Originally Posted by Taft
Really good info, aic and Jibba. It is tempting to assume aldercreatures have ill intent in opposing/supporting projects in their neighborhoods. Easy to forget that sometimes they are on the right side.
Not to say aldermanic prerogative is in any way a good thing...
Edit: any info on exactly how this project made it around the local alderman? Not procedurally, but from a political point of view. This thing must have been pushed by someone with some clout if they were able to get around the alderman....
Actually, Taft, I'm not so sure it would have been that difficult a decision to rezone that building for hotel. The location and the building work nicely for that particular use, and as a tandem, remember the sell off of the MB Financial Bank across the street, that is intended to be renovated into more office space. MB is looking a doing a smaller branch in the general vicinity.
From a purely zoning standpoint, they are maintaining the bank presence, the usable amount of office space probably stays similar to what is actually in use now, and the area gains what would have to eventually be a boutique hotel that would help to reinforce the area as the chic shopping/historic/artsy district it is becoming.
I don't really see a whole lot of politics in that.
That notwithstanding, MCM is probably kidding a lot of people, including themselves, if they think that thing is going to fly for anywhere near $10 million. I don't find it to be particularly unreasonable that the Alderman would stand up against a project that has presented zero plans, zero information on proposed tenant (especially in this hotel market), and zero feasibility study, most particularly in a Landmarked building and a Landmarked district.
We're kind of talking common sense on that one, as opposed to Reilly's general "I just don't like it."