You are here: Home Winter 2019 Newsletter

Winter 2019 Newsletter


  • HB 2192: The Rent Control Act

    Michael Kardas, Kardas Photography, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    A careful read of State Representative Mary E. Flowers’ proposed Rent Control Act (a/k/a House Bill 2192) is an eye-opener. A highly similar version of this bill was circulated in 2018 by State Senator Mattie Hunter as Senate Bill 3512. Both Representative Flowers and Senator Hunter are Democrats representing areas predominantly located on the South Side of Chicago and in the South and Southwest suburbs. As of the writing of this article, hearings on the proposed bill are scheduled for Thursday, February 14. This is a developing story. The Newsletter will keep a close eye on how this bill fares. Updates in future Newsletters are a certainty.


    Read more

  • City, Stakeholders, Working on Building Code Re-Write

    Does it even need to be said? Building codes are boring. So, it should come as no surprise that the current effort to re-write them has gotten little attention.


    Read more

  • Can Zoning Help Solve the Affordable Housing Crisis?

    Something pretty unusual just happened in Minneapolis. In spite of vocal and organized opposition from NIMBY neighborhood groups and individuals, the City Council passed the Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan at its December 7th meeting.


    Read more

  • As I See It: Two Proposed House Bills. Read, Sigh, and Take Action!


    The State Legislature under Governor Pritzker is in session and, as expected, members of the General Assembly have introduced problematic and short-sighted bills regarding rent control.

    I urge you to take the time and read these bills – or at least their synopsis.


    Read more

  • Ups and Downs - Will the Last One to Leave Please Turn Out the Lights…

    Chicago is a proud city with an impressive history – it was the fastest growing American metropolis of the 19th Century. It rose from the ashes of the 1871 fire to become bigger and better than before. It is the birthplace of the skyscraper and deep-dish pizza!


    Read more

  • 16th Annual Trends Workshop

    The year kicked off with as it always does with the latest edition of the Trends Workshop. This was the 16th Annual iteration of this popular event, and it was well attended despite uncooperative winter weather and snow.


    Read more

  • Linda Liberatore


    The Rogers Park Builders Group lost one of its finest and most beloved members with the sudden and unexpected passing of Linda Liberatore in January. Linda was a newer member of the group, only joining RPBG in 2012, and only becoming a Director in 2017. But you would not have known it for the deep friendships she forged, and the active and important role she happily took on.


    Read more

  • Nicholas Hollenkamp, New RPBG Director


    Rogers Park Builders Group brought in four new Directors at the end of 2018 representing a cross-section of the real estate industry and bringing with them new energy and ideas about what the organization is and can be.


    Read more

  • Sheryl Rosenberg - RPBG’s Administrator Featured in Sheridan Road Magazine


    Rogers Park Builders Group’s Administrator par excellence, Sheryl Rosenberg, is creating quite a buzz outside of her part-time job handling the RPBG’s behind the scenes work.


    Read more

  • Verella’s Round-Up: Leasing Tips for the New Year


    verella osborne

    Statutory and technology changes have created some new opportunities and some new risks for property owners. Here are a few ideas about how to improve your lease documents in the ever-changing world of property management.


    Read more

  • Around Rogers Park: Record Cold Shuts Down Chicago and Rogers Park


    “Thorndale Beach” Photo by Ronit Bezabel.

    Double-digit, below zero temperatures were the order of the day all day Wednesday, January 30. Thursday, January 31st was only marginally better. These severe conditions prompted much of the city to simply shut down and hibernate, awaiting more temperate conditions before normal activities could resume.

    In Rogers Park, as elsewhere, the cold made it difficult to get around, and saw many basic services either operating at greatly reduced levels, or not at all. The public schools and US Postal Service were just two examples of institutions that called it quits for the two-day period. Metra cancelled many trains, and the CTA struggled to maintain reduced service as the intemperate weather caused headaches for these transit agencies and their equipment.

    The Lake Michigan shore looked more like Barrow, Alaska than Chicago. The surface of the Lake looked like it was on permanent slow-boil with steam continuously rising off the surface in the extreme cold. Meanwhile, snow and ice piled up on the shore. (Apologies to Barrow where is was actually warmer than Chicago.) Despite the inhospitable conditions, the Lakeshore was eerily beautiful and uniquely Rogers Park, although best viewed from the window of a Lakeshore apartment building.

    Luckily for us, the extreme conditions did not last long. The city was back above freezing by Saturday. Rogers Parkers, and Chicagoans generally, are a hardy bunch. The neighborhood and the city seemed to be back to normal by the weekend.



    Read more

  • Around Rogers Park: Onward Opens in Hampton Inn on Sheridan Road


    Onward restaurant is now open on the ground floor of the Hampton Inn at 6580 North Sheridan Road. The restaurant is the latest entry on the rather short list of “fine dining” establishments in Rogers Park. Time will tell if it is more successful that other restaurants that aspired to bring fine dining to the neighborhood, but mostly failed in that effort.

