Summer 2023 Edition

Rogers Park Builder

Evanston Considers Adopting “Just Cause Eviction” Provisions

It’s been discussed in Chicago for years. It’s already been enacted in other cities and states, including Seattle, Washington D.C. and New Jersey, just to name a few. Now, Just Cause Eviction is being actively considered in Evanston and could be enacted by their City Council later this year. If this happens, it will open the door to similar ordinances across Illinois.

The pros and cons in the Just Cause Eviction debate are well known to housing providers. Tenants’ rights organizations argue rents have increased too fast and rental housing is too scarce, giving property owners an unfair advantage in the sometimes fraught relationship between tenants and owners. Housing providers argue Just Cause Eviction protections are simply a transfer of ownership rights from the actual owners to tenants without any compensating cost or responsibility.


Bring Chicago Home

An article in the Fall 2022 Rogers Park Builder lays out the proposal to increase Chicago’s real estate transfer tax on transactions of $1 million or higher. This proposed legislation is known as the Bring Chicago Home Ordinance. More cynically, many of its promoters like to call it the millionaire tax.

Like a lot of “progressive” legislative initiatives, the recently concluded 2023 municipal elections provided new impetus to get these proposals moving now that the new Mayor and a larger contingent of the Chicago City Council espouses progressive values.

The Bring Chicago Home initiative appears to fit right in with the new Mayor’s stated goal of raising an additional $800 million in taxes to pay for a wide range of programs designed to reduce inequities and improve the plight of the disadvantaged across Chicago. While these goals are laudable, the Devil is always in the details. Bring Chicago Home is no exception to this rule.


Mayor Brandon Johnson: the First 100 Days

It’s probably way too early to say much about the new Mayor and where he’s taking the city. After all, he’s only been in office for a few months since his May 15 inauguration. But hey, you have to start somewhere.

It is no secret that many members of RPBG hoped for a different outcome and were leery, if not downright fearful, of what a Mayor Johnson would do if he got elected. Well, the first indicators are mixed. Johnson has made overtures to the business community and is reportedly working with a number of companies to increase job opportunities for young people in the city, particularly in lower-income areas where such opportunities are especially hard to find.


Letter to the Editor

We are not allowed to reprint Mike Mini’s excellent Letter to the Editor in the June 26, 2023 edition of Crain’s Chicago Business in its entirety due to copyright laws. But we can provide a few highlights and encourage our readers to clink this link and read the letter in full.

Mike acknowledges the city’s affordable housing challenges and the general importance of creating more affordable housing opportunities for the individuals and families that need them. Mike states, “CAA has been committed to working with policymakers at all levels of government to explore and implement policies and programs to address affordable housing solutions.”


Marty Max, Past RPBG President and Current Member of the Finance Committee

Whenever I do one of these profiles, I always like to start by emailing a short list of written questions so that the person I’m profiling can get a head start on what I want to cover.

Marty Max – ever diligent and responsive – sent me back a detailed response one day after the 4th of July holiday, despite hosting his extended family at his lake house in Southern Wisconsin for the long weekend, and despite all the other responsibilities he is constantly juggling with his own properties and a portfolio of third-party properties he manages.

One particular response caught my eye. I asked Marty why he remains so deeply involved in the RPBG organization after so many years of dedicated service to the group. He said this:

“I believe in what the RPBG is: a group of great housing providers who are truly unselfish that care about their community and their tenants.”


Ups and Downs

It still feels like a mad, mad, mad world out there. On the climate front, it’s been quite a summer. We’ve had heat waves, smoke-filled skies, boiling oceans, and flooding rains. In politics, everyone seems to have gone completely nuts. A former President with four indictments (and counting) will probably be the Republican candidate for President in what can only be described as the battle of the geriatrics in 2024. In Chicago, it’s not too much of a stretch to say that the CTU is now more or less in control of the city – which is a way of saying the foxes are in charge of the hen house.

I guess it makes sense that, with the cacophony constantly spinning around us, there is little band-width to take in some of what is actually going right in our country and our economy.

The good news certainly includes continually declining inflation for the past year, now running at about 3% annually. Unemployment has been below 4% since nearly the beginning of 2022, and unfilled jobs continue to outnumber people looking for work by a goodly margin (about 1.6 jobs per job-seeker last time I looked).


Around Rogers Park

Clark Street Streetscape Now Underway

Ken Walchak Sells Clark-Devon to Employees

NBOA and LREIC Panel Discussion of Migrant Influx to Chicago

All-Affordable Redevelopment of the Werner Site at Howard and Paulina Hits a Roadblock

Sol Café Closes after Ten Years on Howard

Listen to Mike Glasser on WBEZ

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Rogers Park Builders Group encourages and supports responsible residential and commercial property investment, development, and ownership in the Rogers Park community.