WBEZ | Chateau Hotel http://www.wbez.org/tags/chateau-hotel Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Last Chateau tenant challenges order to vacate http://www.wbez.org/news/last-chateau-tenant-challenges-order-vacate-107876 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Chateau Hotel_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Despite&nbsp;a judge&rsquo;s order last week that all remaining tenants vacate a single-room occupancy hotel on Chicago&rsquo;s North Side, one holdout remains. Pedro Donaldson is still living in the crumbling SRO, and has filed an appeal to challenge the order.</p><p>But today, building court judge William Pileggi said he believed his original order will withstand the challenge, and ordered the sheriff to remove Donaldson immediately from the Chateau Hotel. Donaldson was not present at the hearing.</p><p>Donaldson, who has been <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/inside-room-317-counting-down-last-days-chateau-hotel-107793" style="text-decoration: none;">filming some of the changes</a> at the Chateau since it came under new ownership early this year, filed his notice of appeal on June 20, the day before the deadline to vacate. In it, he alleges that Pileggi improperly imposed terms of a settlement with the building&rsquo;s owner.</p><p>&ldquo;This judge essentially made rulings on his own, based on no testimony, without any due process, without any notice or an opportunity to be heard,&rdquo; explained Alan Mills, an attorney with the Uptown People&rsquo;s Law Center. &ldquo;As a result, Mr. Donaldson is now at risk of being thrown out on the street any day.&rdquo; Mills is not Donaldson&rsquo;s lawyer, but he did represent other Chateau tenants who tried to fight their evictions, many of whom ultimately accepted &ldquo;cash-for-keys&rdquo; deals with BJB Properties. Mills believes Pileggi&rsquo;s order, as it applied to Donaldson, was unconstitutional.</p><p>Donaldson could not be contacted for comment, but his appeal claims that he should have been allowed to be present in court to argue and agree on terms to vacate the building. Judge Pileggi&rsquo;s order stipulated that BJB Properties pay Donaldson $3,000 if he vacated the Chateau Hotel by midnight on June 21.</p><p>The argument has brought to light the financial deals that BJB Properties extended to the remaining tenants of the Chateau Hotel, which otherwise would have remained confidential. The company paid $3,000 to tenant Robert Rohdenburg, and $1,500 to James Harris for leaving the building by midnight on June 21. Harris was able to find a room at another North Side SRO. Rohdenburg is staying with a friend until he locates an apartment.</p><p><em>Odette Yousef is WBEZ&rsquo;s North Side Bureau reporter. Follow her <a href="http://www.twitter.com/oyousef">@oyousef</a> and <a href="http://www.twitter.com/WBEZoutloud">@WBEZoutloud</a>.</em></p></p> Wed, 26 Jun 2013 17:25:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/last-chateau-tenant-challenges-order-vacate-107876 Inside Room 317: counting down the last days of the Chateau Hotel http://www.wbez.org/news/inside-room-317-counting-down-last-days-chateau-hotel-107793 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Chateau Hotel 1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Tonight at midnight the last tenants of the Chateau Hotel will have to vacate their building, per court order.&nbsp;</p><p>The Chateau is one of several North Side single-room occupancy buildings that developers have bought recently, to turn into upmarket rental housing.</p><p>This has displaced hundreds of low-income residents of the North Side. Robert Rohdenburg will soon be among them.</p><p dir="ltr">Rohdenburg fought his eviction from the Chateau Hotel until the very end. In recent weeks, the new owners started gutting the building, even as he and a few others lived there. In the video below, crews decked out in hazardous materials suits are seen tossing carpets from the building&rsquo;s back windows.</p><p dir="ltr">WBEZ&rsquo;s Odette Yousef asked Rohdenburg to record his last week at the Chateau amidst this chaos. This is what he gave us.</p><iframe width="620" height="349" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/4M0UcouVdBg?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><p><em>Odette Yousef is WBEZ&rsquo;s North Side Bureau reporter. Follow her at <a href="http://twitter.com/oyousef" target="_blank">@oyousef</a> and <a href="http://twitter.com/WBEZoutloud" target="_blank">@WBEZoutloud</a>.