Tag: Crain’s Chicago Business

Report: Seaway Bank’s Failure Was Self-inflicted, Acquiring Maywood Bank Didn’t Help

Friday, September 22, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews 

A report released in August by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation concluded that Seaway Bank & Trust failed because of bad governance and risk management practices that flowed from the institution’s board of directors.

Continue reading “Report: Seaway Bank’s Failure Was Self-inflicted, Acquiring Maywood Bank Didn’t Help”

Proviso East Grad, Maywood Resident Featured in Crain’s

Sunday, September 10, 2017 || By Local News Curator || @maywoodnews 

Featured image: Nick Brown | Facebook 

Proviso East graduate and Maywood resident Nick Brown, 31, was recently featured in a Sept. 9 article in Crain’s Chicago Business.

Brown is the creator and operator of Glappitnova, what Crain’s calls “a multiday, multicity conference for young artists and entrepreneurs.” According to its website, Glappitnova is designed to create productive collisions.

Continue reading “Proviso East Grad, Maywood Resident Featured in Crain’s”

Navistar to End Engine Production in Melrose Park, Lay Off 170 Workers

Thursday, August 3, 2017 || By Local News Curator || @maywoodnews || Photo: Getty Images

Navistar, the international truck and engine corporation based in Lisle, will stop producing engines at its Melrose Park location, according to an Aug. 3 report in Crain’s Chicago Business.

The move, which will reportedly take effect next year, will mean that 170 employees will be laid off, a company spokesperson told Crain’s.

Continue reading “Navistar to End Engine Production in Melrose Park, Lay Off 170 Workers”

When Michelle Obama’s Former Hairstylist ‘Moved On Up To’ Maywood

Flowers and Obama.jpgFriday, July 21, 2017 || By Local Media Curator || @maywoodnews

Michael “Rahni” Flowers, the 30-year owner of the upscale Van Cleef Hair Studio in Chicago, recently talked to Crain’s Chicago Business about his many celebrity clients, his experiences styling perhaps the most famous client of all (former First Lady Michelle Obama) and, among other things, his “move on up” to his former hometown … Maywood.

Some tidbits from the interview:

Flowers, 62, described having a hand some significant moments in the life of the First Lady and this country. For instance, he style Obama for “wedding, the first Iowa primary, the election night celebration in Grant Park in 2008, and I styled her, her mother and both daughters during all the first inauguration events. She wanted me to move to D.C., but my partner convinced me to stay here.”

His Maywood “shout-out” came while Flowers talked about his childhood.

“I was the 10th of 13 children,” he said. “We grew up on the West Side in a low-income housing community. My dad worked in the Armour factory, and my mother was a stay-at-home mom. Eventually we were able to ‘move on up’ to Maywood.”

You can read the full Crain’s interview here. Above photo credited to Van Cleef Hair Studio. VFP

F E A T U R E D  E V E N T

Afriware July 21

Caputo Cheese Brings on New Culinary Executive Chef | Suburban Rents are Too Dang High

Chef Erika Durham.jpgMonday, June 26, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews

Caputo Cheese — the maker of craft cheese with two stores, Caputo Cheese Market, located in Lake Forest and Melrose Park — has hired executive chef Erika Durham (pictured).

“”We look forward to having Chef Erika join our team,” said Natale Caputo, the company’s president, in a statement. “She has a wealth of experience and brings an innovative and dynamic perspective to our organization. We look forward to seeing her gourmet creations for our customers.”

Durham obtained a degree in culinary arts at Le Cordon Bleu in 1996 and had worked in restaurant and hotel kitchens before going into corporate catering, the statement reads. Her clients include Oprah Winfrey, the Lyric Opera House, People Magazine and Herman Miller.

Durham has also worked with celebrity chefs, including Art Smith, Paul Prudhomme, and Paul Bartolotta.

Too high indeed … 


“Apartment landlords in the suburbs keep hiking rents, and their buildings are a little emptier as a result,” according to a June 12 report in Crain’s Chicago Business.

According to Appraisal Research Counselors, a consulting firm based in Chicago, the “median net suburban apartment rent rose to $1.44 per square foot in the first quarter, up 3.6 percent from a year earlier,” Crain’s reports.

That makes for an interesting dilemma, the publication notes: “suburban apartment rents hit an all-time high in the first quarter while the suburban occupancy rate slipped to its lowest level in more than five years.”

PICTURE THIS: Well, first this (credit for above image of James McMillan III, founder of the Rent Is Too Damn High Party): Robert James Algeo/thirty.inabsentiapress.com. 

Now this: “A hypothetical 1,000-square-foot apartment in the suburbs now rents for $1,440 a month, up 36 percent from $1,060 in 2009, when rents last bottomed out.”

Crain'sIllustration: Crain’s

BY THE WAY: Suburban apartment rents aren’t the only high-priced shelters …

ALSO: Suburban rents aren’t just rising in Chicago suburbs. Per a new report by Zillow Research, “Nationwide, rents in the suburbs rose at a faster pace year-over-year than rents in urban areas.”

“For the first time in four years, suburban rents are rising faster than rents in urban areas,” Zillow reports. “The median monthly cost of a suburban rental is up about 2.5 percent year-over-year, while the median cost of an urban rental is up 2.3 percent. At this time last year, the median urban rental price was up 5 percent year-over-year, while median suburban rental prices were up 3 percent.”

SO WHY?: Zillow offers a possible explanation:

“The foreclosure crisis pushed many former homeowners to rent the same kind of single-family homes they had owned just a few years prior – many of them very likely located in the suburbs.

