High-Rise Eyesores Have Residents Seeing Red

CHICAGO (CBS) — The staggering economy has created scores of abandoned commercial housing developments  across Chicago.  Should they be torn down when years go by and they become eyesores?

CBS 2’s Mike Parker looked at a few that suggest the wrecking ball will have to wait.

Construction began slowly on a condo project six years ago at 2609 West Belmont Ave. Two years ago, work stopped after the project was foreclosed upon and there was no new buyer.

Since then, it has become blight. From the Belmont bridge over the North Branch of the Chicago River, it looms over the neighborhood, looking almost like some abandoned building in Baghdad.

It was to be a 46-unit condo building.  But for years now, it’s been covered with no trespassing signs and gang graffiti.

State Rep. Deb Mell is familiar with it. She lives in one of the expensive townhomes across the street.

“Not only is this ugly,” Mell says, “it’s bad for morale for anyone who lives here. But it’s unsafe and it shows gangbangers and criminals that we don’t care about our neighborhood.”

She says the dark and empty structure is making it tough for some of her neighbors to sell their homes.

The lawmaker  thinks when a project like this one goes bad for so long, it should be demolished.

“That would be my preference, to just bring this whole thing down,” she says.

But sometimes white elephants can roar again. The city told CBS 2 that a new developer has taken over the project and will soon begin preparing the site for a resumption of construction.

And consider the Shangri La Hotel and Condo development announced in 2004 for 111 West Wacker Drive.  What was to be a 90-story jewel on the river ground to a halt early in construction. Now it is an ugly, half-completed concrete parking garage.

But again, a new developer is reportedly on board with plans for a much simpler, less grandiose, 60-story condo-only building.

More from Mike Parker
  • d wagner

    Maybe Ms. Mell should check out who was envoled in the re-zoniong (without neighborhood imput) of the eye sore on Belmont in the article above, and look at the relationship between the developor and her sisier-in -law.
    The reason the construction was slow was that most of the work was done by workers only in the eveninga and on week-ends when they wher free grom rheir day jobs.
    I believe it resently has been resold’
    Whike at it check out the history of the vacant lot and aprtment building one blocak west.

    • Jim

      Your typing and/or spelling skills are very impressive! (envolved, re-zoniong, imput, developor, sisier-in law, eveninga, wher, grom, rheir, whike, aprtment, blocak) You better check to see if you spelled your name correctly, HaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHa!!!!!!!

  • John Taz

    d wagner, don’t you proof-read your comments? How about using a spell checker? You look like a damn idiot.

  • juju

    oh boo hoo. lady in the picture is an eyesore. yeesh- fugly!!!

  • Red Herring

    Seems to me d wagner raised some important questions that can not be dismissed simply because of a few spelling errors.

    • Gary

      BULL…If he can’t spell, then how can anyone think that his comments are also not mis-spelled….GET IT?

      • d wagner

        sorry that i have a medical condition that mixes up letters of the alphetbet….at least i had factual comments…thanks for your sensitivity

  • Gary

    Poor lez Ms. Mell is offended….boo-effinf-hoo. Talk to your daddy. Get the gay priders to buy the building…dumb S.

  • belmont447

    wish Deb and Mike Parker would have noticed the new Building Permit that is posted and dated 2 days before this report..there are new owners taking over and will continue to rebuild. the building permit is posted 5 feet fromk the photo.
    Did they not also notice the small crew of constuction workers on the roof preparing saftey lines for workers.
    Thanks Deb for being so on top of things in your neighborhood. You as bad as your father in front of a camera…..and you wanted it knocked down?????????
    gwt your facts right vefore you speak….
    While you are at it, ask yoiur father what his office promised the townhouse complex and neighborhood10 years ago when it first was built

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