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Around Rogers Park: Pothole Art Project

There’s a terrific article in Block Club Chicago by journalist Joe Ward, called Rogers Park Artists Fill Neighborhood Potholes With Used Bike Parts, Tile: ‘Functional Art Is Cool.’ If you missed it, take a look. True to Rogers Park’s reputation as a haven for artists and eccentrics of all stripes, several local artists banded together to do something about the pothole problem that plagues all of Chicago in the winter months, but in a very original and unorthodox way. With a $7,500 grant by the AARP, whose motivation was making the city more accessible to people with accessibility difficulties, these local artists took old bike parts, tiles and other found objects and imbedded them in pothole repairs, turning a routine maintenance function into a work of art.


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Around Rogers Park: Proposed Expansion of 1415 West Morse Avenue

Mark Falanga, CEO and founder of VentureMark, Inc., is the owner of a four-story, vintage building at 1415 West Morse. The property occupies a large site on Morse, including a large surface parking area to the rear of the existing building. Mr. Falanga is asking for a zoning change from B3-2 to B3-3 that would allow him to build a new, 5-story addition on part of what is now the parking lot. The zoning change would trigger the Affordable Requirements Ordinance which currently requires a 10% set-aside of units affordable to households earning no more than 60% of area median income.


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Around Rogers Park: RPBG Holds 18th Annual, and First-Ever Virtual, Trends Workshop

To anyone who thought that a little thing like a global pandemic could keep us from hosting our popular, Annual Trends Workshop, you have now been proven wrong. It took considerably more effort, and it felt very different than in past years, but the annual event took place, as planned, on January 26th and was a great success. This is a good thing, given all the challenges of bringing nearly 100 participants together using just our computers and Zoom technology.


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Eviction Moratorium – Gubernatorial Overreach?

Does anyone else feel like every day is Groundhog Day in Illinois?


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Inclusionary Housing Task Force Issues Report

When the Inclusionary Housing Task Force first began their work in December 2019, no one could have guessed how profoundly the city and the world were about to change. The Task Force had just barely gotten started when the pandemic hit.


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Beware the Sigcho-Lopez DFA Ordinance

Inclusionary zoning has gotten a lot of attention in Chicago over this past year! A related article in this Newsletter looks at the recently released Inclusionary Housing Task Force Staff Report, issued by the City’s Department of Housing in September. The Staff Report contains a range of recommendations, some of which our industry will likely support, and others that range from intriguing to downright scary.


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NBOA Renter Survey

The results are in! And the answer is?


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New Construction on Pratt?

1233 W Pratt Rendering

Residences at 1233 W Pratt Rendering

Developer is Encouraged by Productive Discussions with 49th Ward Office.

For years, the middle of the 1200 block of West Pratt Avenue sat vacant and unused. Formally a Synagogue, the site has been vacant since the early 2000s when a plan to redevelop it with a mix of apartments and a new Synagogue fell apart. In the years since, we have experienced a major recession featuring a ruinous housing market crash in Rogers Park, and now a global pandemic.


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Katrina Bilella – A Small Property Owner’s Nightmare Come True

Katrina Bilella never wanted to be the poster child for small property owners struggling with deadbeat tenants during the COVID-19 pandemic. But that is exactly what she became in the wake of the eviction moratorium, first enacted by Governor Pritzker in March, with no end in sight.


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Essex Realty Donates to CPS for 30th Anniversary

Over the past three decades, RPBG Director Doug Imber has grown Essex Realty Group, Inc. from a fledgling brokerage business into one of the region’s premier mid-market investment sales companies. Then as now, Essex Realty has always had a strong focus on apartment product, particularly the small to medium sized buildings that can be found in nearly every Chicago neighborhood and that provide so much of the rental housing where many Chicagoans live.


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As I See It: Extending “Easy Money” Ordinance to Cook County a Bad Idea



It happened just over a year ago.


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