# 1. Regarding the SBT sign at Spring road and the Prairie Path: I have heard nothing but complaints from many different people who find this ground level, 7 Building Code Violating bright light flashing sign a major eyesore and safety concern. A roadside distraction like this is a danger to drivers from all directions, bike riders, predestrians and all users of the Prairie Path.
Unfortunately this sign problem is entangled in a web of political insider stickiness.
One of the major investors of the Elmhurst SBT locations also happens to run the show for Superior Ambulance in Elmhurst. Superior has used its political connections to obtain a huge break on their property taxes due to low assessments of their massive facility up by Lake Street. Getting directly back to SBT, the attorney who does plenty of work and representation for SBT bank is Lee Daniels who happens to be a very close confidant of Mayor Marcucci.
At the City Council meeting of 9/17, the aldermen were deadlocked at 7 - 7 on allowing SBT to build a drive thru facility in an alley next to Two Brothers Pizza on Park street. Who broke the tie in favor of SBT? Mayor Thomas Marcucci. Need I say anything else?
#2. I attended and spoke at the Public Forum of the 9/17/07 City Council meeting. My issue was about the Hahn Street development and how the City Council is preparing to give away 13 million dollars worth of property and services to either Morningside Development or The Gammonly Group. (By the way, you can bet your last dollar that Morningside is going to land the deal. They built the Block 300 Condos at York & Robert Palmer drive and they are TIGHT with the Mayor who pushed through a 1.2 millon dollar kickback for Morningside that was disguised as a "tax break incentive" for that condo set-up.)
I know that the land on Hahn needs development, I just pleaded with the council to not just GIVE away the land. I mean how do we go from buying all of this land for millions to just giving it away? There's no negotiation? No, "how bout giving us 6 million for the land?" No give & take whatsoever!
For those who think either Morningside or Gammonly's condo/retail plans will be a tax revenue wellspring for Elmhurst, think again. Both developers have already projected that in 12 years time, the TOTAL tax benefit to Elmhurst will be between 7 1/2 million to 9 1/2 million dollars. That doesn't even pay back the 13 million dollar giveaway, let alone interest on that money.
As far as real estate in Elmhurst goes, we already have over 100 attached units (condos & townhomes) that are on the market and not selling and don't forget the loads of Mc Mansions and regular sized homes in Elmhurst that are for sale and nobody is buying.
In commercial real estate, you have to ask yourself who is going to open retail space at Hahn street when the following spaces have been empty and untouched, some for up to 2 years: the Stevens Steakhouse property, the corner of Lake street and West avenue, 5 open stores withion 2 blocks of Hahn street (and that us not including the Bailey's restaurant land which will soon be active) Mitoodle Noodle at the Fifth Third bank building, TCBY on South York street, 2 spaces on Spring road, the Amlings on St. Charles road and don't forget the Gables at North avenue & Rt. 83 which has not garnered enough retailer interest to even break ground on their locale.
And yet, the prospective Hahn developers are saying "if we build here, they (meaning big money retailers & condo buyers) will come." Give me a break please!
We need every reader of this blog to contact their aldermen and urge them to stop this free land grab from being approved!
*** CORRECTION 9-28-07 ****
Regarding my last posted comments I have one slight correction. Lee Daniels is involved with Elmhurst business these days as a Real Estate broker, NOT as an attorney. My apologies for the mistake.