Winter 2020 Edition
Rogers Park Builder
The first meeting of the Inclusionary Housing Task Force (IHTF) was held on December 12, 2019. The twenty members of this committee represent a cross-section of neighborhood activists, affordable housing providers, and for-profit developers. The IHTF is co-chaired by three Adlermen: Harry Osterman (48th Ward), Walter Burnett (27th Ward) and Byron Sigcho-Lopez (25th Ward).
The day before the IHTF meeting, Alderman Osterman held a public hearing on the proposed Development For All (DFA) ordinance that would fundamentally alter the Affordable Requirements Ordinance (ARO) and how it works. (Forty-Ninth Ward Alderwoman, Maria Hadden, is a co-sponsor of the proposed DFA ordinance.) This meeting was attended by many Aldermen, representatives from several housing advocacy groups, Daniel Kay Hertz representing the City of Chicago, and numerous citizens and industry professionals who would be impacted by this legislation in different ways.
On February 26, 2019, Lori Lightfoot was elected Mayor of Chicago. Her victory was both historic and surprising. When she announced her run, Lightfoot was relatively unknown and a political outsider. She is also female, African-America and an out-lesbian – in marked contrast with almost every past occupant of that coveted fifth floor office on Clark Street. Consider that, in its less than 200-year history, Chicago has had exactly one other female mayor (Jane Byrne), two African-American mayors (Harold Washington and Eugene Sawyer), and no publicly-declared LGBT mayors. There has certainly never been a mayor that checked all three boxes. Suffice it to say that few people took Lightfoot’s candidacy seriously when she first announced her run.
But, against all odds, Lori Lightfoot not only won the general election, she did so with nearly 75% of the popular vote – a landslide by any definition. She did this through a combination of smart campaigning, some plain old-fashion good luck along the way (Rahm Emanuel’s announcement that he would not run for reelection, and Toni Preckwinkle’s too-close relationship with disgraced Alderman Ed Burke), and a message of change and new beginnings that resonated with Chicago voters. She also impressed Chicagoans with her competence and intelligence. At the end of the day, she convinced the city’s residents that she was the best candidate to put the city on a different path. Her margin of victory tells us that Chicagoans were hungry for change.
Although this is not a Rogers Park story, we should all be paying attention to the ban on demolitions that was recently approved by the Chicago City Council, effectively halting development near the western half of the 606 Trail.
The opening of the 606 in 2015 got a lot of attention, not just for the innovative reuse of an abandoned, elevated, railroad right-of-way, but also for the notable impact this new amenity had on property values in its vicinity.
Around Rogers Park
Everyone knows the story of the post-recession economy. As foreclosed homes piled up and personal credit was ruined, many people turned to rentals as the only alternative to home-ownership to meet their housing needs. Demand for apartments increased even further as the Millennial generation came into its own, moving out of their childhood homes and starting careers and new lives as adults.
Almost as soon as the recession was over, new apartment towers began sprouting out of the ground like mushrooms after a rain. An outsized amount of this building activity seemed to be concentrated in the central districts of the country’s biggest cities. From the early years of the 2010s, tens of thousands of young professionals rushed in to fill those units and live the big city life.
I have been a member of RPBG since my good friend, Marty Max, talked me into coming to my first meeting at Devon Bank. Before the meeting, I didn’t know what to expect. Afterwards, I was already hooked.
As a trash company that focuses on small owners, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to learn more about your businesses. I believe my company provides better service with the deeper understanding I now have about my customers’ needs. I have also met many wonderful people through RPBG and I am happy to call many of them friends.
Mike Glasser, RPBG President
I offer to you, my fellow property owners, an important New Year’s message: even if you don’t accept security deposits, you MUST still post on your leases the interest rate schedule for 2020 .
Yes! Even if you don’t accept security deposits, you must post on all of your residential leases the City mandated interest rate schedule for security deposits so that tenants know what interest rate they would be receiving on their deposit if they had a deposit, even though they don’t have one!
Steve Cain
I heard a fun fact about February 2, 2020. If you turn it into a number with no dashes in-between, it becomes a palindrome. It’s also the first time in more than 900 years that a date could be manipulated in this way!

If this all sounds like Greek, then let me show you what I mean: 02-02-2020 is 02022020 without the dashes. This is the same number read backward or forward. The most recent past date when this same trick would have worked was September 1, 1090. Ten-ninety was a long time ago – as a point of reference, the Battle of Hastings (1066) was still a living memory!

So why, you might wonder, would I start my Ups and Downs article about such an insignificant mathematical phenomenon? My first answer is that I thought it was kind of cool. My more serious answer is that 2020 is also shaping up to be a pretty unique year in a lot of other, more important ways. And maybe that Battle of Hastings reference is not as off-base as it would seem.
Verella Osborne, President, Legal Document Management, Inc.
Do you provide an apartment for your building manager or janitor as part of his/her employment? Or, in this aging population, do you rent to an elderly or disabled tenant who has a live-in caretaker? While the first scenario is common to mostly larger management companies, the second is becoming commonplace for all landlords. What happens when the employee quits or you fire him? What happens if your elderly tenant dies and leaves the caretaker in the unit? To protect yourself in both situations, you need a custom lease for each of these types of occupants.
Regarding employees’ apartments, it is crucial that you have each employee sign a lease with the stipulated market rental (it cannot be “zero dollars”). The lease should be month-to-month. In addition, either draft a rider or incorporate into the lease a paragraph stipulating that 100% or 50% (whatever rent credit you’re providing) of the rent shall be abated, only so long as the tenant is employed or contracted by the Lessor.
Continuing our long tradition, RPBG presented the 17th Annual Trends Workshops in January. It seems that every time we do the Trends Workshop, it attracts more people and grows in popularity. This year was literally the biggest and the best. Almost 150 people registered to attend, so many, in fact, that we had to cut off pre-registration.
Sheryl Rosenberg went out of her way, preparing an excellent brochure explaining the what’s, why’s and how’s of the event as well as a list of event sponsors. We had a long list of sponsors this year. We are truly grateful for their support without which this event would not be possible. Here is the list:
(773) 728-9900 |
Rogers Park Builders Group encourages and supports responsible residential and commercial property investment, development, and ownership in the Rogers Park community.