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1000 Beloit

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    Posted: 05/March/2007 at 3:58pm
The clean-up has begun and already that horrible corner looks 100% better..it wont be long before the elderly, and small children, matter of fact everyone can feel safer while out playing, shopping etc... Thanks to all who had a hand in this betterment of Forest Park.

Edited by dogcatcher - 05/March/2007 at 3:59pm
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I know it's supposed to be a Community Resource Center but still wondering what the final price tag will be on this acquisition?  Who's doing the clean-up?  An outside firm, village employees?
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Shall we buy every "blighted" property in the village using public funds?  No one doubts that 1000 Beloit was blighted, but there is legitimate debate over whether buying it was the best use of our money.  The stated reasons (police substation, community center) made no sense since, as a certain primary candidate pointed out, there is existing space nearby owned by the village.
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Originally posted by piehead piehead wrote:

I know it's supposed to be a Community Resource Center but still wondering what the final price tag will be on this acquisition?  Who's doing the clean-up?  An outside firm, village employees?


You know, this just reminded me of when the Mayor was pushing the idea to try to get the Village and the Park District to go in on buying the Roos Building. At the time, Doolin, Steinbach, and Kathy McDermott from the Park District Board were against the idea. Some rumors went around that they didn't want Calderone scoring any "election points" on the idea.

I asked and never got an answer as to why the rest of the Park District Board didn't want to sign onto it, especially since they had an idea to spend 7 million dollars on renovations to the PD buildings and trails. We could have extended the park area from DesPlaines all the way to Circle, added more green space, and the need to buy 1000 Beloit would never have come up. The community service center as well as other facilities to benefit the village residents could have gone on the Roos property.

We spent about a 3rd of what the Roos would have cost us for 1000 Beloit.
In retrospect, I think it would have been a lot better for everyone had we  "invested" in the Roos property when we had the chance. But unfortunately, the kiddies couldn't get along and see eye to eye on it.

I'm all for fiscal responsibility, but I also believe in investing in the future of the village for the benefit of the residents. The Roos would have been a major score in this regard. Now the 1000 Beloit property is going to serve only a small portion of what we could have done with the Roos.

So that's probably my only apprehension in regards to Steinbach. I like the idea that she wants to keep the purse strings closed, but is she up to the task in allowing our funds to be invested back into the community??? What's the point of having a surplus if you don't have the imagination or courage to build facilities that could benefit the residents? Our population is growing and I think the Roos could have benefited us for many generations to come.

As for how the 1000 Beloit property turns out, I wouldn't condemn the idea just yet. Let's see what they do with it and how it turns out before making a final judgment on it. We already lost one good opportunity and  all we'll get for that is more townhouses, residents, and traffic.

I rarely agree with Dogcatcher, but I for one agree with her that a lot of bad conditions are now gone from that high-traffic corner. There is an instant mark for the "plus" column already. Whether we eventually get our money's worth still remains to be seen. But for now I like it.


 



Edited by administrator - 05/March/2007 at 7:39pm
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People, this thread is supposed to be about 1000 Beloit.  This is post 7 and it's starting to meander off the track.

So back to 1000 Beloit.  Walked by and looked in the windows.  Amazing, there's actually a big open storefront in there again!  The plaster is falling off the ceiling and it looks like they installed newer ceiling lights but left original ones still up there.  A quality investment for the village for sure.
 
I'll still never understand why the village never nailed them on code violations.  Just all that junk in the front room could be called a fire hazard.
 
Is the building ours yet or is that what was done by the seller (you know the broom swept clean condition for selling?)?  And I still wonder who's doing the work and how much it's costing us.


Edited by piehead - 05/March/2007 at 9:06pm
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The village has not yet closed on the building. We will only close when the building is tenant free. Not sure who will do any work yet because the variety of use for the building is not totally decided.
 
We do have a handy public works department and we certainly could use them for some of this type of work.
 
In not too many weeks you will have a new village council and I feel that they may want to weigh in of the use in it's totality.
 
This can turn out to be a true asset to residents south of the I-290.
 
1. It could be used as a police sub station (not manned 24-7)
2. It can be used by the Paramedics for blood pressure testing on a regular schedule.
3. It could be used by our neighborhood watch folks for their regular monthly meetings.
4. It could be used for other neighborhood meetings.
5. It could be used as a payment center for villages services.
6. It could become a resource center for picking up things you would otherwise pick up at 517 Desplaines.
 
I would like to see the rear building torn down to make way for a few parking spaces.
 
We are paying for this building with the proceeds from the sale of the Ark building which was located on Madison Street. Those proceeds were set aside when we closed on that property.
 