    Still, there is reason to believe Onward will be different. First of all, it is in one of the best locations in the neighborhood, just a block north of the Loyola Red Line Station, and nestled inside the successful Hampton Inn across the street from the Loyola University Campus. In fact, it is Loyola that owns and leases the retail space on the ground floor level of the hotel, and was part of the development team that got the property built in the first place.

    In addition to the excellent location and Loyola affiliation, Onward benefits from a deep-pocketed investor (Michael Olszewski) whose previous experience includes Grace, the now-close, two-star Michelin restaurant in Chicago’s West Loop. Mr. Olszewski has tapped into the deep restaurant talent that has turned Chicago into a foodie paradise. He seems to have struck just the right balance between elegant dining and laid-back Rogers Park style. People that have been to the restaurant so far rave about it, and there is no question it fills a niche that no other restaurant north of Devon (and south of Evanston) fills. This is yet another feather in the cap of the Sheridan retail corridor between Devon and Pratt. Onward seems likely to become a Rogers Park favorite for both special occasions and just a fun night out on the town.


    Read more

  • Around Rogers Park: Nick Kosiak’s State Farm Agency Building Destroyed by Fire


    Saturday morning’s fire on the 7000 block of N. Clark
    photo from Alderman Moore’s website

    In the early morning hours of December 22, just a few days before the Christmas holiday, a fire broke out in the 7000 block of North Clark Street, destroying several businesses, including the State Farm Office at 7051 that housed RPBG Member Nick Kosiak’s insurance agency. Fortunately, no one was hurt in the incident. Shortly after the fire, Nick was upbeat in spite of the devastation caused by the fire. Nick was confident that he would be back on his feet in the near future.

    Well, it looks like that confidence was well founded. In a recent email update, Nick reports that he has secured a new lease for a permanent office location on Greenleaf, just around the corner from his previous location. If all goes as planned, Nick should be in his new office with full operational capabilities by February 4, a remarkable recovery from the unanticipated and unwanted events of late December.

    If you haven’t seen Nick at recent RPBG meetings, you will understand why he has had other things on his mind. But Nick reports that he renewed his membership and expects to be at future meetings. We congratulate Nick on his quick recovery from a difficult situation, and wish him well as he gets back on his feet. We feel safe in our assumption that he was properly insured!


    Read more

  • Around Rogers Park: CPS Schools in Rogers Park Continue to Improve


    According to the 49th Ward Email of October 29, the most recent ratings for CPS schools in Rogers Park show continued improvement. CPS uses a rating system from 3 (lowest) to 1+ (highest), with intermediate scores of 2, 2+ and 1. The eight public schools in Rogers Park were all rated in the top three grades in 2018. Highest ratings were given to the Chicago Math and Science Academy and to New Field, both rated 1+. Three schools received a rating of 1: Acero / De La Cruz, Jordan and Kilmer. And three schools were rated a 2+: Field, Gale Academy and Sullivan High School.

    As recently as one year ago (2017), three of the eight schools were rated a 2, the second lowest score on the five-point scale. Clearly, education is improving in Rogers Park, a good omen for the entire neighborhood.

    RPBG is proud of the contribution we have made to the local public schools and is committed to continuing this effort for at least the next several years. RPBG has had an affiliation with Sullivan High School throughout the decade, and has expanded that relationship to other public schools in recent years. We applaud the progress these schools have made, and recognize the hard work and commitment of the teachers and staff that have made this happen. This is unquestionably a good-news story and an encouraging sign for the future of the neighborhood.


    Read more

  • Around Rogers Park: Breaking News – New Microbrewery on Howard Being Considered


    Howard Theater building


    A new microbrewery is being proposed for 1617 W. Howard Street in the Howard Theater building owned by RPBG Director Jay Johnson. The brewery would be known as the Howard Street Brewing Company and would require a special use permit and a tavern license to operate.

    The owner of the proposed brewery, Ryan “Chuck” Patella, has an established relationship with The Factory Theater which is currently located adjacent to the proposed brewery location. Mr. Patella believes a new brewery would be a complementary and synergistic use in a building that is emerging as the focal point of the Howard Street commercial district. Sol Café is located on the other side of the brewery space, and already serves as a gathering point for neighborhood locals in the Howard Street vicinity.

    Although approval of the new brewery is not guaranteed, there is little doubt that this business would increase the appeal of Howard Street and bring more traffic and commerce to the area. If approved, Howard Street would take another significant step forward in reestablishing itself as a major entertainment district for the Rogers Park community. RPBG strongly supports the approval of the microbrewery on Howard and congratulates Director Jay Johnson for his tireless efforts to revitalize Howard Street and make his property a focal point for this commercial activity.


    Read more

Got questions?

Send us an This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or give us a call at (773) 491-1235.




  • PO BOX 608492, Chicago, IL 60660
  • (773) 491-1235