Tag: Wayne Beals

A Tale of Two Properties: How Maywood’s High Taxes Block Business

Wednesday, September 13, 2017 || By Wayne Beals || OPINION || @maywoodnews 

Featured image: A building at 6800 Roosevelt Road in Oak Park, left, and a similar property at 904 South 5th Avenue in Maywood. | Google Earth 

So there was a big community meeting regarding a very reputable nonprofit developer’s proposal to build a brand new 64-unit, 5-story, mixed-use property on 5th Avenue that would feature first-floor commercial space.

Continue reading “A Tale of Two Properties: How Maywood’s High Taxes Block Business”

Anti-Video Gambling Movement Grows in Maywood

Video gambling poster

A group of Maywood residents have started to have lawn signs printed that express opposition to video gambling establishments in the village. | Facebook photo

Wednesday, July 6, 2016 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews || @village_free

What began as an online petition to raise opposition to a proposed video gambling and liquor establishment on Lake Street in Maywood has morphed into something of a grassroots movement that could potentially affect next year’s local election.

The petition, created on June 21, has garnered 103 signatures, including that of a sitting Maywood trustee and at least one liquor commissioner. But Maywood resident Wayne Beals, who created the petition and is spearheading awareness efforts, said those signatures are only the beginning of what’s become growing opposition to the proposed video gambling establishment — at least the second such establishment that has sought a hearing before the liquor commission in less than a year.

Beals said that opponents of the video gambling establishment have started printing lawn signs and that there could be talks by some residents of trying to put the issue to a referendum vote in the April 4, 2017 consolidated election.

Lucky Brew LLC, a video gambling establishment seeking to move to 406 Lake Street, not far from a new dance studio going up for the nonprofit Maywood Fine Arts, was scheduled to appear before the village’s liquor commission at a June 28 hearing, but no representatives from the company showed up.

Another liquor commission hearing is scheduled for July 25, 6:30 p.m., inside village council chambers at 125 S. 5th Ave. in Maywood.

The establishment is seeking a Class M Liquor license, which is typically considered a necessity for opening the gambling establishments. The liquor commission, which is chaired by Maywood Mayor Edwenna Perkins, votes on a recommendation to give to the Maywood Board of Trustees, which is the only body whose votes on the issuance of the license is binding.

At least one liquor commissioner, Rolando Villegas, has expressed his disapproval of the measure. Villegas, along with Maywood trustee Toni Dorris, signed the petition. Both are widely rumored to be running for office in April.

According to Beals, who was in attendance at the June 28 meeting, around 10 people spoke during its public comment section — all of them in opposition to the Lucky Brew proposal. Most of the comments referenced the proposed establishment’s proximity to the new Maywood Fine Arts dance studio, which is set to open in August on a plot of land spanning 14 to 18 N. Lake St.

Other comments pointed to the possibility of a video gambling establishment generating numerous quality of life problems, such as loitering, which residents said are already rampant in that area of the village.

Lucky Brew’s proposal comes months after the village board voted 4 to 3 to approve a Class M Liquor License for Lacey’s Place, a proposed video gambling bistro seeking to locate at 611 W. Roosevelt Rd.

Mayor Perkins and Trustees Michael Rogers, Isiah Brandon and Henderson Yarbrough voted in favor of the proposal while Trustees Antoinette Dorris, Melvin Lightford and Ron Rivers voted against it.

Those who voted in favor of Lacey’s noted the tax revenue potential of the business, in addition to the appropriateness of its proposed location along one of the busiest commercial arteries in the village.

The Lacey’s Place proposal is far from a sure thing, however, since the owners are stuck in a lease dispute with the landlord of the building into which they’re seeking to move.

So far, no other village board members besides Dorris have come out either for or against the Lucky Brew proposal. VFP

U P C O M I N G  E V E N T SMovie Night

Operation Uplift Vendor Days 


Need a place to sell your wares? Take advantage of Operation Uplift’s vendor days! 

Sunday and Saturday, July 16 and 17 || 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Operation Uplift, 104 S. 5th Ave. (corner of 5th Ave. and St. Charles), Maywood, IL

For pricing and more information, call Jeri Stenson at (708) 289-4955 or Dorothy Hall at (708) 373-2862


VOR Community Resource.png

20th Anniversary of Maywood Old Timers Picnic Aug. 20

Old Timers Picnic

This year will mark the 20th Anniversary of the annual Maywood Old Timers Picnic, one of Maywood’s most anticipated community-wide events that was started as a way to reconnect the village’s present with its past.

“I was running into people at funerals and visitations I hadn’t seen in years and we would sit and talk,” said Marilynn Jefferson, a longtime Maywoodian, now retired and living in Georgia, who helped establish the first Old Timers Picnic.

“I finally said, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice where we had time we could all be together and it would not be a sad occasion?’” Jefferson reminisced during an interview at last year’s event.

Since its founding, the event has become a source of history for those interested in mining the village’s rich past.

This year, the picnic will be held on Aug. 20 at Maywood Veterans Memorial Park, 5th Ave. and Fred Hampton Way (or Oak St.).

