Dreams and Schemes | Letters | Chicago Reader

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Dreams and Schemes

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To the editors:

I've seen many articles that bemoan the ethics of real estate development and displacement [Neighborhood News, January 29]. How about a realistic article that looks at the feasibility of these developments? We west of the Kennedy home owners continue to suffer by the get rich quick schemes of fly-by-night developers.

Ron Gan admits that he's already had one major flop, and that was in trendy Wrigleyville.

Our community has had more than its share of poorly planned real estate failures. A few years ago a developer purchased a factory for loft condos. He only sold one condo, but that was conditional on selling the other units, so that deal fell through, and the building mysteriously burned to the ground in the middle of the night. Nearby another condo conversion didn't make it, and another building was destroyed by a mysterious fire. In another case, three buildings were bought and vacated for a luxury rehab. The developer couldn't find the tenants, and now the buildings house some of the biggest drug pushers in the area. Before the rehab the tenants were poor, but at least they were decent people. And who could forget Sabin School? Some developer managed to convince the Board of Ed that he could condo this grade school. Fortunately when his plans failed the Board of Ed took the building back and made it into a school again.

And now along comes Ron Gan to try to convince us he can sell homes for $375,000 in West Town. Give us a break, Ronnie.

Gary Kelly

N. Wolcott

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