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James D. Letchinger Holding Back Construction on Chicago’s Montrose and Clarendon

Montrose and Clarendon chicago

James D. Letchinger’s Chicago area JDL Development LLC’s controversial plan for a new luxury residential apartment building in the northwest corner of the new development on Montrose and Clarendon has been delayed yet again.

Part of the problem for JDL is that the city of Chicago is not offering it as much of a tax break as the firm had hoped. It originally wanted $32 million in tax increment financing, but was only offered $12 million. Area residents do not understand why money from the TIF program, which is intended as a tax break to encourage development in poor communities, is being offered at all for a luxury project.

JDL now says that the low sum offered in tax breaks has forced it to seek additional funding for the project.

Local Chicago Alderman James Cappleman, whose committee approved the $14 million, told his constituents in an e mail that he, “will continue to work with the City to see if there is a way to make this development happen so we can bring Clarendon Park up to code.”

Critics do not feel that a luxury project is worthy of any tax breaks, especially at a time when Chicago has been forced to close public schools due to budget cuts. The project only reserved 10% of its units for affordable housing.

If it should ever be completed, the new residences would be located in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood with unobstructed Lakefront and park views. It will offer direct access to the outer drive offering residents travel to Chicago’s loop in less than 10 minutes via express CTA buses or car.

The plans also included a dog park and an outdoor pool for residents.

Developers had hoped to build a two tower project with 26, 000 square feet of retail space and a private park at a cost of $220 million located on a site which use to be home to Maryville Academy.

There was to be an acre and a half of outdoor space on the tower’s fourth level as well as a jogging track, cabanas, dog area, fitness room, lounges, small and large party rooms and a theatre.

The original plans called for a 332 foot tall tower with 776 units. That was changed last November 260 foot tall building with fewer apartments.

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