Everyone please bear with me as I'm trying to make heads or tails of everything going on with various developments in and around Wrigley Field.
If I understand things correctly, Alderman Tom Tunney is opposed to the proposed Toyota sign that will rise above the left field bleachers because it is not in keeping with the character of the neighborhood. I know this because Fran Spielman reported in the Sun-Times:
"[Tunney] drew the line at the see-through sign that, he argued, is “not in keeping with the character of the neighborhood or the spirit of the landmarks” designation. Even worse, it sets a dangerous precedent, he said."
Well, let's take a look at that proposed sign. Here is an artist's rendering of it from that same Sun-Times story:
It's different from what we are used to seeing within the ballpark, that is true, but is it really not in keeping with the character of Wrigleyville?
Perhaps some of you folks might remember this fun sign on the corner of Clark and Patterson:
That isn't garish and unsightly at all. In fact, I'm a bit surprised this panoramic scene hasn't been featured as a greeting card or a backdrop for one of those paperback romances you find in the airport newstands. I lived in the neighborhood when that egg was the view from my kitchen and I never heard a word about the character of the neighborhood being ruined.
Maybe he means that the big bad corporation of Toyota is going to unfairly horn in on the neighborhood's kitschy small, locally owned business feel. At least McDonald's was a member of the community when they put up their horribly ugly and cheesy sign. All of those local businesses crammed together, fighting for attention with their signs are likely to get a bit tacky. That must be it. Tom Tunney is a supporter of the local business owners who make the neighborhood what it is.
So, of course, Tom Tunney must be the loudest opposition to the proposed development known as "Addison Park on Clark," right? Afterall, this development will push local establishments like the iO Theatre, Mullen's, Salt & Pepper Diner and Sports World out while bringing in tenants like a Hyatt hotel, Best Buy, Dominicks, and CVS. If a singular Toyota sign is setting such bad precedent, surely Mr. Tunney must agree that allowing a gigantic, 8-story multiplex into the neighborhood would not be starting down a slippery slope, it would be jumping off of a cliff into the selling of Wrigleyville's soul. Right? Tom?
Again according to Fran Spielman:
"But [Tunney] emphatically insisted that developer Anthony Rossi's project was "a good development for the neighborhood," particularly during a prolonged recession."
Oh. It's good. But what about the businesses that are getting shut out of their locations?
"'These are Chicago names that are savvy operators. They will find a way to either get back in the development or find another opportunity. And in this market, there are plenty of opportunities,' including the shuttered Lakeshore Theater at Belmont and Broadway."
I see. So, one sign that partially obscures a sign that is intended to make people gamble and will probably result in making people want to buy a Toyota so they can drive to the casino in order to bet the new car is bad and must be stopped at all costs. Kicking numerous local business owners out of their locations during a down economy so that big corporations like Best Buy can make more profits is something that should go full speed ahead.
Mr. Tunney? Can we cut out the bullshit rhetoric about the integrity of the fucking neighborhood when the only real reasons you oppose or favor anything happening in that neighborhood are based solely on reasons that involve dollar signs? Just shut up about your slippery slopes and worrying about how Wrigleyville will go in the toilet because of one sign and tell us how much money you want and where Tom Ricketts should send it. It will just be easier that way.