Condo residents advised to leave during NATO summit

April 23, 2012 5:59:48 AM PDT
Residents of a South Loop condo building are being told they should leave their homes during the NATO summit next month because planned protests in the area could put them in harm's way.

Library Tower is on the 500-block of South State Street. That's part of the route of a protest planned for Sunday, May 20.

So the property manager is recommending residents find another place to stay. A letter went out to residents this week advising them of the street closures and rerouted public transportation.

The notice also said since protestors plan to march in front of their building, there may be the potential for violence and damage.

The property manager says she strongly recommends residents find other places to stay during the summit. .

"I think that this shows the lack of concern about this city period, about the damage that could potentially occur here," said resident Ron Pitelka. "All you need to look at is what has happened in the past with the NATO and G8 summits, and the riots going on in the places that they've held it"

Access to this building will be limited to residents, and management is recommending people not have guests. The building is not allowing deliveries or moves either.

"My husband and I are looking for an alternate place to stay that weekend," said resident Emily Clott.

Armed off duty police officers will also be in the building and will check identification of everyone coming in and out of this building.

"In order to get into the building we need to have ID ready to be prepared for garages not to be accessible," Pitelka said. "Extra security, which is an extra expense that we are not excited about, that is basically falling on all of the taxpayers."

For dog owners like Peter Chen, who needs to get in and out of the building a few times daily, it makes for a major inconvenience.

"We have to either travel with the dogs or we have to walk the dogs during the event, that's the biggest hesitation," Chen said.

Deliveries and anybody moving in or out will also be prohibited that weekend. Clott says it's enough to think about picking up and leaving.

"Just because we want to be able to come and go as we please and we won't be able to," she said.

There could be even more limitations once the secret service releases its own security measures closer to NATO weekend.

"It'll affect me but to me it's part of urban living," resident Tony Natale said. "There is a lot that's attractive to Chicago and it's one of the things that ends up being less than desirable, but it's acceptable."