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HurricaneBear wrote: Wed Aug 16, 2023 5:49 am I'm not from Illinois so if this is too political please just ignore or delete this question. If the site is so environmentally dangerous, why isn't the government doing something about it?
If left to be, it's not dangerous. Building something there would require it cleaned up.
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It's all negotiation theater. The Bears are going to develop Arlington for a new stadium. They've wanted to for decades. Long before the Soldier Field renovation was done. This is a negotiating tactic by Kevin Warren. The Arlington Heights local government has to sell this to its citizens, and they will. The new stadium will be in Arlington Heights. There is a Metra Station track RIGHT next to the property. No site in Chicago has more room, or will be easier to develop than this one. It's just a process when you're talking about this much money, and who gets what.
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Bears Whiskey Nut wrote: Wed Aug 16, 2023 7:59 am It's all negotiation theater. The Bears are going to develop Arlington for a new stadium. They've wanted to for decades. Long before the Soldier Field renovation was done. This is a negotiating tactic by Kevin Warren. The Arlington Heights local government has to sell this to its citizens, and they will. The new stadium will be in Arlington Heights. There is a Metra Station track RIGHT next to the property. No site in Chicago has more room, or will be easier to develop than this one. It's just a process when you're talking about this much money, and who gets what.
Metro you say? I'm sold!

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HurricaneBear wrote: Wed Aug 16, 2023 5:49 am I'm not from Illinois so if this is too political please just ignore or delete this question. If the site is so environmentally dangerous, why isn't the government doing something about it?
The answer like most things (and like everything in this thread)

Money
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Bears Whiskey Nut wrote: Wed Aug 16, 2023 7:59 am It's all negotiation theater. The Bears are going to develop Arlington for a new stadium. They've wanted to for decades. Long before the Soldier Field renovation was done. This is a negotiating tactic by Kevin Warren. The Arlington Heights local government has to sell this to its citizens, and they will. The new stadium will be in Arlington Heights. There is a Metra Station track RIGHT next to the property. No site in Chicago has more room, or will be easier to develop than this one. It's just a process when you're talking about this much money, and who gets what.
Totally agreed with all of this.
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A few thoughts ….

The real crux of the issue here is the Property Taxes, which are assessed by the Cook County Tax Assessor Fritz Kaegi. Kaegi has political aspirations beyond the Assessors job and will probably be pushing for Cook County Board President once Toni Preckwinkle retires.
"We found the market value to be consistent with both the Bears' recent purchase price and other large properties which were purchased for redevelopment,” Kaegi’s spokesman said in a statement. “The Assessor’s Office believes the $197.2 million market value is a fair and accurate assessment of the value of the property.”
The local AH school board has also presented to the Assessor that they believe the market value is $150M.
Bears response: "The proposed assessment of the unoccupied property we purchased, and the taxes associated with it, would be more than five times what the property generated when it had an income-producing racetrack operating on it. Arlington Park would not be redeveloped by anyone at such an excessive property tax rate.”
This isn't (yet) so much about the tax rate of the facility once it is built and operational (that's a different fight for a different day), it's about the taxes for the undeveloped property moving from $2.75M/year for an operating commercial entity to $16.75M/year for a property that has no earning potential for 3+ years. And oh, by the way - the construction of that facility will create thousands of jobs that will be paying taxes in Illinois.

The South Works site is a non-starter. My dad worked there in management for 20+ years before US Steel shut it down and moved everything to Gary Works in Indiana in 1992. The problem there is three fold: 1) the soil is contaminated, but US Steel (which still owns the land) got a No Further Remediation Notice from the EPA that said they didn't need to do anymore to address the issue. However, before the site can be built upon, the new owner will have to do substantial work to make the site inhabitable. 2) The location of South Works is really quite inconvenient and is not actively addressed by any public transportation options today - all new major infrastructure would need to built in order to handle the flow of the traffic into the area. The site is on the far east side (on the lake as the ships carrying the ore for steel production would dock directly at the plant) and 87th Street to the South. Not historically a "terrible" neighborhood, but 60 to 70% of Bears' STHs live in the suburbs, especially the West and North suburbs (present company included). Oh, and by the way, anything in Cook County is subject to the same Tax Assessor. It's realistically never going to happen.

