No TIF Handout for Luxury Lakefront Hi-Rises

Monday, March 7, 2015 5:30pm
Wilson Avenue @ Lake Shore Drive

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Even by Chicago standards, the brazenness of this theft is stunning.

In a city already infamous for its taxpayer-funded gifts to the wealthy and well-connected, Alderman Cappleman proposes to build a luxury lakefront hi-rise in Uptown using $16 million of TIF tax money.

The development site sits on prime real estate off Lake Shore Drive, one of the last large parcels of land next to Lincoln Park. In no way do the developers need this tax handout other than to widen their own profit margins. It is a gross giveaway at a time of great financial need for schools, teachers and other areas of the city budget.

That homeless Chicagoans sleep underneath bridge viaducts literally a few hundred feet away is apparently of no consequence. $16M would produce a lot of low income housing in a ward that has lost over 1000 SRO units, which typically house people on the edge of homelessness, since Cappleman came into office.

Political contributions apparently greased the skids for the proposed $16M TIF gift. Rahm Emanuel got a $5000 contribution from James Letchinger, who works for JDL, the developer. Cappleman got a $10,000 contribution from a real estate banking firm and over $7,000 from a real estate agent who does work for Letchinger. In return, these politically-connected real estate manipulators get tax money to fuel the whitening and gentrification of one of the few diverse communities on the North Side.

Time and time again, residents of the 46th Ward have voted overwhelmingly for referenda calling for using TIF funding for affordable housing and human needs, and not to subsidize gentrification. Apparently this matters little to elected officials who have such contempt for the democratic demands of the majority. Let’s make it matter to them!

One week before the City Council Finance Committee will probably vote on this TIF, please come to a community march to demand:

** No TIF for the rich!
** Fund low income housing!
** Don’t subsidize gentrification and ethnic cleansing!

Assemble at the Uptown tent encampment, Wilson & Lake Shore Drive, at 5:30pm, Monday, March 7th.

Thanks!
-Yehuda

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