We are following up on an email we sent in August, in which we shared NLCCC’s public comments on the proposed sale of the land on the corner of Roosevelt and Kostner to Clarius Partners, LLC to build a development with mixed industrial and commercial uses.
Since that time, members of the NLCCC Executive Subcommittee have written a letter to the editor of Crain’s Chicago Business. Members of the Clarius team have met with our Steering Committee, and members of our Executive Subcommittee have been approached by Steven Kohn for a follow up conversation. Mr. Kohn works with Colliers International, the broker for Clarius Partner, LLC. While Mr. Kohn has provided insights regarding our concerns, we have not yet heard back directly from Clarius Partners.
Alderman Scott has indicated in August that he would set up a meeting between NLCCC and the Greater Westside CDC to explore ways the two groups can work together. By way of background, the Greater Westside Community Development Corporation was organized in December, 2015 to guide community development on Chicago’s Westside. They have been designated as the lead community-based organization to serve as a liaison between Clarius Partners and the community. As recently as 10 days ago, the Alderman has indicated that the meeting is still in the works.
Clarius Partners asked for NLCCC’s support of the project during their presentation to the Steering Committee in August. However, there are a number of questions from that meeting and our subsequent conversation with Steven Kohn that remain. While we understand that a number of individual groups and small businesses are indirect communication with Clarius Partners, they have not yet responded directly to NLCCC with answers to our specific questions. Until such time, it is not prudent take a position on this project, particularly when community residents raised similar concerns at public meetings held at United Baptist Church and Homan Square.
In closing, we ask that, if Clarius approaches your organization individually for support, that you would ask them if they have yet responded to NLCCC’s concerns. Likewise, if there are concerns that you would like us to share with Clarius during our meeting, please let us know, and we will include them in our agenda and keep you informed. If our individual organizations support Clarius directly, there is no need for them to respond to us as a collective. There is greater strength in unity. We will continue to strive for socially responsible development in North Lawndale that create win-win situations for developers and community residents.
Members of the NLCCC Executive Subcommittee:
Valerie F. Leonard