Arlington Heights is 100% the best option for the Bears.
They already own the land
It is serviced by a Metra station
It is highly accessible via Illinois Route 53 and Interstate 90
It is much closer/convenient to the vast majority of their STHs
It is immediately ready to develop - and a massive track of pristine land

Ultimately, where the Bears played this wrong was not getting tax assurances prior to purchasing the land. They got pregnant before anyone offered to help pay for the wedding. That sits squarely on Ted Phillips and whoever the consultant was that advised them on the sale. Now Kevin Warren shows up with a flaming bag of dog poop and the only way to put it out is to step on it. He needs to get Cook County back to the table. The Chicago opportunity is limited for the same reasons that AH and South Works are challenges in that if they intend to purchase the land and build and own the facility, they will have the same assessment issue. It's the carrying cost for the land prior to it becoming a functional revenue-generating entity. And the longer this drags on, the more expensive it is for the Bears to hold the AH property.

I wouldn't be surprised if a future move of the Bears is to re-list the property for sale (not they intend to sell it, but to show how serious they are about considering other locations.)

"Everything is on the table," Warren told Peter King on his podcast this week.
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Thanks everyone.

Didn't realize South Works was an old steel plant that looks like it was up and running in the 70s (moved to Gary in '92 and Wulfy's dad worked there 20 years). I've had to deal with some environmental cases that had issues concerning the Superfund Act. That gets very costly very quickly. I've seen cases where the cleanup is several times more than the value of the land. Simply the due diligence the team would need to do to determine the clean up cost would be a ton. Also, in the cases I've dealt with, it seems like the projected cost of clean up always fall sort of the actual cost.
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Arkansasbear wrote: Wed Aug 16, 2023 2:34 pm Thanks everyone.

Didn't realize South Works was an old steel plant that looks like it was up and running in the 70s (moved to Gary in '92 and Wulfy's dad worked there 20 years). I've had to deal with some environmental cases that had issues concerning the Superfund Act. That gets very costly very quickly. I've seen cases where the cleanup is several times more than the value of the land. Simply the due diligence the team would need to do to determine the clean up cost would be a ton. Also, in the cases I've dealt with, it seems like the projected cost of clean up always fall sort of the actual cost.
I think that's exactly why it's been abandoned for 30+ years.
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wulfy wrote: Wed Aug 16, 2023 2:51 pm
Arkansasbear wrote: Wed Aug 16, 2023 2:34 pm Thanks everyone.

Didn't realize South Works was an old steel plant that looks like it was up and running in the 70s (moved to Gary in '92 and Wulfy's dad worked there 20 years). I've had to deal with some environmental cases that had issues concerning the Superfund Act. That gets very costly very quickly. I've seen cases where the cleanup is several times more than the value of the land. Simply the due diligence the team would need to do to determine the clean up cost would be a ton. Also, in the cases I've dealt with, it seems like the projected cost of clean up always fall sort of the actual cost.
I think that's exactly why it's been abandoned for 30+ years.
A firm I worked for in law school had me doing some research regarding a piece of land a client was going to be able to get for $1. When we got our environment report on they said "no" as the clean up cost were going to be so costly. There are some site out there that will likely never get cleaned up due to the cost.
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What I'm puzzled about is:

a) How much are they paying in annual taxes on that unused land? Is paying that in perpetuity really better than cleaning?
b) Why would the EPA let them off with No Further Remediation on a site that is so contaminated that it is unusable and sits within the boundaries of a major city?
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Moriarty wrote: Wed Aug 16, 2023 3:04 pm What I'm puzzled about is:

a) How much are they paying in annual taxes on that unused land? Is paying that in perpetuity really better than cleaning?
b) Why would the EPA let them off with No Further Remediation on a site that is so contaminated that it is unusable and sits within the boundaries of a major city?
Typically because the contamination is "contained" and it won't spread so long as the land isn't disturbed. Don't know about that site, but many times the land owner has to spend a great deal of money just to get to the no further remediation status. Heck, several companies got bankrupted due to those cost. In those cases the Superfund would many time be used to finish up the clean up. There are lots of sites out there like that.

