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City Council Approves $15.8M TIF Subsidy for Maryville Redevelopment in Uptown

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13 aldermen voted against the plan while 37 voted in favor

While the storm that was supposed to shake Chicago today never hit, the council chamber at City Hall has been very lively today as aldermen discuss major items like rules for ridesharing and TIF subsidies.

Yesterday, we learned that the city had approved a $7.4 million TIF request for Whole Foods’ new distribution center—a project that would bring dozens of new jobs to an area that needs it—however, today the City Council has voted to approve nearly $16 million in TIFs for the redevelopment of the old Cuneo Hospital site (later Maryville Academy) in Uptown.

The project, which has been in the works for years, was finally introduced to and approved by the Chicago Plan Commission in May. The proposal would redevelop the 3.4 acre site with a high-rise complex that will deliver 381 apartments, a 31,000-square-foot grocery store, 278 indoor parking spaces, and a refresh of the Clarendon Park field house.

Local City Hall watchdog Aldertrack was at City Hall today keeping us updated on the vote. According to Aldertrack, the City Council voted in favor of the project in a 37 to 13 split.

The thirteen "no" votes came from the following:

These thirteen aldermen weren’t alone however. Members of the community group ONE Northside announced earlier this week that they planned to attend today’s vote to testify against the proposed use of TIF subsidies. The developers are opting out of the mandated 10% of affordable units required by the Affordable Requirements Ordinance (ARO) and will instead only offer 3% affordable units and pay into the Affordable Housing Opportunity Fund for the remainder.

"Community leaders are outraged to hear another case of public money failing to create new affordable housing or provide sufficient community benefits," the announcement from ONE Northside states. "This development continues a trend whereby private corporations appear to gain the benefit of tax dollars towards their profits."

Alderman James Cappleman (46th), who was well aware of the controversy surrounding the use of TIF subsidies, announced that the plan had earned the support of the 46th Ward Zoning & Development Committee—a group comprised of neighborhood businesses and nonprofit organizations that oversees proposals in the Uptown area—last December. However, the alderman argued that JDL’s fronting of $4.6 million for the redevelopment of the Clarendon Park Community Center and the additional $5.7 million that the developer was paying into the affordable housing fund would stand to benefit the neighborhood. In the same announcement, the alderman also announced that the developer would not receive any TIF dollars "until the project is already completed and creating tax revenue."