Aldermen praised each other and new ordinances in the 4th and 27th Wards at Wednesday’s meeting of the Committee on Housing and Real Estate. It was the last for the Chairman Ald. Ray Suarez, who lost his re-election bid in the 31st ward to Milly Santiago, and three other members of the committee.
“This committee works hard and it’ll continue to do the job,” Suarez told Aldertrack after his final meeting. The project he’s proudest of? The redevelopment of the old Macy’s warehouse in the 31st ward, “No alderman outside downtown has brought a project that big in their community. No one. And it is going to be the anchor for the northwest side, not just the 31st ward.”
Committee Members Present: Ray Suarez (31) Chairman, Pat Dowell (3), Will Burns (4), Natashia Holmes (7), James Balcer (11), Marty Quinn (13), Walter Burnett Jr. (27), Scott Waguespack (32), Ariel Rebroyas (37), Timothy Cullerton (38), James Cappleman (46).
Aldermen passed every ordinance on the agenda by voice vote.
Suarez took a moment at the end of the meeting to recognize other exiting aldermen who serve on the committee, Ald. Cullerton and Ald. James Balcer, who are both stepping down. He also said goodbye to Ald. Holmes, who lost her re-election bid. “I know you’re going to be missed… One door closes but God opens up another.”
Ald. Burns drew laughter in his salute to the three aldermen leaving, thanking Ald. Cullerton for his humor and good nature, Ald. Suarez for his focus on affordable housing, and Ald. Balcer, “for reminding me that I’m fat and I need to go work out.”
Ald. Balcer spoke in favor of the acquisition of 4001-59 S. Halsted St. to 41 Venture LLC. The property would be turned into a 40,000 square foot industrial space that would house 2 tenants. The property is worth $692,000, but was sold for $342,000 to 41 Venture LLC. The rest of the cost will be put in escrow.
An ordinance authorizing the acquisition of 100 S. Racine Ave. in the central west TIF area to Chicago Children’s Theatre passed with support from Ald. Burnett The site used to be a police headquarters, was sold for $1, and will cost $15 million to renovate. When completed, the theatre will have a main stage theater that will seat up to 299 people, a 149-seat studio space, and parking for 30. It’ll be paid for with fundraising money, a state grant, and developer equity.
Ald. Burns supported an ordinance authorizing an Intergovernmental Agreement between the City of Chicago and the CHA for the Quad Communities Arts and Rec center. The 30,000 square foot center will have a gym with a basketball court, fitness center, indoor pool, and multi-use art, educational and community spaces.
The $17.5M space broke ground in February, and is funded in part by the CHA, TIF funds and New Market Tax Credits from the Community Builders. Burns said it’s because of the “creativity and ingenuity of CHA that we could come up with complex layered financing to bring this project to fruition.” The community center is less than a mile away from Ald. Pat Dowell’s ward.