CHICAGO (CBS) — A new high-rise could mean financial ruin to property owners on the same block – that is the fear of some people who live next to the proposed project.
As CBS 2 Political Investigator Dana Kozlov reported Monday night, the residents also claim the developer’s tactics raise even more concerns.READ MORE: Willowbrook Wildlife Center Overcrowded As Veterinarians See Surge In Injured Animals
At the southeast corner of Maple Street and LaSalle Boulevard, there currently stands an older multi-unit building and a parking lot. But people who live across the alley say a developer is trying to cram a high-rise into that rather tight space.
And they don’t like it one bit.
“We expect it’s going to be bad for everyone,” said Rick Miller.
Miller is a 17-year resident and current board member of the neighboring building on Maple Street. He and a large group of owners have been fighting developer Steve Fifield’s proposed high-rise for more than a year.
“The foot traffic is going to be excessive,” Miller said.
“That’s going to obstruct airflow. It’s going to obstruct sunlight,” added fellow 111 West Maple board member Wolfgang Seuss. “I think it would absolutely destroy some people financially.”READ MORE: Rollover Crash On Lake Shore Drive Closes Northbound Lanes Between Fullerton And Belmont Avenues
Seuss said a third-party appraisal estimates those owning west-facing units would see their property values plummet by at least 30 percent if the new high-rise is built.
“It’s their nest egg – this is, for a lot of people, this is their largest investment,” he said.
But what really angered the neighbors was finding out Fifield’s revised plans for a 39-story building – not 29 stories as last proposed – are set to go before the city’s Planning Commission this week.
“That was just a ram-it, kind of ram it through without anybody even being able to have any say into it,” Seuss said.
Even Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd) was surprised – only getting the developer’s revised plans at noon, hours before his latest community meeting about the project.
And trying to contract Fifield isn’t easy. Security would not let Kozlov into the building to check if he was inside, you cannot leave a message when you call the office number, and an email Kozlov sent to the address listed on the website bounced back.
Ald. Hopkins, who is on the City Council Zoning Committee, said he is not sure he will green-light the current plan. The residents of 111 West Maple clearly hope he won’t.MORE NEWS: Brookfield Zoo Hosting Blood Drive Wednesday; Free Admission With Donation
“For us, it’s not a case of sour grapes,” Miller said. “It’s a specific material harm that we think is going to happen in the community.”