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Pension Town Hall Meeting

Oct 16, 2012 by

Hear first-hand what Commissioner Gainer and Alderman Smith are doing to ensure fair and sustainable pension reforms for taxpayers, employees and retirees.

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Children’s Memorial Redevelopment: Public Meeting | A Recap | The City Process

Jul 26, 2012 by


The following is a reprint of the Alderman’s Newsletter of July 12, 2012


Dear Friends,


The developer has notified me that he has completed the next version of the proposed plan for the Children’s Memorial site. We are announcing a town hall meeting to give the developer the opportunity to show these plans to you.


CMH Community Development

Town Hall Meeting

Thursday, July 26

6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. 

the DePaul Student Center, Rm 120

2250 N. Sheffield  


I urge you to attend not only so that you can see the new plans for the site from the developer, but most importantly, so I can hear your input.


In addition to July 26th’s large community meeting,  I am requiring that the developer hold a series of meetings with every community group.

A Recap 


In preparation for these meetings, let’s review what we’ve done thus far, and what will be happening next.


Back in September at the first large community meeting, we strove to understand the impact Children’s had on the neighborhood today to give us the foundation to compare it to the impact of any future proposal. Children’s Memorial Hospital reported to us:

  • Over 1.5 million people were on the hospital property per year
  • Over 12,500 trucks made deliveries to the hospital
  • Over 1,300 cars parked in the garage at one time each day
  • Children’s baseline traffic study estimated that Children’s alone was responsible for 30% of the traffic around the site
  • Some of our local businesses, including popular neighborhood institutions, could lose between 7% and 50% of their business when the hospital leaves

Second, we discussed the site’s relationship to our neighborhood. To sum up that presentation:

  • The site contains older buildings which are important to the community and contribute to the neighborhood’s distinctiveness
  • The site is at the crossroads of the Lincoln Park Community, at the heart of a destination area for theater, music, and of course, DePaul University
  • The site is directly adjacent to beautiful, low-rise residential neighborhoods and historic districts

Third, we discussed our goals for the site and our values. The HOK study, done three years ago, identified the following community priorities.  The new development should:

  • Respect the existing neighborhood
  • Create a distinct mixed-use place, including housing for a variety of income levels
  • Promote a multi-modal transportation network
  • Support sustainable development
  • Ensure continued community engagement

In December, 2011, the developer, McCaffery Interests, rolled out a conceptual plan for the site.  I required the developer to hold a series of community meetings to discuss the tentative site plans and then revise those plans based on feedback.


The City Process


McCaffery Interests has told me that it intends to begin the city review process by filing an application for rezoning of the property on July 18, 2012.  Residents within 250 feet of the site will receive a notice of this filing, as required by city ordinance. This filing does not in any way preclude changes to the plan.  Indeed, the City has told me that, due to the complexity of the site, it will take several months to conduct its review.  This is more than enough time, in my view, for our neighborhood to review the plan ourselves and have input.


Let Us Know What You Think – Attend the Community Meeting July 26 


This plan must preserve what we value about Lincoln Park, while creating an exciting new crossroads for our community.  I want to make sure that our review is thorough and considered, and at the same time, that we proceed in a structured manner so we get the job done.


My first commitment is to you.  We will have as many meetings as necessary to get this right.

For more information, visit our website, which already archives presentations and videos from the September, 2011 and December, 2011 community meetings.



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Reconstruction of Fullerton Parkway Bridge Begins March 19th

Mar 8, 2012 by

The Chicago Department of Transportation is reconstructing the Fullerton Parkway Bridge starting March 19, 2012 and ending in December, 2012. This project has been planned for years, and  was approved by the Plan Commission in May 2011. Traffic will remain open in both directions, but with only one lane each way. We suggest that you plan to take alternate routes.


Community Meeting Regarding Construction and Landscaping


Please join Alderman Smith at a community meeting attended by representatives from CDOT, the Park District, the Lincoln Park Advisory Committee and Friends of the Park. The purpose of the public meeting is to review the plans, discuss ways to minimize the impact on mature trees, and get community input on future landscaping.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

6:30 pm, South Gallery

the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

 2430 N. Cannon Drive

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IMPORTANT! Public Meeting re 43rd Ward Remap January 11th

Jan 4, 2012 by

43rd Ward Remap

Public Hearing  


Remapping will affect our lives on a daily-basis for at least the next TEN YEARS. Please join us and tell the Rules Committee why it’s critical to keep Lincoln Park together!


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

6:o0 p.m.

Cortelyou Commons*

DePaul University

2324 N. Fremont


*Parking: Sheffield Garage located at 2331 N. Sheffield (Dominick’s garage)


You know your Ward best. You know what’s best for your Ward.

Here are some facts about the so-called “For a  Better Chicago” map:

  • It would divide the neighborhoods of Lincoln Park between FIVE SEPARATE WARDS; 43rd, 44th, 32nd, 27th, and the 2nd Wards.
  • Daily services AS WELL AS large scale development projects would have to be handled by five separate offices.

In contrast, the proposed alternative “Tax Payer Protection” map would better maintain the cohesiveness and historic boundaries of the Lincoln Park neighborhood.

  • All seven community groups that represent Lincoln Park have voiced their official support for the “Tax Payer Protection” map.
  • The “Tax Payer Protection” map would more fairly represent the population changes the City of Chicago has undergone in the last ten years.

You know your Ward best. Make your voice heard!

  • E-mail Chairman Richard Mell of the Rules Committee and tell him you support the Taxpayer Protect Map and the preservation of the 43rd Ward.  
  • Sign the petition in support of the Taxpayer Protection Map


See you at the hearing!


43rd Ward Alderman Michele Smith

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Childrens Memorial Redevelopment Meeting December 14th

Dec 20, 2011 by

Childrens Memorial Redevelopment Meeting December 14th

Submitted by guest blogger Patricia Joseph

Park West members joined with neighbors from other community associations to review and comment on the conceptual plans for the Children’s Memorial Hospital site at a Town Hall Meeting on December 14, 2011 at the Hospital’s Bigler Auditorium.

Alderman Smith kicked off the presentation, stressing that the neighborhood is behind a development that will serve as a crossroads for the community and be award winning in its design. This was the second community communications meeting, covering the “conceptual plan” for the CMH property.  With the Hospital moving to its new digs in June, 2012, the pressure is on to come up with a plan for the site so that work can begin late in 2012.

Dan McCaffery, Chairman and CEO of McCaffery Interests, and Joe Antunovich of Antunovich Associates, presented the plan that focused on two floors of retail from Belden to Fullerton on Lincoln Avenue.  The emphasis was on creating a lively street level presence with residential space above the retail rising to between 16 and 20 stories.

An interior courtyard accessed from Lincoln was also part of the plan as it is envisioned today.

The intent is to retain and repurpose the vintage buildings along Lincoln, opening up the boiler building, laundry and the terra cotta building that currently houses the White Elephant Shop on Lincoln, to new retail space.  Other vintage buildings that are part of the complex, the Wilson Jones building on Orchard south of Fullerton and Nellie Black on corner of Fullerton and Orchard would be developed separately.

Green roofs, a public meeting space, and rooftop gardens are other amenities included in the plan.

While this presentation covered the ideas and concepts that might be ideal for the community and redevelopment of the site, it was stressed that lining up commitments from retailers and financing was key to moving forward with this idea.

A PDF of the presentation is posted on the Alderman’s website http://ward43.org and/or you can access segments of the meeting on the Alderman’s YouTube channel.