“Laws prohibited many former homeowners from buying again for seven years after their foreclosures. The housing market reflects the shift: 19.2 percent of single-family homes were rented last year, up from 12.7 percent in 2005. Metro areas that had the most intense foreclosure activity – places like Las Vegas and Phoenix –have seen some of the greatest increases in the share of single-family home rentals.”

Zillow.pngIllustration: Zillow Research

WAIT, THERE’S A CONNECTION: The wave of grocery store and retail closures (both possible, pending and complete: think Aldi in Maywood, Ultra Foods in Forest Park, Meijer in Melrose Park, Sears on North Avenue, Payless ShoeSource in Broadview …) doesn’t bode well for relatively high-rent communities.

Per Zillow: “Department and general merchandise store employment dropped sharply during the first quarter of 2017.”

Zillow retail chart.png

Illustration: Zillow Research

“In the first three months of 2017, the number of jobs in department and general merchandise stores fell by 2.3 percent from the quarter prior, or 71,000 jobs, to 3.11 million – essentially erasing two years of growth in the sector, according to preliminary data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.[1] The quarterly decline was the biggest such 3-month drop since early 2012.[2]

Retail jobs pay rent



Community Bank AD_April 20 2017



New Flagship Used Truck Center Opens in Melrose Park


The Navistar plant in Melrose Park. | David Wilson/Flickr

Friday, May 26, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews

On May 17, International Truck held a grand opening of a new flagship Used Truck Center in Melrose Park.

“While the current Used Truck Center is also located in Melrose Park, the four block move will bring it in the same building as Navistar’s Melrose Park Plant; occupying previously unused space on the land,” according to a statement released by company officials and published on Automotive World last week.

The move is the culmination of efforts by Navistar to consolidate its engine testing operations, Used Truck Reconditioning Center, certified technicians and used truck sales into one location, the statement read.

According to Jeff Heichel, vice president for used truck operations, the new center “provides an opportunity to create our most comprehensive used truck facility yet.”

“On one side of the building, we will be selling our used trucks; and on the other, we have certified technicians working on reconditioning them,” he said. “It creates a great environment that promotes sales and customer service.”

The new 5,500 sq. ft. truck center is more than twice as large as the 2,500 sq. ft. facility it will replace and is located on a 150,000 sq. ft. lot, which company officials say they could potentially expand to 206,000 sq. ft.

Last year, Navistar, an internatinoal truck and engine corporation based in Lisle, closed a reconditioning center that was in Indianapolis and relocated those operations to the Melrose Park location.

In 2014, according to a Crain’s Chicago Business article, Navistar shifted the production of its midrange enging to its Melrose Park facility from Huntsville, Alabama.

The consolidation was reported at the time to result in 75 new jobs, which included recalled employees and temporary workers.

To read the full statement posted on Automotive World, click here. The grand opening announcement was also covered by Trucking Industry News. VFP

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Crain’s: Seaway Bank’s New Owners Will Preserve Its Name, Say Deposits are Safe | But Who to Blame for the Failure?

Seaway Bank Draped in Purple

Seaway Bank & Trusts’ Maywood branch. Chicago’s largest black-owned bank failed earlier this year. | File

Monday, February 13, 2017 || By Local News Curator || @maywoodnews

A Feb. 4 Crain’s Chicago Business report caught up with Sushil Patel, the president of State Bank of Texas, which now owns the now-defunct Seaway Bank & Trust, once the state’s largest black-owned bank.

Patel told Crain’s reporter Steve Daniels that he knows he isn’t a blank bank, but that should be of secondary importance to depositors.

“I’m not a black bank,” Patel, whose bank is owned by Indian-Americans, told Daniels. “I’m not a white bank, but I’m definitely not a black bank.”

“Banking is still banking,” Patel said. “I respect the idea of depositors wanting to put money into a bank that will put money back into that community.”

“To that end,” Daniels reported, “the Patel family, which owns State Bank of Texas, will preserve the Seaway name for the 10 Seaway branches in the Chicago area and Milwaukee. State Bank of Texas’ one other branch in Chicago, on Devon Avenue, will continue with that name.”

Now with Seaway out of the picture, the Chicago area’s only remaining black-owned bank, Illinois Service Federal, is looking to seize the moment.

“Those who want to bank black have a place they can do that in Chicago,” ISF Executive Vice President Monica Thomas told Daniels.

Crain’s Greg Hinz investigates institutional homicide

In a Feb. 10 article, Crain’s columnist Greg Hinz put on his detective’s hat and began sniffing out the main suspects responsible for Seaway’s demise:

“As in an Agatha Christie mystery, there are a lot of perpetrators in its demise,” Hinz wrote. “But in the end, no one with the wherewithal in Chicago cared enough to intervene, not City Hall or anyone in the city’s still substantial black business community. And Chicago is left with a stinking corpse.”

For a list of perpetrators, read Hinz’s full article here. Read Daniels’ full article here.

Don’t forget First Suburban National 

While journalists conduct a postmortem of black-owned Seaway, let the locals not forget the death of the local bank, First Suburban National, in 2010. First Suburban had served Maywood since 1943.

You can read Crain’s coverage of Seaway’s takeover of First Suburban seven years ago here.

So, remember, this isn’t  just a story of the demise of black-owned business. It’s also a story, told over and over again, of the demise of the small business that prioritizes the interests of a particular community over those of dispersed, atomized investors. VFP

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