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How Housing Providers are Really Responding to the Pandemic

I don’t usually put my name on the articles I write for RPBG. But this one is different. This one is personal. And this one needs to start with a thank-you.


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Report from Eastlake Terrace: Rising Lake Levels Threaten Lakefront – Part 2

The Parks and Beaches on Eastlake Terrace
by Tom Heineman, RPBG Treasurer

In the fall 2019 newsletter, I reported on the erosion problems at the three beaches on Eastlake Terrace. At that time, all three parks were to be fenced off for safety reasons with no additional short term park district “fixes.”

In early December, Alderwoman Hadden hosted a meeting at Willye White Park to present what the Chicago Park District, partnering with the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT), were planning to do to save the parks on Eastlake Terrace. They showed plans to put extensive “riprap” rocks of varying sizes at Juneway, Rogers and Howard beaches. CDOT was involved because they are charged with protecting city infrastructure. Alderwoman Hadden explained that this would be a three to five year “fix,” with hopes that a long term extensive plan for the entire Lakefront would be undertaken.


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Sal Becovic, RPBG Director

It’s pretty much impossible to have a conversation with Sal Becovic and not get caught up in his exuberance, enthusiasm and general zest for life. He is as passionate about his business as he is about his personal life, and he is happy to tell anyone who might be interested how he came to run one of the largest apartment portfolios in the RPBG network.


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As I See It: “Fair Notice” to City Hall: New Law Filled with Unintended Consequences



For years, both housing providers and tenants understood that either party could terminate a month-to-month lease with no less than 30 days’ notice, effective on the last day of the month. 


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Ups and Downs - Summer 2020


I recently had to do an on-line refresher course on Fair Housing. Everyone in the real estate industry is supposed to know something about Fair Housing – both the legislation, and the shameful history of housing discrimination that made it necessary. Indeed, you cannot hold a real estate license in the state of Illinois without at least a cursory knowledge of this subject. Fair Housing legislation emerged from the Civil Rights movement in the 50s and 60s and is intended to provide a legal back-stop against housing discrimination and the many wrongs it created over a period of decades and even centuries.


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Verella’s Round-Up: Chicago COVID-19 Eviction Ordinance

verella osborne

Many property owners will be surprised to learn that, with the enactment of the new Chicago COVID-19 Eviction Ordinance that was passed on June 17th, most 5-Day notices (or any demands for unpaid rent) served on Chicago residential tenants after March 21 are now null and void.


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Around Rogers Park: Elevation Lofts Leasing Up

RPBG Director and developer, Jay Johnson, reports that his Elevation Lofts building at 1531 West Howard Street is now complete and well on its way to achieving full occupancy. As last reported, the building has leased 27 of 38 units (71%) and continues to generate traffic and interest.


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Around Rogers Park: The Challenges of Running a Business during the Pandemic - Sol Café

Simone Freeman opened Sol Café in the Howard Theater building in the winter of 2012. The building is owned by Jay Johnson, founding member of RPBG. Like all restaurants and bars, Sol Café had to shut its doors in late March, due to Governor Pritzker’s “shelter in place” order.


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Around Rogers Park: Cuetzala Gro Restaurant Reopens

Block Club Chicago reports the heartwarming story of the tragedy that befell Saul Moreno – owner of Cuetzala Gro restaurant at 7360 North Clark Street – and what happened to his restaurant after his death. According to Block Club, Mr. Moreno died of the COVID-19 virus on April 15, devastating his family and seemingly putting to an end the fifteen-year run of his restaurant on North Clark Street.


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Around Rogers Park: Gun Violence Increases in 2020

Since the beginning of the year, and especially since the start of the pandemic, Chicago has experiencied a significant increase in gun violence and homicides. According to an article in the New York Times, Chicago has had 336 murders through July 2 compared to 492 murders in all of 2019.


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Coronavirus World – Adjusting to the New Reality

Remember restaurants, theaters, going to the movies, book club, poker night, backyard cookouts with the neighbors – da Cubs, da Bears, da Bulls? Remember commuting to work? For that matter (for far too many of us), remember work?


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