11.30.2009 0

Valerie Jarretts Cronies See Green

  • On: 12/11/2009 09:20:39
  • In: Corruption
  • ALG Editor’s Note: The following is the last of the five part series chronicling past corrupt practices by Valerie Jarrett. The fight to remove one of the closest advisors of Barack Obama does not end here, please check out StopJarrett.com.

    It appears that Jarrett tried to get a contract for Allison Davis, Obama’s former boss. In 1996, Habitat was overseeing the redevelopment of Cabrini Green. Habitat seemed to favor a plan from MCL/ASD LLC. This partnership was the creation of Dan McLean of MCL Development Corporation and Allison Davis. Davis went on to become a major fundraiser for Obama.

    In January 1996, Joseph Shuldiner of HUD and Valerie Jarrett, Executive Vice President of the Habitat Company, the city-sanctioned development manager for the CHA, held a press conference. The press conference noted that proposals were being considered for the redevelopment of the Cabrini-Green homes, and other CHA properties. HUD would be providing funds from HOPE VI, which would be supplemented by other funds from bonds and from city coffers. The goal, a radically new Cabrini-Green. According to the Shuldiner, the “screening committee” was composed of “Cabrini Green residents, CHA, City of Chicago, and HUD officials and two (Mayoral) appointed community representatives.” Although, it was clear in the process that Jarrett had much power in the evaluation process.

    “The Habitat Company will be engaged in an extensive evaluation of each of the qualifying proposals, ascertaining their financial, technical, physical, social and aesthetic merits…. To arrive at a successful plan, technical excellence must match community need and conversely we need to know that any plan that the community favors will actually be feasible to build.”

    After looking at dozens of proposals, Habitat seemed to come down in support of a proposal by architect and developer Dan McLean, developer for Central Station on the South Side, the residential community of Mayor Daley. McLean is the President of the MCL Development Corporation. His proposal would raze most of CG’s 3200 units, home to 7,300 of the city’s poorest people. In its place would be built low-rise rowhouses. However, it was not clear in the plan what would be done for the low- income residents.

    . . .

    McLean’s proposal called for $50 million from the city, state and federal government. Crain’s Chicago Business reported that McLean was prepared to ask the city to set up a Tax Increment Finance District (TIF) to pay for $5.8 million in site improvements. While the CHA in 1996 had committed only 3 buildings to be razed, McLean’s proposal called for the demolition of 21 of 23 of the high rises, and total redevelopment of the land in question. The end result, for McLean, would be “an end to the decades-long debacle of economic and racial isolation, crime and bad politics that have made Cabrini-Green synonymous with the worst ills of public housing.”

    Continue reading here.

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