Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Power Plant Coming to Printers Row Area?

We received two emails yesterday from concerned residents questioning recent letters they received from Midwest Generation:
Hi Sloopin,
I came home today to a letter from Midwest Energy stating they are building a power plant at Harrison and Wells. See attached copy of the letter. Any information on this? I certainly don't recall a public hearing for anything on that land other than a parking lot to the north of River City.

Here is the second, which talks about a drawing with two smoke stacks:
I live at Financial and Polk and received a very disturbing (and poorly written) letter today - that Edison International's Midwest Generation (a subsidiary) has bought the vacant lot at the corner of Wells and Harrison - and they are breaking ground on a new generation station - coal powered - with 2 smoke stacks (according to the drawing). Now, we get letters all the time when developers decide they want to do add a parking lot, or change from 2 condo towers to 1 - but we get nothing about a power generator (like the one in Pilsen) until it's a done deal?? Had you guys heard about this? Have other sloopers gotten the same letter? And is there anything we can do about it??

It appears that these letters are just coming out now, but this is new news to us (and we didn't receive the letters presumably because we don't live that close to the site).

Anyone else get the letter or have any background on this new power plant that's coming to the neighborhood?

As you may or may not recall, around the same time last year there was a big fuss from some residents about a BMX tournament coming to this lot. Our guess is that most residents would rather have that than a power plant.

UPDATE, just received this pamphlet from a reader:
(Hat tip: LB & BC!)


Anonymous said...

others talking about it here as well:

Anonymous said...

Lovely, a coal plant right downtown... like the air quality isn't crappy enough yet. Who's the asshole who approved this?

Anonymous said...

A Google search on this shows that this site should have information:

However, the site is down.

A Google cached version of the site shows this information:

It does confirm what the letters state. Odd that the main site is down.

The Twitter account @MidwestGen says the following: We're excited to be back in action in the beautiful South Loop!

Let's hope this is not true.

Tom said...

I hope it happens, Chicago needs the jobs.

Maybe people that don't like industry shouldn't live in Chicago.

Anonymous said...

At the very least the could have moved this South of Roosevelt where it would be not in the center of the city! I can only imagine how much of an eyesore this will be it will look and smell just like Gary Indiana.

Anonymous said...

There is plenty of open land just south of Roosevelt where it could be built. It would still have the proximity to the Loop, but not directly neighboring residential buildings. The fact that it is so close to a small residential block of Printers Row is killer for our real estate values and health.

Anonymous said...

Tom - Chicago definitely needs jobs, but not on the backs of the homeowners who are already reeling from falling home prices. I live in the neighborhood and bought my place a little over 4 years ago. I didn't even buy a place that was completely rehabbed, and the value of my condo is already $40k less than what I paid. If this "generation station" happens - it is only going to cause all home prices to fall further. So, you'll end up with more foreclosed units, because no one will buy when a power plant is going in and banks will not allow people to refinance a value that low. So, which is better? Jobs or people being forced to leave their homes/ruin their credit? The 2 don’t have to be mutually exclusive – but, to think that the jobs this plant will add will only be “good” for the city of Chicago, is short-sighted.

Anonymous said...

Tom - If you don't like industry don't move to Gary, Indiana. If you don't like industry, move to downtown Chicago, which is a financial and cultural center. It's not the 1930's anymore.

Anonymous said...

"The 2 don’t have to be mutually exclusive – but, to think that the jobs this plant will add will only be “good” for the city of Chicago, is short-sighted. "

Well, it'll also add jobs for the local doctors and hospitals who'll get more patients with respiratory issues. It's a win win!

And why stop at a power plant, let's get a smelter and some other heavy industry up in here too!

So this is 2nd ward right? Fioretti is ok with this shit?

Anonymous said...

All, I just got an email response from the Alderman's office, as I live in the immediate area and am very concerned. I don't know if this is true or not though:

It appears to be a prank. We have no information otherwise.

Office of Ald. Bob Fioretti
Chicago's 2nd Ward
1319 S. State St., Suite A
Chicago, IL 60605
(312) 263-9273

Anonymous said...

Here's Fioretti's contact page.

Rich Hughes said...