Similar things can happen with buildings that have asbestos. The asbestos is contained behind walls or other barriers. So long as those are not disturbed, the building is safe for use. If the owner wants to do some sort of remodeling, they have to go through the process of having the asbestos removed before they can do that. That was the case with our old courthouse that was build in the 20s as part of the New Deal program. We needed to do some remodeling to make it workable but the cost to remove the asbestos was through the roof. So we built a new courts building and repurposed the courthouse to house county offices.
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Arkansasbear wrote: Wed Aug 16, 2023 3:27 pm
Moriarty wrote: Wed Aug 16, 2023 3:04 pm What I'm puzzled about is:

a) How much are they paying in annual taxes on that unused land? Is paying that in perpetuity really better than cleaning?
b) Why would the EPA let them off with No Further Remediation on a site that is so contaminated that it is unusable and sits within the boundaries of a major city?
Typically because the contamination is "contained" and it won't spread so long as the land isn't disturbed. Don't know about that site, but many times the land owner has to spend a great deal of money just to get to the no further remediation status. Heck, several companies got bankrupted due to those cost. In those cases the Superfund would many time be used to finish up the clean up. There are lots of sites out there like that.

Similar things can happen with buildings that have asbestos. The asbestos is contained behind walls or other barriers. So long as those are not disturbed, the building is safe for use. If the owner wants to do some sort of remodeling, they have to go through the process of having the asbestos removed before they can do that. That was the case with our old courthouse that was build in the 20s as part of the New Deal program. We needed to do some remodeling to make it workable but the cost to remove the asbestos was through the roof. So we built a new courts building and repurposed the courthouse to house county offices.
Yeah, I get that it's 'safe if it remains untouched/abandoned'.

But i don't understand why it's ok to "kill" a huge portion of land within a major metropolis.
Plus, what happens when companies drag their feet on cleanups, just pay the property tax on the abandoned land for decades, then go bankrupt (possibly after pulling various 'restructuring' shenanigans or sucking the company dry via excessive executive salary)?
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Moriarty wrote: Wed Aug 16, 2023 5:40 pm
Arkansasbear wrote: Wed Aug 16, 2023 3:27 pm

Typically because the contamination is "contained" and it won't spread so long as the land isn't disturbed. Don't know about that site, but many times the land owner has to spend a great deal of money just to get to the no further remediation status. Heck, several companies got bankrupted due to those cost. In those cases the Superfund would many time be used to finish up the clean up. There are lots of sites out there like that.

Similar things can happen with buildings that have asbestos. The asbestos is contained behind walls or other barriers. So long as those are not disturbed, the building is safe for use. If the owner wants to do some sort of remodeling, they have to go through the process of having the asbestos removed before they can do that. That was the case with our old courthouse that was build in the 20s as part of the New Deal program. We needed to do some remodeling to make it workable but the cost to remove the asbestos was through the roof. So we built a new courts building and repurposed the courthouse to house county offices.
Yeah, I get that it's 'safe if it remains untouched/abandoned'.

But i don't understand why it's ok to "kill" a huge portion of land within a major metropolis.
Plus, what happens when companies drag their feet on cleanups, just pay the property tax on the abandoned land for decades, then go bankrupt (possibly after pulling various 'restructuring' shenanigans or sucking the company dry via excessive executive salary)?
When powerful people care that it gets cleaned up, it happens. (If it was on the North side, it would already have happened.)

Until then, it's a tax write-off for other powerful people.
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Warren told Peter King that the Bears will decide on a rhe site within 12 months.
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Grizzled wrote: Thu Aug 17, 2023 7:48 am Warren told Peter King that the Bears will decide on a rhe site within 12 months.
My money is still on AH.

For me personally …..

The location between AH and SF is a non-issue .... AH is 25.2 miles from my house and Soldier Field is 23.2.

There is also the issue of I've invested a pretty fair amount of cash in a PSL at SF. I'm 55 years old today (jeez-us, how did that happen?) and it's realistically 4 to 5 years before a new stadium is built. At which point, I'll be near 60 - do I want to reinvest in a new PSL?

