City Proposes Selling Art to Fund Library Expansion

I feel like the takeaway here is “poor communities can enjoy basic services like the library or they can enjoy public art, but we’re not paying for both”.

Given that the money we’re talking about here is small stakes in the grand scheme of the city budget, I’d love to see some language that at least holds ALL proceeds of this sale to funding the ongoing operating costs of this library expansion. It could pay for eight years of operation. But that won’t happen.

Rahm, to his credit, put their expansion’s operating costs into his next budget, but that only covers the first year of that. And the painting sale is supposed to pay for the one-time capital costs of the expansion itself. But… why? One-time asset sales is SUCH a shit way to run a city, as Rahm knows. He basically ran against Daley’s habitual addiction to doing just that, a good policy call because Daley fucked the city in a lot of ways (and, not coincidentally, enriched himself and his pals) via that model of financing.

I can even kind of see the logic behind “look, this painting has appreciated far beyond anyone’s expectations, this library isn’t designed to secure something so valuable, best of both worlds to sell it now before it declines in value or gets damaged/stolen, and we can use that money to make this library better”.

But also: fuck that. A chance for these disadvantaged kids to see a near-priceless piece of art in their own neighborhood, to be inspired by it and enjoy the same access to high art that every Lincoln Park and Hyde Park professional class heirling does… why shouldn’t these kids have that as well?

This just feels like more of Rahm’s endless Fuck You to the South and West Sides… even when he gives them a little, it’s with enough conditions to remind people that he really doesn’t think they deserve it.

I hope our next mayor is a little more committed to funding essential services out of taxes and revenues instead of selling off one-time assets in a punishing way to the communities the asset comes from.

Real Estate Bubble 2.0 Is Going To Be Awesome

I can’t even begin to understand the real estate market in this town…
$1,750 for a 471-square-foot studio?
$2,800 for a 928-square-foot two-bedroom apartment?!?!?!?
EITHER of those is more than I pay in mortgage for a 2-bedroom modern condo with all the fixings in a beautiful, safe neighborhood where I can see my local El stop from my front door, and it’s a Brown Line stop, not the overcrowded hellhole of a Blue Line stop this development is nearby and touts as a central benefit (because you do not get parking with that price, the development HAS no parking because lol “TOD”, and good fucking luck parking on the street within a half-mile of that place once it’s occupied. Or, hell, even NOW. Logan Square’s a bitch to park in already).
And, of course, these projections are all WAY over what the developer promised the rents would be… can today’s renters afford this shit? Like, if somebody legit had two grand to drop to housing, why wouldn’t you… buy a bigger condo than this, and spend what would certainly be leftovers from a cheaper mortgage payment on something else?
I get that buying a place is a colossal pain in the ass; maybe you’ve got high income now but no down payment saved up. Maybe you’re not planning to necessarily live in Chicago or Logan for more than a few years and just don’t want to put down hard roots yet. But, damn… spending THIS kind of money on a rental, tiny ones at that, even in a cool (well, formerly cool, currently fucking insufferable) neighborhood… it just seems like such a colossally bad idea.
Also… why is there no penalty for these insanely evil developer ghouls when they straight-up lie to the city and the community about what they’re going to build and how it will be priced for market? Like, the promise was “we’ll be able to add youth and vitality to the neighborhood by offering a ton of micro units at these rates” and instead we’re getting regular-assed apartments at rates 30-60% higher than promised before the fucking place even opens.
I look forward to the post-2019 real estate crash, when this monument to hubris, this gigantic white elephant, will emptily hulk over its corner in Logan Square, a grim reminder of the era when shithead real estate monsters honestly thought that our economy would produce enough millennials with real jobs and incomes to support their demanded amount of gold to live in this jumped-up dorm.