Best Laid Plans of ‘Mice’ and Men Spark Everyblock Thread on Rat Infested Vacant Lot at 1888 N. Milwaukee Ave.
“I have been trying to locate the owner of these vacant lots. They are completely infested with rats…fearless rats that have taken to milling about the sidewalk in broad daylight. The Alderman has not responded to my requests for information — any idea how I can identify the owner(s)?” - posted Hannah K on Everyblock.com
Two years ago, specifically March of 2010, the plan was for the vacant land at 1868 N. Milwaukee (next to the HSA Substance Abuse Center) to become not just our neighborhood’s, but our nation’s first ever fully automated LEED Gold-certified Green Parking Garage. Read all about it here. We reported on it in a past pipeline newsletter, though it would take too long to dig it up in our archives. At right is an e-invite from the WPB chamber issued to nearby business owners in early March 2010.
In February of 2011- despite the fact that it was only six months away from the completion of a project estimated to cost $7 million, there was a ‘ground breaking’ ceremony attended by Fuller as well as Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn. Red Eye reporter Jeff Yoders covered the ceremony. Photo from a press release that the pipeline received too and had later deleted when we cleaned out our in-box. We’d had mixed feelings on the garage and had opted to not report on it further.
Alderman Moreno had heralded the garage, along with the chamber, though in informal conversations with local business owners along the stretch, many folks told the pipeline that they thought it wasn’t needed or necessary considering our stretch of Milwaukee Avenue has ample street parking.
Now it’s August 2012. The sign advertising the garage is now gone (we had a photo of that on our stolen laptop), but the wooden stakes are still there, and the garage website says Spring 2013. See photo at right, snapped this morning (Aug. 8th, 2012). The vacated land has attracted trash, rats, and curiosity from Everyblockers like Hannah K. On June 30, 2011 volunteer members of the Special Service Area #33 had discussed the then blighted non-garage in their meeting minutes (click here to read notes- requires logging into gmail to view Google docs) and wondered whether or not to support the garage with the fund of taxpayer dollars that they oversee and disburse. In July of 2011, VLF sponsored a Johalla Projects art installation across the street from the proposed garage.
VLF Development lists its business address as a condominium at 1821 N. Milwaukee Avenue. A voicemail message was left for Fuller. We will report back on the status of the Green Garage and if it’s still on track for Spring 2013 when we know more.
As for us, we’re not trying to raise $7 millon- just a mere $750 to cover half of the cost of our stolen laptop (renter’s insurance covered the other half). If you are one of the many hundreds of our regular readers and appreciate the time we take to report on such news and non news like this, consider finding us on paypal.com and sending a couple bucks to recipient “email@example.com.” We receive no funding from any entity outside of the advertisers you see in our newsletter, on our website, and in our printed magazines, published twice yearly. Many thanks to everyone that’s donated thus far. We raised almost $200 and are very grateful for your readership and support.
Update: Kenneth Fuller, Vicki’s brother, returned The Pipeline’s call at 11 am. today and confirmed that he owns the lot/property. Mr. Fuller reported that he too is concerned about rodents and that the lot will be cleaned. In case you’re curious, too, the garage plans are “moving forward.”