The Zoning from here:


Which I believe doesn't cover powerplants. Also, the land is too expensive to be viable for a powerplant, I would think.

Sloopy said...

If it's a

I did question the pamphlet. If you notice the first page, it has two smoke stakes which look to be drawn by "paint" on your computer.

If anyone gets additional info please let us know.

Anonymous said...

No way this is happening! It would never be allowed by the city. It would be a PR nightmare.

They dont build coal powerstations anymore. It would be a combined cycle gas fired plant. No smoke stack and no coal smell.

Anonymous said...

I think it's a very elaborate joke (for what reason, I don't know). Try to Google the names of those executives and you'll come up empty-handed.

Cabell H. King said...

I received the announcement and have been working to mobilize everyone I know in opposition.

But Fioretti's office assures me that it is an elaborate hoax.

Cabell H. King said...

Did my comment just post.

Fioretti's office assures me that the announcement is a hoax. I still feel unsettled. I hope this is right.

Rich Hughes said...

Has anyone contacted Edison?

Anonymous said...

That space is WAY too small for a coal power plant, LOL. This is the funniest post in a long time.

Anonymous said...

This has to be a prank, presumably from someone who lives near Fisk. Reading the comments on here it seems like it had the desired impact.

"Build it south of Roosevelt" - yeah, in Pilsen maybe. Oh, wait.

Anonymous said... is a sub domain of This is ABSOLUTELY a hoax, and I can assure you the owners of the domain are behind this. Visit their site and you'll notice their design skills are very consistent...from print to web. Hahaha.

Anonymous said...

Tom, We live in Chicago for the Charm of the city. If we wanted smoke stacks and breath low-quality air we would all move to gary. Yes we need the jobs, but why would it have to be in Printer's Row? Put it two miles south of that and I would be much happier about it.

Anonymous said...

This is a hoax, it is not true. How could you people believe that there would be a coal burning energy plant downtown.

Anonymous said...

Fioretti just tweeted: "The flyers recently passed around in Printers Row and the South Loop regarding a proposed fossil fuel power plant are completely false."

Dennis McClendon said...

It is a hoax, as anyone can see by looking at the poorly designed "brochure" with its sentence fragments. There's a second flyer from the nonexistent "Chicago Department of Public Health." An attached letter is from a made-up law firm apparently named for characters in "Sex and the City."

It's not yet clear whether it's simply performance art by Columbia College students or an attempt by folks in Pilsen to raise awareness in other neighborhoods of their fight regarding the Fisk and Crawford generating stations.

Cherise said...

I think Sloopin engineered this to generate site traffic.

James Chase said...

Below is a statement on behalf of my client, Midwest Generation, regarding the hoax:

A letter and pamphlet circulated in recent days to residents of the South Loop and a press release issued today claiming to be from Midwest Generation to announce construction of a power plant in the city are fake.

The materials also refer to a fake Midwest Generation website and twitter account, and have photos and names of supposed Midwest Generation employees which are also fake. Those behind this hoax also misappropriated Midwest Generation's letterhead and logo.

None of these materials came from Midwest Generation, which owns six power plants and a wind farm in the state of Illinois. Midwest Generation is not building a new plant in the city of Chicago.

There also was a protest against the fake plant on April 27 near the intersection of Harrison and Wells. It is unclear if the "protesters" were the perpetrators of the fraud or were duped by it.

Anonymous said...

I work for Com-Ed and I can confirm this rumor to be true. Com-Ed has had concerns for years that the grid in the South Loop has been strained by the massive amount of electricity being consumed by the countless towers full of luxury condos that have been built. They have been in talks to get this built for some time now and it looks like its finally moving forwards.

Also, I can confirm that the river will be used to barge in huge amounts of coal that will be stored in the lot extending from Roosevelt north along the river. A conveyor belt will be built from there to the plant to supply it.

Don't believe what Fioretti is saying, from what I've heard he is in on it. Check his campaign contributions, he gets a lot of money from infrastructure/energy related interests.

James Chase said...

In response to the person pretending to work for ComEd, if there was any truth to this rumor, I think WBEZ would have been able to get to the bottom of it:

Loop Coal! Just kidding.

And I think a ComEd employee would know their company name does not include a hypen.