Protesters occupy former Weiss Hospital parking lot over new luxury apartment development

Sarah Schulte Image
Thursday, August 25, 2022
EMBED <>More Videos

A group of protesters is camped out in the former Weiss Hospital parking lot in Uptown to oppose a new 314-unit luxury apartment building set to begin construction soon.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A group of protesters is camped out in the former Weiss Hospital parking lot in Uptown to oppose a new 314-unit apartment building set to begin construction soon.

There are many mixed-use developments and luxury apartment buildings under construction in Uptown.

"There are far too many as it is, they are gentrifying and pushing out poor elderly disabled people and we have had enough," said Ronald Schupp, Northside Action for Justice.

Uptown activists are trying to stop the next development. They have taken over the former Weiss Hospital parking lot to protest a 314 unit apartment complex ready to break ground on the property soon. The lot was sold to the Lincoln Property Company. Permits have been issued to the developer to begin work on the project.

"We are going to keep fighting until we get a win," said protester Tom Gordon.

Protesters have camped out in the parking lot for the past four nights. While the development is a done deal, activists are calling on Weiss Hospital's new owner to buy back the parking lot from Lincoln Property.

"It doesn't have to be a done deal, if people stand up and be counted to change it and that is what we are here for and we encourage others to join us," Schupp said.

Activists want the property to be used for community needs, including affordable housing. The new 12-story development will only include eight affordable units, the minimum required by the city. Lincoln Property is satisfying the remainder of its affordability requirement by giving $3.1 million to Sarah's Circle, an Uptown nonprofit that helps and houses homeless women. The money will go towards building over 100 new permanent apartments for homeless women.

"Yes, we will be benefiting from the set asides from this other building to build what I'll be now our third building in this neighborhood," said Mimi Alschuler, Sarah's Circle senior director of development.

Protesters say they will continue to occupy the parking lot.