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Any number of thing can be useful in that bldg ..I have a few ideas that I will put into  writing and give to you soon..again from many many folks that I know Thanks for cleaning up this corner and giving this area what promises to be a safer better environment for all who live here.
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Originally posted by Mayor Calderone Mayor Calderone wrote:

The village has not yet closed on the building. We will only close when the building is tenant free. Not sure who will do any work yet because the variety of use for the building is not totally decided.
 
[snipped list of 6 items]


It sounds like you are basically admitting we bought this building without a plan as to what to do with it.  I'm not sure any of the 6 uses represent the "highest and best" use of the property.  As for the blight, would effective use of code have been sufficient?

However, the fact of the matter remains that we do have the property.  The new VC will have to decide what to do with it.  I'd suggest we fix whatever is structurally wrong with it and sell it to a developer or business who has a better use for it.  That way, we get the positive benefits of removing the blight, while restoring some of the funds we can use to develop some of the properties the village already owns.  Alternatively, we should try to sell some of that other land (such as 7428 Randolph, or the property near 1000 Beloit that Commissioner Doolin mentioned as a possible alternative site for any substation or center), and use those funds to develop 1000 Beloit, perhaps into any one or more of the 6 uses you mentioned.


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The property on Randolph although not improved was intended and is currently used for public parking. The spots are full almost every night. We are waiting on grant money to improve the lot with asphalt, sewers and landscaping.
 
Public parking and the creation thereof is never achieved with an immediate payback, however when created public parking should generally remain just that for many, many years. This type of investment has a long ROI as it should.
 
The "other" property referred too is on Lathrop about 100 feet north of Roosevelt Road on the east side of the street at the intersecting alley. It is unimproved and a very small foot print.
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And also lacks visibility which is key to any hope of crime prevention or anything else. 1000 Beloit is in the hub of alot of activity which is very good.


Edited by dogcatcher - 05/March/2007 at 10:37pm
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Is it me or does someone else see the fact that people here are complaining that there is no parking in FP and people are complaining that the lot on Randolph and Circle is an expense we should not have.

Have you folks been to Oak Park recently?  Don't attempt to shop there  unless you walk because there is very little parking between Harlem and Oak Park Avenue.
 
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Originally posted by Dr. Barbie Dr. Barbie wrote:

Is it me or does someone else see the fact that people here are complaining that there is no parking in FP and people are complaining that the lot on Randolph and Circle is an expense we should not have.

Have you folks been to Oak Park recently?  Don't attempt to shop there  unless you walk because there is very little parking between Harlem and Oak Park Avenue.
 


Randolph and Circle is a little far from the Madison shopping district, though.  Perhaps once improved, it could be an "overflow" lot, but while I will walk a bit to park in a garage in Oak Park, I won't walk a bit to park on an unimproved lot that doesn't really look "official" anyway.

Of course, Roosevelt has lots of parking, so I think it is right to try to develop that area, as well.
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Its not much farther than the Mobil station at Des Plaines & Madison.  We just need a straight shot from Randolph to Madison at that point.
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The Randolph lot is not intended for Madison Street parking, it serves residents in that section of town who especially need overnight parking.
 
During the day it is also used by the teaching staff at Grant White School.
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Originally posted by KPO'M KPO'M wrote:

It sounds like you are basically admitting we bought this building without a plan as to what to do with it.  I'm not sure any of the 6 uses represent the "highest and best" use of the property.


Would it have been better to decide that now? At least the newcomers to the Council can pool their ideas and agree on something. Plus it will show us just how clever these men are that we're going to vote in.

If you think it should be fixed up and sold, go to the meetings and convince them. Personally, the property is close to my home. My wife works a half block away and I often shop at Ed's Way. From what was suggested, the property would have benefits to me. I can't always find good parking when I go to 517 Des Plaines.

What really puzzles me is why everyone is so quick to piss on the idea of a Community Resource Center that is located in the heart of a neighborhood? Hasn't it been pointed out that the south side of I-290 is neglected? So let's just leave things as they are and squirrel away all of our nuts.

I can see how folks can complain about how much is paid in contracts and other questionable expenses that come up now and then, but to off-handedly trash the idea of an improvement to a neighborhood? I just don't get it.

I'm still pissed at the park district's lack of foresight on trying to get us the Roos Property. I want all of those bums sent packing and a new board that has the ability to have some vision for the future. Same goes for the Village Council. If they can't or won't do anything to improve life in the village, what use are they? There is a lot more to Forest Park than the Madison Street corridor.  Anything they can do to improve my part of town I appreciate.