</em></p></p> Fri, 21 Jun 2013 07:20:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/inside-room-317-counting-down-last-days-chateau-hotel-107793 Judge orders Chicago’s Chateau Hotel vacated http://www.wbez.org/news/judge-orders-chicago%E2%80%99s-chateau-hotel-vacated-107698 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Chateau Hotel.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A judge has ordered that the three remaining tenants of a single-room occupancy building on Chicago&rsquo;s Far North Side leave by midnight next Friday.</p><p>The Chateau Hotel was the <a href="http://www.wbez.org/chateau-hotel-residents-avoid-immediate-order-vacate-105922" target="_blank">center of a long battle</a> between tenants who believed they were falling victim to gentrification pressures in the city&rsquo;s Uptown neighborhood, and a new property owner who has acquired several similar buildings in three North Side wards. With this order, BJB Properties, which acquired the building early this year, will be free to tear down the building&rsquo;s 138 units, and rebuild them into pricier rental units.</p><p>&ldquo;When we lose a big building like that in Uptown, it affects the segregation of the overall city,&rdquo; said Alan Mills, attorney at the Uptown People&rsquo;s Law Center. Mills represented two of the tenants who still live in the building in their eviction proceedings. He said his clients both opted to accept financial settlements with BJB Properties when it became clear that Judge William Pileggi would likely issue the order to vacate.</p><p>&ldquo;There is very little housing in the city of Chicago that is both affordable to someone who is for example on SSI, meaning that they make something like $700 a month, and is located in an integrated neighborhood,&rdquo; said Mills. &ldquo;The vast majority of that housing is in Uptown.&rdquo;</p><p>Uptown still has the city&rsquo;s highest concentration of SRO buildings in Chicago, <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/slow-disappearing-act-chicago-sro-105836" target="_blank">but in recent years it has been shrinking</a>. Many of these old buildings have deteriorated from neglect, while the surrounding neighborhoods, close to the lake, have grown in value. Many have become embroiled in costly proceedings in the city&rsquo;s buildings court, a situation that has made them ripe for purchase by outside real estate companies who are keen to offload the troubled properties for relatively low prices, and turn them into upmarket housing.</p><p>&ldquo;A lot of the people who were living in the Chateau had issues with their credit,&rdquo; said Mary Tarullo, a community organizer with the Lakeview Action Coalition, which helped mobilize tenants against the eviction. &ldquo;An SRO is ... one of the very few places you can go where that&rsquo;s not an issue.&rdquo;</p><p>Tarullo said city partners, such as Catholic Charities, did what they could to help tenants of the Chateau Hotel find alternative homes. But she said their difficult backgrounds and the dwindling pool of SRO units in the city left some tenants hamstrung.</p><p>&ldquo;We know that a lot of those folks have moved to the South and West Sides. We&rsquo;ve heard of other people who&rsquo;ve gone to homeless shelters,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;We know a few people that ... were actually able to find some units at other SROs. And then others are doubling up with friends.&rdquo;</p><p>Tarullo said, however, that her organization has successfully met with BJB Properties owner James Purcell, Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) and James Cappleman (46th), and several housing providers in Chicago, to discuss rental subsidies in some of the buildings that are being converted. She said they are discussing how to include subsidized housing units in five of Purcell&rsquo;s buildings on the North Side.</p><p>Purcell&rsquo;s company and attorney did not return phone calls.</p><p><em>Odette Yousef is WBEZ&rsquo;s North Side Bureau reporter. Follow her at <a href="http://twitter.com/oyousef" target="_blank">@oyousef</a>.</em></p></p> Fri, 14 Jun 2013 07:39:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/judge-orders-chicago%E2%80%99s-chateau-hotel-vacated-107698