Friday, May 4, 2007

Not holding my breath or whistling Dixie in Harvey

Funny how elections can create false optimism. Even in the run-up to the election last month, Harvey Mayor Eric Kellogg was hailing John Deneen's effort to develop Dixie Square Mall into a power center. (Yes, this is the mall where they filmed the car chase in The Blues Brothers.) Problem is, according to, it looks like demolition halted last November.

The Tribune is reporting today about the plethora of problems facing development, including over $1MM in contractor liens, a foreclosure action on the dirt, criminal allegations, asbestos removal name it. The Daily Southtown also reported on this issue a month or so ago (typical south suburban coverage by the Trib, if you ask me.)

Kellogg was, by the way, elected for another term, notwithstanding accusations of impropriety being made by the Southtown on his part in running the town. Conveniently, it took the village a year to find certain records, which were released three days after the election. I guess I would like to hold my breath, come to think of it. But for how long?

So much for the "miracle on Dixie Highway," at least for now. By the way, the 57 acres that have been sitting vacant since 1979 were sold originally to Deneen for $500,000, or less than $8800/acre. (A fair price given the demo, land values in Harvey and the asbestos remediation necessary.) Will anyone even pay that now? Nope. Unless that miracle that Mayor Kellogg spoke of occurs, I'm betting perhaps five to ten years down the road before something will happen there.