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Vea Cleary, who proposed locating an affordable housing center for LGBTQ seniors on the EMC site last May, would like to meet with community members who are interested in helping shape the second iteration of her proposal.

A long time resident of Edgewater and a master’s candidate in interior design at Harrington College of Design, Vea’s initial plan would add to the Kadin Building, the former nurses’s residence, which is located at 1625 W Edgewater Ave. Like the Waveland Partners’ proposal for the site, her plan also includes a neighborhood park. For more details about her idea follow this link to a PDF copy of her site plan (12 MB file).

At last Wednesday night’s meeting, Alderman O’Connor indicated the city would be receptive to a project like Vea’s were a developer to be identified.

Vea will be at the Coffee Studio (5628 N Clark St) this Saturday the 16th from 11 A.M. to 2 P.M. If you are interested in contributing ideas and/or feedback to the next version, or you just want to learn more about her proposal, she invites you to come by.

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This evening, February 11th, Alderman O’Connor is hosting a public meeting to discuss the future 21-acre nature preserve that will be located on former Rosehill Cemetery property near the corner of Western and Petersen (5801 N Western Ave). At last Wednesday’s meeting Alderman O’Connor mentioned that at this meeting community members will have the opportunity to volunteer to be on the advisory board for this future nature preserve. The Chicago Park District designation for this future site is Park 568. Sorry for the late notice.

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For the moment rather than of providing yet another account of Alderman O’Connor’s public meeting in the St. Gregory cafeteria last night, we are going list a series of links to other accounts of the evening.

  • Eilene Spear’s account for the Edgeville Buzz, Residents Pack Medical Center Meeting, is at this link.
  • Benjamin Woodard’ s account for DNAinfo, Proposal to Put Housing, Park at Edgewater Hospital Heads to City, is at this link.
  • Joe Ruppel’s article, Edgewater Medical Center Plan Ready for Reviewis in The Red Line Project, an online publication of DePaul University College of Communication undergraduate journalism students in Mike Reilley’s Online Journalism II course.
  • Jonathan Greig’s piece, Shuttered Edgewater Medical Center Could be Site of 250 Residences, Commercial Space and Park, is in the online publication Medill Reports – Chicago. Medill Reports is written and produced by graduate journalism students at Northwestern University’s Medill School.
  • Maurine Berens’ summary of the evening is on the WEAR Facebook page. Maurine is WEAR’s Treasurer. On the WEAR Facebook page there is additional information about other topics that were touched on during the meeting (Mellin Playlot, METRA station, and Rosehill Nature Preserve).
    • Benjamin Woodard also has an article for DNAinfo about the proposed METRA stop, the development of which will have an effect on the success of the redeveloped EMC site.

More information will follow in the coming days, weeks, and months. Thank you to everyone who was able to attend and who was able to spread the word about the meeting. Working together in a constructive manner the Andersonville/West Edgewater Community has  accomplished quite a significant achievement. Alderman O’Connor himself acknowledged this at the meeting when he said, after presenting the revised proposal, “the neighborhood can take credit.” Thank you everyone.

Alderman Patrick O’Connor is holding a public meeting on Wednesday, February 6 at 7:00 P.M. in the St. Gregory High School Cafeteria (1633 W. Bryn Mawr Ave.) to discuss a proposal for the Edgewater Medical Center site. According to the flyer his office distributed, representatives from the Department of Housing and Economic Development will be present. At this link (ald-oconnor-meeting-flyer-130206) is a PDF copy of the flyer. Please note, unlike previous meetings that have been held in the bingo hall beneath the St. Gregory Gymnasium at 1609 W Gregory St, this meeting is being held in the St. Gregory High School Cafeteria at 1633 W. Bryn Mawr Ave. According to the flyer parking is available in the court yard between buildings.

On June 8th John Knox posted a comment to this account of the Waveland Partners’ presentation from the previous evening.  John correctly pointed out that, based upon the materials available on  www.theResidencesAtEdgewaterPark.com, a website Waveland Partners maintains for marketing the Edgewater Medical Center redevelopment, the amount of property that was being offered to the city by Dexia / Edgewater Medical Center Bankruptcy Estate was 7% of the developable land, not 40%, as had been explained during the June 7th community meeting.

Before Thursday evening the percentage of the developable site that Dexia / Edgewater Medical Center Bankruptcy Estate had been proposing to set aside for a mini-park–a playground–was 0.2 acres (8787 s.f or 7% of the developable site).  So, although the materials John had used were no longer current (as of writing, Waveland Partners has not placed the materials from the June 7th presentation online), he was on to something.  Using the same materials, but basing my calculations on the drawings in them, I quickly came up with a smaller percentage, 26%.

My next steps were (1) to update the account of the evening and (2) to inquire with Waveland Partners’.  While Waveland Partners checked its numbers, I checked mine, yet again, using the city’s GIS website.  This time the percentage I came up with was still less than 40%, but, frustratingly, it was also greater than 26%.  I updated the account.