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Originally posted by administrator administrator wrote:

Originally posted by KPO'M KPO'M wrote:

It sounds like you are basically admitting we bought this building without a plan as to what to do with it.  I'm not sure any of the 6 uses represent the "highest and best" use of the property.


Would it have been better to decide that now? At least the newcomers to the Council can pool their ideas and agree on something. Plus it will show us just how clever these men are that we're going to vote in.

If you think it should be fixed up and sold, go to the meetings and convince them. Personally, the property is close to my home. My wife works a half block away and I often shop at Ed's Way. From what was suggested, the property would have benefits to me. I can't always find good parking when I go to 517 Des Plaines.

What really puzzles me is why everyone is so quick to piss on the idea of a Community Resource Center that is located in the heart of a neighborhood? Hasn't it been pointed out that the south side of I-290 is neglected? So let's just leave things as they are and squirrel away all of our nuts.

I can see how folks can complain about how much is paid in contracts and other questionable expenses that come up now and then, but to off-handedly trash the idea of an improvement to a neighborhood? I just don't get it.
 Same goes for the Village Council. If they can't or won't do anything to improve life in the village, what use are they? There is a lot more to Forest Park than the Madison Street corridor.  Anything they can do to improve my part of town I appreciate.



I got some criticism for suggesting there was a north/south divide. 

As for the resource center, Roosevelt Road is probably a better location, particularly since parking is infinitely better than on Beloit.  This is especially true with the medical supply building now in flux (for the record, no, I don't think the village should buy that property).  Leased space may be less costly and give the village more flexibility to expand or contract services depending on who uses them. 

As for the VC, it's entirely possible (probable) that whoever is elected mayor will be the only carryover from the old council, although I don't accept the criticism that the last council did nothing to try to improve things here.  Doolin and Steinbach (particularly the former) did have a lot of ideas, although they were usually given short shrift by the majority.
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The property on Halem has a sign up which states there are stores on the way to that site.
 
The only suggestion the former had for south side resource center was the dash boards of every squad and to build on a lot that is hardly big enough to put a garden shed on.
 
 


Edited by BBones - 06/March/2007 at 12:27am
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Parking is better on Roosevelt than it is around the corner of Beloit & Harvard? Huh??? You must be a North Sider.
Yep, nuthin like parking on a busy street like Roosevelt. There's so many downsides to that concept, I don't even want to get started on it. Safety being the first issue. It's like trying to park on Harlem, unless there's a parking lot.

P.S......
Besides, wouldn't Roosevelt be better suited for commercial versus community development?



Edited by administrator - 06/March/2007 at 1:06am
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Originally posted by KPO'M KPO'M wrote:


As for the VC, it's entirely possible (probable) that whoever is elected mayor will be the only carryover from the old council, although I don't accept the criticism that the last council did nothing to try to improve things here.  Doolin and Steinbach (particularly the former) did have a lot of ideas, although they were usually given short shrift by the majority.


I'll be the first to admit that I didn't follow every item they brought up or all that were turned down, but I don't recall hearing a single proposal by either of them for community oriented development. Especially on this side of town. As I said earlier, they poo-poo'd the idea of considering the available Roos property for such use. All I can remember are administrative oriented proposals like hiring department heads who have degrees.

I am willing to be corrected if I'm wrong. But I just didn't hear of or knew of a single thing they ever tried to do to improve the quality of life in the neighborhoods. Unless you count the new restriction on parkway plants.

Oh, I forgot..... I'm really happy with my new alley improvement. Pat did an excellent job of that. But alley and street improvements are to be expected every decade or so.

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I happen to think that better patrolling is a better solution than a part-time police station for crime prevention, particularly in a small suburb. 
Much of Doolin and Steinbach's proposals were administrative-oriented, which again makes sense.  However, Pat's idea to take another look at zoning and the Comprehensive Plan qualify as having vision, as well.  Steinbach, IIRC, had some proposals regarding the industrial zone.  And as you point out, the alley/street projects ran smoothly.  Sometimes it's the things that aren't the most visible that are the most important.  Witness the city's recent experience with a crumbling el and so many burst water mains during the last cold snap.

The Mayor likes grandiose projects, but I don't really sense a common theme other than "there's a building there, let's do something with it."  Anyway, he's shown absolutely no vision at all with what to do with the old Mobil station that's quickly become an eyesore.  I think Steinbach wants to explore some sort of parking solution there.  She also wants to expand the Madison corridor further west to the Altenheim building.
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I don't give one hoot about expanding Madison Street. They've gotten more than their fair share. I hope Steinbach does manage to turn the Mobil Station into parking. But Madison Street parking is the least of my worries as I don't patronize the strip that often.

