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  • Seven-Year Sweep

    We do a lot of hand-wringing here in the Windy City about the many problems we face and how intractable they can often appear to be. But occasionally we get a reminder that all is not doom and gloom on the southwest coast of Lake Michigan.

    One of those regular reminders has been Condé Nast Traveler‘s Readers’ Choice Awards which just named Chicago the Best Big City in the United States for the seventh year in a row! Not bad for a place certain right-leaning politicians love to hate and that regularly gets portrayed as a living hell-hole where you can’t walk out your front door without being accosted or shot!


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  • 2023 Elections – The Results Are In

    We all know that elections have consequences. Now that the Chicago 2023 municipal elections are concluded, it is fair to say that most members of the Rogers Park Builders Group (RPBG) and the Neighborhood Building Owners Alliance (NBOA) believe these consequences will include increased conflict between our members and elected officials and a new round of legislative efforts unfriendly to our businesses.


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  • Carrot and Stick – Part Two

    In the last RPBG Newsletter, we looked at the impact of the Illinois Affordable Housing Special Assessment Program (AHSAP) and its impact on housing production in Chicago. The article was, well, kind of long. But, as long as it was, it missed a really important point – one that Stacie Young tried to get me to focus on, but one that I just could not squeeze into what had become a bit of a bear.


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  • Rent Control Fails in Springfield… For Now

    Another year, another attempt by the far left wing of the Democratic Party to bring rent control to Illinois. Once again, the ringleader in this effort is State Representative Will Guzzardi (39th District), representing parts of Logan Square and adjacent areas of Chicago’s near Northwest Side.


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  • Florida Combines Workforce Housing Program with Rent Control Ban: Lessons for Illinois?

    Bisnow reports that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed SB 102 into law on March 29, 2023. SB 102 does two things:


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  • Rogers Park Suffers From Too Little New Construction: High Renter Demand Combined With No New Supply Pushes Rogers Park Rents Upwards



    Like other northside neighborhoods, the Rogers Park apartment market continues to experience strong rental demand. Occupancy rates across most rental properties are in the 95% range, which is generally considered full occupancy by investors.


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  • SF Inclusionary Zoning Requirement Found to be Infeasible

    RPBG Member and Principal of JAB Real Estate, Sam Goldman, came across an interesting report from the Office of the Controller / Office of Economic Analysis with the City and County of San Francisco. The report is recently dated: dated March 10, 2023, and it concludes that the current inclusionary housing requirements in San Francisco (city and county borders are the same) are “infeasible.”


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  • Tom Heineman, Director RPBG

    Tom’s contribution to the Rogers Park Builders Group over the decades has been huge. His status, until last year, as RPBG Treasurer was much more than just an honorary title. Tom is a numbers guy and has the resume to prove it. He used his financial skills to benefit the organization for many years, often working behind the scenes to ensure that the group was solvent and could pay its bills. Under Tom’s budgetary leadership, RPBG built up a large surplus that has allowed us to significantly increase our charitable work and make an impact on the neighborhood we love so much.


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  • As I See - It Looking Beyond Our City and State For Multifamily Housing Policy Trends



    When I first took on the leadership of NBOA in the Fall of 2018, I knew that our organization would be advocating for neighborhood housing providers at the city, county and state levels of government.


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  • Ups and Downs - Spring 2023



    I’m a big fan of the NPR Politics Podcast. Every Friday, they end their podcast with “Can’t Let It Go,” a roundtable where all the commentators tell listeners what it is that happened during the past week that they just can’t let go of – in politics or in life!


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  • Tent City in Touhy Park Dismantled, Homeless Shelter Approved

    As reported in Block Club Chicago, the last remnants of the Tent City that had taken over Touhy Park on Clark Street were dismantled and removed at the end of March. Block Club also reports that a 72-bed men’s homeless shelter has been approved at 7464 N. Clark Street.


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  • City Council Considered New Legislation to Prevent “Landlord Neglect”

    The latest assault on housing providers in Chicago comes from Alderwoman Rossana Rodgriguez-Sanchez, representing the 33rd Ward on the city’s northwest side (Albany Park/Avondale).


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  • That’s Interesting…

    I had fun with this last summer, so I thought I’d try it again. I’m always reading stuff that I think is interesting, but that I don’t necessarily get to bounce off anyone else. Well, here’s my golden opportunity!


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  • Belia Rodriguez Running for 49th Ward Alderperson

    Headshot Photographer: Denver Smith

    Belia Rodriguez never planned on running for the Chicago City Council. Even when encouraged by friends and associates, she pushed back, worried that she would have difficulty balancing the needs of the community and her thriving small business.

    But she was also increasingly uncomfortable with the neighborhood’s direction in the wake of the “triple whammy” brought about by the pandemic, civil unrest after the murder of George Floyd, and the sharp political left turn under the leadership of the new Alderperson who talks a lot about consensus but who always seems to side with a core group of far-left ideologues.


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  • Transfer Tax Increase Proposed to Raise Money for Homeless

    The chances of a new ordinance being passed in the Chicago City Council just increased with calls from several Progressive Aldermen to pass the Bring Chicago Home plan that would substantially increase the transfer tax of real estate sales from $5.25 per $500 of sales value, to $15.25 per $500 of sales value on any sale of a commercial property valued at $1 million or greater. This additional transfer tax money would be used to pay for various measures to alleviate homelessness in the city.


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  • Supreme Court Could Consider Rent Control Constitutionality

    The three new justices appointed to the Supreme Court during the Trump administration have already made a big impact on the country’s legal landscape. In just their first term, the Court overturned Roe v. Wade in their controversial Dobbs decision while also favoring gun access over restrictions, and religious over individual rights in other cases.


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  • Affordable Housing Development May Be Coming to Howard Street

    Preliminary plans are in the works for an all-affordable multifamily housing development at the northeast corner of Howard and Paulina Streets. The developer is Housing For All, LLC, which brings together the expertise of several real estate professionals with varied backgrounds and specializations.


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  • Pay Attention to the Numbers




    We live in a time of continuous information. Our phones barrage us with emails, texts, messages and news. Our computers, televisions and tablets stream content with body-cam detail. And since bad news sells advertising more easily than good news, we get overwhelmed by the crisis du jour, which frequently shapes our collective attitudes. Of course, there are real issues and bad news, but it’s important to take a step back sometimes and remind ourselves of the larger picture.


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  • RPBG’s Magical 30th at the Rhapsody Theater



    Over one hundred Rogers Park Builders Group members, guests and friends gathered at the Rhapsody Theater on Morse Avenue recently for a night of magic and celebration as we commemorated our 30th anniversary.

    This is the video made to commemorate the 30th anniversary of RPBG that highlights the accomplishments of the organization and its commitment to the Rogers Park community over its history.


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  • Ups and Downs - Fall 2022



    It’s hard to resist the urge to gaze into my crystal ball (figuratively speaking). I know I should resist the temptation since I am usually wrong anyway. This is an especially dangerous exercise when the future outlook is cloudy. I think we can all agree, we are in one of those moments now.

    There are two things weighing heavily on my mind. One is existential; the other, though probably not life-threatening, is no less unsettling. I’ll start with the one that is literally life and death.


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