Additionally, I don't intend to live in Illinois a moment longer than I need to when I retire - so making 8 to 9 home games a year probably isn't really feasible. I'd have to see how interested my kids are in keeping the tickets.
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wulfy wrote: Thu Aug 17, 2023 8:33 am
Grizzled wrote: Thu Aug 17, 2023 7:48 am Warren told Peter King that the Bears will decide on a rhe site within 12 months.
My money is still on AH.
They will develop the site whether or not the property taxes are lowered. $10M/yr difference in the tax payment during development is peanuts. But the Bears also don't want to give away money, or make the local governments believe that they can soak the franchise for moving there. The property is a sports franchise developers wet dream; 300+ acres, next to highway and mass transit access, close to high income per capita neighborhoods, loads of shopping and restaurants in the area, etc. There is no way in hell that this project doesn't go through. The Bears will develop the property with restaurants, bars, Bears attractions, plenty of parking, fan fun activities on game day, business parks, green spaces, etc. It will be a year around cash cow for the franchise. That doesn't happen in downtown Chicago, Aurora, or Waukegan. The franchise will almost double in value when the site is done. Right now they are setting a precedent on how they will do business, and level setting expectations.
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Bears Whiskey Nut wrote: Thu Aug 17, 2023 8:52 am
wulfy wrote: Thu Aug 17, 2023 8:33 am

My money is still on AH.
They will develop the site whether or not the property taxes are lowered. $10M/yr difference in the tax payment during development is peanuts. But the Bears also don't want to give away money, or make the local governments believe that they can soak the franchise for moving there. The property is a sports franchise developers wet dream; 300+ acres, next to highway and mass transit access, close to high income per capita neighborhoods, loads of shopping and restaurants in the area, etc. There is no way in hell that this project doesn't go through. The Bears will develop the property with restaurants, bars, Bears attractions, plenty of parking, fan fun activities on game day, business parks, green spaces, etc. It will be a year around cash cow for the franchise. That doesn't happen in downtown Chicago, Aurora, or Waukegan. The franchise will almost double in value when the site is done. Right now they are setting a precedent on how they will do business, and level setting expectations.
You nailed it.
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wulfy wrote: Thu Aug 17, 2023 8:33 am
Grizzled wrote: Thu Aug 17, 2023 7:48 am Warren told Peter King that the Bears will decide on a rhe site within 12 months.
My money is still on AH.

For me personally …..

The location between AH and SF is a non-issue .... AH is 25.2 miles from my house and Soldier Field is 23.2.

There is also the issue of I've invested a pretty fair amount of cash in a PSL at SF. I'm 55 years old today (jeez-us, how did that happen?) and it's realistically 4 to 5 years before a new stadium is built. At which point, I'll be near 60 - do I want to reinvest in a new PSL?

Additionally, I don't intend to live in Illinois a moment longer than I need to when I retire - so making 8 to 9 home games a year probably isn't really feasible. I'd have to see how interested my kids are in keeping the tickets.
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The 5-5 club.? My 'stache almost has you guys beat ....

I'm betting on A-H also. The Bears won't be getting their 40 year freeze on property taxes but a compromise will be done giving A-H more on taxes than they got from Churchill, more than the Bears want to pay, but less than the assessors are socking the team for. I don't think those with existing PSLs will get much of a credit for them.
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Kevin Warren talks Bears on TV broadcast

One of the most significant items on Warren's to-do list with the Bears is the construction of a new state-of-the-art stadium.

As Vikings chief operating officer, Warren was instrumental in the design, development and planning of U.S. Bank Stadium—which opened in 2016 and hosted Super Bowl XXLI on Feb. 4, 2018—as well as the Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center, the Vikings' training facility.

"I look at it as a great opportunity," Warren said. "We've been fortunate to have a phenomenal fan base, so to have an opportunity to work on another stadium is a dream come true. I'm excited about how it goes and where we end up and how it comes together.

"We just have to stay disciplined. We have to be methodical. We have to be patient. We have to do what's right and keep in mind the magnitude and power of a great gameday experience. Our fans deserve it, the NFL deserves it, and our players deserve it.

