Summer 2020 Edition
Rogers Park Builder
Rogers Park Builders Group is a diverse group of property owners and business people who are active in the Rogers Park community – itself, Chicago’s most ethnically and racially diverse neighborhood.
We are proud of our community – a model for the city and the nation, proving people of divergent backgrounds can come together to create a thriving, cohesive and peaceful community.
Fashion is a funny thing. Today’s must-have item can quickly turn into tomorrow’s pariah, and then back again when a new generation rediscovers an old look.
I guess you could say that this is what is currently happening to Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) – including garden apartments, coach houses and other “ancillary units” that are part of, but distinct from, the primary dwelling unit or apartment building. ADUs were an integral part of Chicago’s early development, but were banned in the mid-50s as outmoded and undesirable. Now, after an absence of more than half a century, the humble ADU seems to have found new respect. It is also on the verge of regaining “legal” status.
If you were asked to guess which group of local politicians were the strongest supporters of affordable housing, you would probably say the Aldermen and women who identify as Progressives. Maybe you would single out the six members of the Democratic Socialist Caucus since these individuals have been especially vocal in their calls for more affordable housing.
But, a quick review of the track record of some of these Aldermen yields a surprising result. The often dismissive and combative stance they have shown to housing developers has resulted in multiple missed opportunities and failed developments. This, despite the diligent efforts of many builders to forge relationships with these Aldermen and to work toward compromises that would result in much needed affordable units. The surprising truth is that there is a major disconnect between the rhetoric and the results of these politicians.
It is fair to say that property owners and developers feel increasingly under siege, both in Chicago and across Illinois, with the flood of legislation that has been proposed or passed at all levels of government in recent months.
A group of RPBG members decided to try to document this legislation to see how bad it has become. When we were done, even we were surprised to see just how long and, frankly, ugly “The List” has become.
My dad’s personal philosophy was based on the premise that people are basically good, and will try to do the right thing if they can. They want to be understood, not defined by stereotypes and misconceptions.
While I tried challenging him over the years, I find myself echoing this to my kids, and have found that many others believe something pretty close.
I don’t usually put my name on the articles I write for RPBG. But this one is different. This one is personal. And this one needs to start with a thank-you.

I first met Stacie Young, Preservation Compact Director at Community Investment Corporation, about three years ago when she and I were both invited to attend a meeting of the NBOA (Neighborhood Building Owner’s Alliance). I was immediately impressed with Stacie’s grasp of the major housing issues facing our industry and her reasonableness in balancing the goals and objectives of both property owners and tenants’ organizations.
Since that first meeting, Stacie and I have gotten together regularly to talk about important housing issues and legislation, and to compare notes on the perspectives of both the property owner groups that I speak for, and the tenants’ rights organizations with which Stacie has established strong working relationships.
In the fall 2019 newsletter, I reported on the erosion problems at the three beaches on Eastlake Terrace. At that time, all three parks were to be fenced off for safety reasons with no additional short term park district “fixes.”
In early December, Alderwoman Hadden hosted a meeting at Willye White Park to present what the Chicago Park District, partnering with the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT), were planning to do to save the parks on Eastlake Terrace. They showed plans to put extensive “riprap” rocks of varying sizes at Juneway, Rogers and Howard beaches. CDOT was involved because they are charged with protecting city infrastructure. Alderwoman Hadden explained that this would be a three to five year “fix,” with hopes that a long term extensive plan for the entire Lakefront would be undertaken.
It’s pretty much impossible to have a conversation with Sal Becovic and not get caught up in his exuberance, enthusiasm and general zest for life. He is as passionate about his business as he is about his personal life, and he is happy to tell anyone who might be interested how he came to run one of the largest apartment portfolios in the RPBG network.
But Sal’s story is really the story of the immigrant experience. Sal is a first generation American whose parents arrived in this country with almost nothing yet, against all odds, were able to build an impressive real estate portfolio with not much more than their own resilience, determination and grit. These values were passed along to their four sons, all of whom have all gone on to have successful careers of their own. Sal – son number three – took over the Chicago portfolio his parents first put together and has since greatly expanded it. This says a lot about Sal’s own skills and abilities, but you won’t hear him take any of the credit. Instead, he says all credit goes to his parents and the invaluable lessons they taught him.
“Fair Notice” to City Hall: New Law Filed with Unintended Consequences
Mike Glasser, RPBG President
For years, both housing providers and tenants understood that either party could terminate a month-to-month lease with no less than 30 days’ notice, effective on the last day of the month.

To cancel a lease ending on, say, September 30, one of the parties would need to notify the other party on or before August 31st.
Steve Cain
I recently had to do an on-line refresher course on Fair Housing. Everyone in the real estate industry is supposed to know something about Fair Housing – both the legislation, and the shameful history of housing discrimination that made it necessary. Indeed, you cannot hold a real estate license in the state of Illinois without at least a cursory knowledge of this subject. Fair Housing legislation emerged from the Civil Rights movement in the 50s and 60s and is intended to provide a legal back-stop against housing discrimination and the many wrongs it created over a period of decades and even centuries.
Chicago COVID-19 Eviction Ordinance
Verella Osborne, President, Legal Document Management, Inc.
Many property owners will be surprised to learn that, with the enactment of the new Chicago COVID-19 Eviction Ordinance that was passed on June 17th, most 5-Day notices (or any demands for unpaid rent) served on Chicago residential tenants after March 21 are now null and void.

This new amendment to Sections 5-12-020 and 030 of the CRLTO requires that a demand for rent served between March 21 and October 23 must now be accompanied by two notices published by the Chicago Department of Housing - a Tenant COVID Impact Disclosure Notice, which is a summary for tenants of their rights under the new law, and a separate “Tenant Notice to Property owner of COVID-19 Impact” for the tenant to return to the property owner within the 5-day notice period.
Around Rogers Park
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Rogers Park Builders Group encourages and supports responsible residential and commercial property investment, development, and ownership in the Rogers Park community.