I live here and my kids live here. So my opinion is like the Janet Jackson song..... "What have you done for Me lately?"

Maybe it's just a matter of perception, but I don't see the 1000 Beloit project as being grandiose. Whether its Steinbach or Calderone who is Mayor for the next four years, all I want is for some of that "vision" to look away from Madison Street and take a peek my way once in a while.


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Many of the commissioner candidates have mentioned that targeting Roosevelt Road for development is something they are planning on doing.
 
I think its a great idea.  The mall has finally been brought back to life so why not work on the other side of the street?
 
I, too, was disappointed by the shoot down of the Roos Bldg for the Park idea.  I think it would have worked well but alas, it was not my decision.
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Originally posted by administrator administrator wrote:

"What have you done for Me lately?"

 
Oh, I know I know.  Ask me Ask me...................
 
 
Fined you for plantings on your parkway for one.
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Originally posted by administrator administrator wrote:

I don't give one hoot about expanding Madison Street. They've gotten more than their fair share. I hope Steinbach does manage to turn the Mobil Station into parking. But Madison Street parking is the least of my worries as I don't patronize the strip that often.


Madison west of DesPlaines can use some work, particularly as it faces River Forest.  Nevertheless, Steinbach is the only candidate who said Harlem was a priority.  I wholeheartedly agree there.  From the various residences with overgrown shrubbery and decrepit fences (code enforcement, improved village services/assistance where necessary could help here), to improved visibility (perhaps with decorative lighting - but more efficient than Madison), to some room for commercial development (the old night club, the space just south of the Eisenhower), this street can be made into a more attractive gateway that would benefit both the north and south ends of Forest Park.
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KPO'M, which space just south of the Eisenhower?  The U Haul property?  Mom's Place?  The car wash?  The gas station?
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Originally posted by piehead piehead wrote:

KPO'M, which space just south of the Eisenhower?  The U Haul property?  Mom's Place?  The car wash?  The gas station?


I thought there was some room behind U-Haul where the Volvo dealer had considered putting his dealership?  Or did U-Haul expand after the Volvo dealer built east?  As for that stretch, it probably is better suited for "beautification" than true commercial development, but there is always the possibility that the car wash or Mom's Place will close some day (or even Mobil).  I don't see Harlem as having as many immediate commercial possibilities as Roosevelt, but it can use some polishing, and a long-term Comprehensive Plan can address what might become of those properties should the land become available. 
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Hip-hip-hooray! Glad to see ideas about enhancing the village beyond Madison Street. I agree that the western corridor could use an improvement, but i figure that will take care of itself given enough time. Harlem and Roosevelt avenues are now overdue due to receive the same treatment. Due to the residential versus commercial makeup of Harlem and the lack of parking, that might be hard to do. But Roosevelt has a lot of potential and should probably be looked at first. What we really need to get our hands on is that Reserve Center east of the Mall.


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I believe (and someone can correct me) that U Haul owns the space on either side of Harrison St. at Harlem (til Elgin on the so. and to the Ferrara/St. B's Parking lot on the no.).  The U Haul totally repainted the buildings to make them more attractive.
 
The car wash and Mobil have been there forever!
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Originally posted by Mayor Calderone Mayor Calderone wrote:

The village has not yet closed on the building. We will only close when the building is tenant free. Not sure who will do any work yet because the variety of use for the building is not totally decided.

We do have a handy public works department and we certainly could use them for some of this type of work.

In not too many weeks you will have a new village council and I feel that they may want to weigh in of the use in it's totality.

This can turn out to be a true asset to residents south of the I-290.

1. It could be used as a police sub station (not manned 24-7)
2. It can be used by the Paramedics for blood pressure testing on a regular schedule.
3. It could be used by our neighborhood watch folks for their regular monthly meetings.
4. It could be used for other neighborhood meetings.
5. It could be used as a payment center for villages services.
6. It could become a resource center for picking up things you would otherwise pick up at 517 Desplaines.

I would like to see the rear building torn down to make way for a few parking spaces.

We are paying for this building with the proceeds from the sale of the Ark building which was located on Madison Street. Those proceeds were set aside when we closed on that property.



OR- It could just sit. Empty, vacant and crumbling for two years.


"It is a wreave belief that we already are in Hell."- Tuluk in Frank Herbert's "Whipping Star"
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dogcatcher Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14/January/2009 at 8:42am
Wrong again Watcher..the repairs have been made and the crumbling has stopped..still empty tho.  Personnal empty and vacant has worked for those of us concerned with the Gangs and Drug Dealers who occupied the space for 10+ yrs.
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