Thursday, September 3, 2009

Q the Eye/09.03.09

Dear LakeCountyEye,

Just yesterday us real estate developers were king of the hill. Nowadays I'm lucky if I can get my bookie to return my calls. I can't get loans to build classy high-end condos. When I do, the condos don't sell. I got a wife, kids and girlfriend to support. And don't be telling me to get a job!

What a Revolting Development
Dear Rev,

Being allergic to gainful employment in the likewise, your LakeCountyEye wouldn't dream of it. Everyone knows a horror story about some real estate developer getting, heh heh, hammered in the collapse. But don't call that Chapter 11 attorney or that claims adjuster just yet. Hope is on the horizon, if nestled on that horizon is the Village of Wheeling. Lately the Village of Wheeling has been a virtual b-school case study of the symbiotic relationship between the real estate developer and elected village officials.

One Wheeling hotel developer in particular has to be admired for creativity. After running out of money halfway through a hotel project, the developer found a partner to bail him out. The hotel is up and running now, but the village is demanding to see promised improvements to the property. Unfortunately the developer is still broke. And the partner is balking. What to do? Why not slap a special room tax on the hotel? The tax money (an estimated million per year) goes directly into the developer's pocket, who uses the funds to buy out the partner. And hopefully by then the improvements all take care of themselves.

You're probably saying to yourself, LakeCountyEye you're pulling my leg, no Village is gullible enough to ever consider a proposal like that. Well, read about it here in the Daily Herald.


Wheeling may also want to have its village well tested -- another local developer there is currently under water. How far under? Three million under, on a partially completed condo project. The Village is eager to help, but three million is a lot of money to pull out of a hat even for a freewheelin' burg like Wheeling. Luckily, the Wheeling Park District has plenty of cash on hand. And this developer has plenty of property. So if the developer just happens to swap some of his unused property for some of the Park District's unused money, then problem solved.

Now you're probably saying to yourself, LakeCountyEye you're drooling on my shoes and calling it rain -- no Village is brazen enough to even attempt to finesse a proposal like that. Agreed, but it does help if the developer's wife happens to sit on the Park Board. And if the company realtor happens to sit on the planning commission. Read about it here in the Daily Herald.

P.S. and to make sure they know you can't wait forever for your money, get one of your people to write a snarky letter to the Daily Herald.


Your LakeCountyEye has heard legends about how in the days of yore, when giants roamed the earth, Wheeling was a giant piggy bank for anyone who wanted to live large at the public trough. And one day the townsfolk finally got fed up, wielded a giant broom, and swept their town clean. Well, lucky for you, that is only a legend. Take it from your LakeCountyEye, pack the bags and the wives and hop the next train to Wheeling.

If you are an elected official, or a previously elected official, or just a private citizen under indictment, send your political questions to Q the Eye c/o ...


IllinoisJim said...

Just got my account with Eye. This is a test. Hi to all.

Barney Baxter said...

Hi IllinoisJim