A short while later Waveland Partners sent me its revised percentage.  It matched the percentage I had just worked out using the city’s GIS website.  Since then I have gone back to the materials that John Knox and I initially used to check Waveland Partners’ Thursday evening number and I have confirmed it  (When I first used the drawings in them, I’d made an error in calculating the size of the land Dexia / Edgewater Medical Center Bankruptcy Estate is proposing to donate.)

Please note, my calculations are not based upon supporting materials for the June 7th offer, so they maybe revised, yet again, once Waveland Partners makes such materials available.  For any confusion resulting from the two  previous accounts of Thursday evening’s presentation, I apologize.

An up-to-date version of Friday’s early morning account of the previous evening’s presentation is below.


Waveland Partner’s Ed Polich surprised an almost full house at the St Gregory Bingo Hall last night when he set forth a new Dexia / Edgewater Medical Center Bankruptcy Estate plan for the redevelopment of the Edgewater Medical Center:

  • 33% to 34% of the site would be donated to the city for a true neighborhood park,
  • the city would approve the construction of a 13 story mixed-use building east of the north south alley along Ashland Ave, and
  • the city would approve the construction of 19 single-family residences on Edgewater Ave where the EMC parking garage currently stands.

As Alderman O’Connor stressed, this is not a done deal.  It is just an offer.  All parties need time to evaluate it and its impact on the Andersonville/West Edgewater community before anything productive can be said about it.

This can be said, though, before last night the offer was 7% of the developable site for a mini-park located at the corner of Hermitage and Edgewater in exchange for a building complex that consisted of a 9 story mixed use building east of the north south alley and two 7 story residential buildings west of the north south alley, and 16 single-family residences along Edgewater Ave, but now the offer is somewhere between 33% and 34% of the developable site in exchange for  a 13 story mixed-use building and 19 single-family residences.

At 0.93 acres the proposed site, which lies on a parcel bounded to the east by the north south alley and to the west by the eastern most residence on Hollywood Ave and the eastern most residence proposed for Edgewater Ave, would need an additional 0.47 acres before it would be equivalent to the Mary Bartelme Park, which has 1.4 acres.

Alderman O’Connor MC’d the meeting, keeping it informative and moving along (it did run long, though no one was complaining).

We, the Andersonville/West Edgewater Community and the city of Chicago, would not be where we are, at this moment, were it not for all of your support.  Thank you.

With much still remaining to be done, we need to stay focused.

More information will follow in the coming weeks.

As we proceed, let’s strive to make this the best planed development the city has ever seen.

Dear Neighbors:

Though we have not been involved in planning tonight’s meeting about the EMC site, we believe it is important to remember several things going into it:

  • LAST CHANCE: Almost half of the EMC site – nearly two acres – has already been developed.  27 single-family homes were built on the EMC’s surface parking lots along Edgewater, Rosehill, and Paulina back in 2004.  The Real Estate market was hot at that time, and no open space was preserved.  The remaining EMC site represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to address the open space deficit in the Andersonville/Edgewater community.  The Chicago Park District has long designated our community as an “under-served area”.
  • MIDDLE MAN: Waveland Partners is a middle-man.  They are working for the EMC Bankruptcy Trustee to market a development plan and to secure a “planned unit development” zoning variance for the site from the city.  Their goal is to maximize the financial return for the Bankruptcy Estate if and when the property is sold to another developer.  They do not know if or when any developer will be able to get financing to actually develop anything.
  • PUBLIC MONEY, BUT NO PUBLIC GOOD: When the EMC was built and added to over many decades, it was granted the ability to build large buildings, in part, because as a hospital it was providing a public service to the community.  Given the likelihood that any new development will be private and not provide any public service, zoning densities and building heights similar to the existing EMC buildings are NOT merited.  Nevertheless, Waveland wants not only high densities and building heights, they also want more than $5 million in public taxpayer funds through the TIF.
  • COMMUNITY SUPPORTS PARK SPACE: More than 1100 people voted in favor of public park space at the EMC site in a referendum on the ballot in five 40th Ward precincts in the February 2011 election – more than 87% of those who voted on the question were in favor.  The referendum question was placed on the ballot after 330 neighborhood residents signed petitions.  Additionally, 160 people participated in a park design charette in June 2011.
  • MONEY FOR PARKS EXISTS: Despite the economic crisis and government deficits, on May 13th, Mayor Emanuel announced a $290 million capital investment plan for parks.  The plan calls for the city to buy 180 acres and build at least 32 new parks and play-lots.  Between these funds, TIF funds, and private dollars, a significant neighborhood park is clearly possible.
  • REALISTS: To be clear, though we would love to see the whole EMC site become a park, we, the Friends of West Edgewater Park, are realists.  We advocate for a balanced development plan for the EMC site, a plan that includes a significant neighborhood park, is fiscally sound, and is in keeping with the scale and fabric of the community.

On behalf of the Friends of West Edgewater Park, thank you for considering these points!

Friends of West Edgewater Park

Here is an interesting map showing where strong backers of an appreciable neighborhood park live in relation to the shuttered Edgewater Medical Center (5700 N Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL).

http://batchgeo.com/map/4f23f9b341b95dec06c24bb6299b78f3