sheridan Rd. site.

Hugh said...

Moore Fact Check

> Joe Moore beat him to the punch though by moving to downzone to R1 before the auction took place.

This never happened. Rogers Park's most beloved home the Emil Bach House is STILL grossly overzoned, a single-family home sitting duck in an RT4 district., marked for demolition and tear-down.

Moore lied to the Tribune he would downzone, we all read it and took our minds off of it. The zoning change was never submitted. Moore proposed some rezonings last fall in a series of neighborhood meetings, and the Bach House was conspicuously absent. Moore has since begun introducing the legislation to accomplish his rezoning plan, and the Bach House is not included in that, either.

You can look it up

7415 N Sheridan

Zoning Map

welcometochicagonowohome said...

excuse my ignorance, but why doesn't a Frank Lloyd Wright house have landmark status?

ChicagoStonepro said...

It does have landmark status. In fact, the restrictions on that lot are such that a garage can't be added for the house.

ChicagoStonepro said...

You know, all this neighborhood energy is good, but it's just too easy for developers and self-interested politicians to push it aside. Something's needed to concentrate all this great people power. We need a set of core principles, that drive a Master Development Plan.

What is THE big issue for all of us here? Crime; Air Quality; Slum Landlords; Out of Control Taxes/Rents/etc; Dog walking on our front yards and dog shit on the sidewalks; Jealousy of the Wealthier and Better Connected?

How about Road Rage?

Why not call it Quality of Life?

Aren't we really fighting/talking about population density, and how it affects the quality of our lives?

I'm thinking of population density in both number and mix of residents, and number and mix of small businesses.

Why isn't anyone talking about all the traffic around here, and what's happening as we increase the number of bedrooms in Roger's Park? Why isn't anyone talking about what it will take to have a neighborhood where a higher percentage of folks can work in the area in which they live?

Can a "master plan" be sketched for Roger's Park, as a guide to managing our neighborhood's quality of life?

Sure. Why not? And you know what? If enough of us can get on the same page, things will improve, because we pay these politicians' salaries, and we pay them to carry out OUR will.

Put it in writing, with enough local support, and we have real power. We need a neighborhood master development plan. Without it, our best efforts are simply not good enough in the long run.

rpobserver said...

Right you are 'chicagostonepro'. There is a landmark designation marker in the front.

gf said...


i am in complete agreement with you.
if you have the time, please link to 24/7howardwatchers and read the "stop the development. we need a plan" post i wrote and tell me what you think.

rpobserver said...

Part of the dynamics of the 'Community Master Plan' should be an oversight/approval community group to preview with the ability to "yea or ney" development proposals. It seems to me that the current RP process is in reverse. For example, the community should be oversighting its development (obviously based the 'Master Plan') not a group like the Alderman's handpicked "zoning advisory board" group. Is this not the kind of process they use in Edgwater?

QuestionAuthority said...

Good work on the Wright house zoning Hugh -- one or more of us will have to call the Alderman's office and see where this is at -- maybe an oversight or in process somewhere? In any case, when Joe annouced he would be downzoning to R1, Reza's realtor (Inland) had to tell everyone before the auction "oops, despite what our sign and the marketing package says, you won't be able to build multifamily on the side lot after all". My understanding is that Wright designed the house with a large lot to the south to preserve sunlight and oriented the house to capture that. I had the opportunity to view the house and it is magnificent. It looks like we're safe now though, with someone named "Pritzker" owning it.

Been There - Done That said...

Reza's last name is Toulabi, he serves Tabouli. That is clearest thing I can see about this deal. Charlie, many knew the Toulabi bought the building from Capstone, we just don't know how to proove it yet.

I'll propose another scenerio, Connie kept repeating that 7001 was too expensive to "drop" (ie. tear down) even though no one had asked about it and I thought it odd that she brought it up. Later she used exactly the same phrase about 7301 Sheridan. The common link of Reza Toulabi's ownership came immediately to my mind. I could see two very large lots, two blocks apart on Sheridan Road.

My scenario? Both buildings are "dropped" and a much larger project (new construction) takes its place. Given the mortgage connection between the two buildings and their owners, it looks like Connie is playing the "straw man" for Toulabi like others and perhaps she did for Kakvand!

Community Condo Connie is Conning the Community. Big time.

Anne Sulli said...

ChicagoStonePro said, "Put it in writing, with enough local support, and we have real power."

One would think. In the Fall of 2004 we did just that with the Lakefront Referendum. Over 88% of the voters in the lakefront precincts said NO to lakefront development, specifically roadways, harbors, commercial development. The NEXT DAY our feckless leader Joe Moore told the Trib that he'd consider commercial development on the lake if it was good for the community! (Either WE'RE not the community he cares about or he thinks we can't decide what is best for ourselves.) When the harbor plan was unveiled a year later he failed to take a stand. So much for the will of the people.

What we need is someone at the helm who gives a shit what we think.

rpobserver said...

Right you are, Anne!

Hugh said...

Moore Fact Check: Bach House Downzoned

Here's an excerpt from the Chicago Tribune:

8 Minutes of Going, Going, and Wright House is Gone
March 9, 2005

In February, Ald. Joe Moore (49th) proposed a city ordinance to rezone the property from multifamily housing to single-family homes.

Hugh said...

Moore Fact Check: February 2005 Legislative Initiatives

Here's ALL of the legislation Moore introduced in February, 2005:

New Business Introduced by Aldermen


To classify as an RS2 Residential Single-Unit (Detached House) District instead of an RT4 Residential Two-Flat, Townhouse and Multi-Unit District the area shown on Map Number 17-G bounded by:

West Pratt Boulevard; the alley next west of and parallel to North Sheridan Road; the alley next south of and parallel to West Pratt Boulevard; and a line 100 feet east of and parallel to North Lakewood Avenue.

Hugh said...

A zoning change for the south side of Pratt, W of Sheridan, including the Beth Shalom temple.

No zoning change for the Bach house was introduced. Moore lied to us thorugh the press to take our atteniton off the Bach House. The Bach House was never rezoned. The Bach House and the GREEN SPACE next door to it to the south are STILL zoned RT4, same as the Abel house, same as ALL of the recent tear-downs in our neighborhood.

watch_them_lie said...


Edward M. Klee said...

Did you know Reza Toulabi, owner of Reza Restaurants was indicted and convicted criminal? See
for information

Edward M. Klee said...

Did you know Reza Toulabi, owner of Reza Restaurants was indicted and convicted criminal? See
for information

'Broken Heart' Past Blogs