ROGERS PARK — Having a bit of fun on his way out the door, Ald. Joe Moore (49th) sent his residents an April Fools’ Day prank announcing a faux “Howard Yards” development Monday.
In a 950-word newsletter, the outgoing alderman asked residents to review a a proposal for the new “Howard Yards” development — a play on the very real, and controversial, 55-acre Lincoln Yards development.
“Howard Yards is the brainchild of Russian developer Boris Badenov,” read the faux newsletter. “The proposal calls for a 20-story residential tower with 330 rental dwelling units, consisting of a mix of studios and one, two and three-bedroom units. If approved by the Chicago Plan Commission and the City Council, the tower will become Rogers Park’s first super tall skyscraper.”
This isn’t Moore’s first time having fun with his constituents on April Fools’ Day.
Last year, he sent out a fake Trip Advisor post naming Jarvis Beach a Top 25 beach in the nation.
“I’ve done similar jokes in the past, and it’s good way to have some fun with my constituents,” Moore told Block Club Monday. “I hope they have a great April Fools’ Day.”
The ousted alderman has always wanted to play a joke with a fake development, and with Lincoln Yards in the news, it seemed the perfect opportunity.
Poking fun at the controversial Lincoln Yards development, Moore wrote that the faux development of Howard Yards, would be “partnering with Live Nation.”
Moore wrote that Live Nation would develop a “2,000-seat indoor roller derby rink” and a “400-seat music venue on the second floor.”
The proposed site of the fake development would have muscled out the Hello Howard Community Garden. Moore joked the community garden would be moved to the rooftop of the massive skyscraper.
“The use of the property as a community garden was intended to be only temporary until the property could be developed for commercial and/or residential use. But as a part of the negotiation process, I prevailed upon the developer to preserve Hello Howard by transforming it into a beautiful rooftop garden.
Moore also joked that the developer had set aside a portion of the “rooftop garden” for a cannabis farm “in anticipation of the State of Illinois legalizing the production and sale of marijuana.”
Moore wrote that the development would have no on-site parking, but instead encouraged future residents to take advantage of Elon Musk’s scaled-down version of his much talked about O’Hare Hyperloop.
“The high-speed transit system will whisk passengers from the development to the Howard Red Line Station in less than three seconds through a tunnel bored under the Howard Theater building,” Moore wrote.
Instead of a Tax-increment Financing (TIF) dollars, the developer would be raising money to fund the development through a 50/50 ticket raffle, Moore joked.
“Tickets will be sold at $100 a piece to would-be investors, with the winner of the raffle receiving 50 percent of the proceeds and the remaining 50 percent used to finance the development,” wrote Moore. “As I want this amazing development to be a part of my enduring legacy, I have placed the development proposal on a fast track to lock it in before the end of my term as alderman.”
Moore told residents in the April Fools notice that he would not consider constituent concerns as he had already made up his mind.
“As I’ve already decided to support the proposed development, I will respond only to accolades and ‘attaboys,'” he wrote.
Moore left his residents a hint to his hijinks before signing off.
“In the meantime, enjoy this first day of April.”
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