"I am excited to be here and to be able to work on it. We'll get it done the right way at the right time. We've got some great partners and we just need to be very disciplined and take our time to do it the right way."

Full article: https://www.chicagobears.com/news/kevin ... t-eberflus
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Kevin Warren penned a letter to season ticketholders regarding a new stadium. Nothing revolutionary. Pretty much says the team wants an indoor multi-use stadium (Super Bowls, concerts, NCAA basketball games, etc.). They want development surrounding the new stadium. The team is talking to several municipalities besides AH (which we knew). He doesn't rule out a stadium in Chicago but I don't know if there's any site meeting the requirements.

https://www.chicagobears.com/news/kevin ... et-holders
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Bears delay Springfield stadium legislation drive this year

The Chicago Bears say they’ll run out the legislative clock this year rather than take a shot at the end zone in Springfield for a massive property tax break that would help them build a new stadium in Arlington Heights.

Team president Kevin Warren released a statement this week saying they “want to appropriately explore all opportunities” from Chicago to the suburbs where officials have pitched the team to bear down, so they “will not be pursuing legislative support for mega projective incentive legislation” during the veto session scheduled to start next month.

“Our process to find the best stadium solution for our franchise, our fans and the region continues to be methodical and intentional,” Warren said. “Thanks to the leadership of Mayor Brandon Johnson and his team, we have recently engaged in positive and productive discussions with the City of Chicago. We also continue to have dialogue with officials in Arlington Heights and other Chicagoland locations about a Chicago Bears stadium project.”

Warren’s latest comments, issued Wednesday, struck another note of optimism for fans hoping to see the Bears stay within the city limits. Last week, in a letter to season ticket holders, Warren wrote that team leaders were “thankful for the vision” Johnson and his top aides have shared to keep the team in Chicago.

Not that the first-term mayor has revealed that vision. Arlington Heights remains the only concrete alternative the team has floated as a stadium upgrade from aging Soldier Field — and the only one where the team has put down any money.
...

Full article: https://chicago.suntimes.com/bears/2023 ... to-session
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And yet another suburb throws their hat into the ring:

https://www.yahoo.com/news/another-chic ... 51321.html
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And now it comes out that Kevin Warren is looking at the South lot on the Soldier's Field site. It is not clear if the Bears would seek to knock down Soldier's Field if it comes to that. The stadium lost its historical landmark status in 2006 after the renovations so there is no legal impediment. However, it holds a place near and dear to the hearts of some Chicagoans and there may be too much public opposition to doing this. And the Bears still paying for the renovations. AH has some advantages but, man, a lakefront stadium still is pretty attractive if parking issues, access, etc. can be improved with one.

https://www.nbcsportschicago.com/nfl/ch ... rt/523741/
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Grizzled wrote: Thu Dec 07, 2023 11:30 am And now it comes out that Kevin Warren is looking at the South lot on the Soldier's Field site. It is not clear if the Bears would seek to knock down Soldier's Field if it comes to that. The stadium lost its historical landmark status in 2006 after the renovations so there is no legal impediment. However, it holds a place near and dear to the hearts of some Chicagoans and there may be too much public opposition to doing this. And the Bears still paying for the renovations. AH has some advantages but, man, a lakefront stadium still is pretty attractive if parking issues, access, etc. can be improved with one.

https://www.nbcsportschicago.com/nfl/ch ... rt/523741/
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I don't see how this changes things for the Bears unless they somehow procure that land so they're the owners.
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I just don't know what they will do with all the land in AH if they build somewhere else.
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Sell it to a real estate developer and make money.
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Z Bear wrote: Thu Dec 07, 2023 5:27 pm Sell it to a real estate developer and make money.
I just always had the impression they overpaid a bit it, so I was assuming they’d take a loss on it.
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A bit more on issues building a stadium within Chicago. Significant opposition to a lakefront stadium near the present one:

https://chicago.suntimes.com/bears/2023 ... warren-nfl

I've read this before and saw it again this a.m. The writer was saying the South Lot just isn't big enough and said the city and team should look at filling in Burnham Harbor for a site. Talk about igniting your basic firestorm if that was officially proposed.
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