Bring your family and friends. There will be food, fun and entertainment. For more information, call (708) 740-0747. Please leave a voicemail if you don’t get through

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Another Video Gambling Proposal Prompts Maywood Residents to Create Petition


A screenshot of a petition against a proposed video gambling bistro at 406 Lake Street, launched on June 21. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews || @village_free || UPDATED: 4:40 p.m.

A group of residents in Maywood are so incensed that another video gambling and liquor establishment is seeking to setup shop in the village that they’ve launched an online petition campaign on the website gopetition.com to voice their opposition to the proposal. Created on Tuesday, the petition has already garnered more than 30 signatures.

Lucky Brew LLC, a video gambling establishment seeking to move to 406 Lake Street — next door to the new dance studio going up for Maywood Fine Arts and a few blocks away from the public library — will appear before the village’s liquor commission at a June 28 hearing.

They’ll be requesting that the recommending body sign off on a Class M Liquor License, which would allow Lucky Brew to sell alcohol. After the liquor commission votes on a recommendation, the matter will go before the village board, which has final authority to approve or deny the licensing request.

Although the liquor commission, which is chaired by the mayor, is only an advisory body with no voting authority, the commission members’ votes often weigh heavily in final decisions made by the Board of Trustees.

Lucky Brew’s proposed hours of operation are 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., Monday through Sunday. Residents have taken particular exception to its proximity to a facility that services children.

“This is an inappropriate location for such an establishment as it increases the risk of aggravated crime, public drunkenness, and theft to Maywood’s Children and Families,” notes the petition, which was created by Maywood resident Wayne Beals.

Lucky Brew’s proposal comes months after the village board voted 4 to 3 to approve a Class M Liquor License for Lacey’s Place, a proposed video gambling bistro seeking to locate at 611 W. Roosevelt Rd.

Mayor Edwenna Perkins and Trustees Michael Rogers, Isiah Brandon and Henderson Yarbrough voted in favor of the proposal while Trustees Antoinette Dorris, Melvin Lightford and Ron Rivers voted against it.

Weeks after the approval, Yarbrough reconsidered his vote and may even have reversed it if his motion to allow such an action to take place had not failed.

The Lacey’s Place proposal is far from a sure thing, however, since the owners are stuck in a lease dispute with the landlord of the building into which they’re seeking to move.

The liquor commission hearing for Lucky Brew’s Class M Liquor License is set for Tuesday, June 28, 6:30 p.m., at council chambers, 125 S. 5th Avenue, Maywood. VFP  

A previous version of this article had the incorrect date of the commission hearing, which will take place on June 28; instead of June 29. This article has since been updated.

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LETTERS: The Economic Winners And Losers of Legalized Gambling; State Rep. Campaign Viewpoints

Letter to the EditorThursday, March 10, 2016 || LETTERS 

‘The economic winners and losers of legalized gambling’ is the title of a February 2005 study on the impact of legal gambling.  The study points out that:

  1. There does not appear to be any evidence of economic growth in a surrounding community as a result of legalized gambling.
  1. Bankruptcy rates, violent crimes, and auto thefts and larceny each increase in the surrounding community by 10 percent, in a study included in the paper.
  1. Gambling can reduce revenues to the village because gambling sites can diminish other revenues from existing and potential businesses. Gambling sites can stigmatize neighboring properties and businesses, making them less attractive to patrons and/or new businesses.

Yesterday evening, our trustees considered granting a license for an establishment to operate a legal gambling “bistro” on Roosevelt Road.  I am not going to introduce my thoughts and fears of the door being opened by this proposed business, but am asking publicly if our trustees and citizens have considered the points above prior to approving this application.  I feel very strongly that funding the villages operations on the backs of those least advantaged among us — our seniors, our poor — is not a good public policy.

Obviously, the goal of every business is to be profitable.  I assume this one will also make money.  This money will leave our local economy.  I’m assuming of course, that the owner of this establishment does not reside or shop in Maywood.  Please voice your opinions to our trustees and let them know you want businesses that grow and benefit the village AND it’s residents.

We want businesses that improve the desirability of our neighborhoods, not stigmatize them.  Gambling is not an amenity.

— Wayne Beals, Maywood

Let’s Return This Office to the People

This election season has been ugly. My opponent has sent out nearly 20 mailers full of outright lies that have been insulting to the intellect of the voters of our district. The Chicago Tribune said it best last week: “Rep. Chris Welch, D-Hillside, must be worried about his opponent, Chris Harris of Forest Park, or he wouldn’t be sending out smear mailings that are so misleading they’re comical.”

It’s hard to run a grassroots campaign. You don’t have the money to combat these kinds of lies, but we have tried to remain positive throughout the campaign and advance our message. We have earned respected endorsements from the Chicago Tribune, Wednesday Journal and Forest Park Review. We have been in the community talking to people one on one—doing it the old-fashioned way. I am passionate about having representation that puts the community first, not the campaign contributors that line our current State Rep’s pockets and rule his decision making. We need to protect our most vulnerable; demand equal education and early education funding; use every avenue possible to increase economic development in our community; and reform a broken criminal justice system that favors those with influence, power or money.

I worked on Rory Hoskins’ campaign for this seat in 2012. One of the main reasons I did so was to try and stop Mr. Welch from accruing more power and exploiting that power. Rep. Welch’s record speaks for itself: the years of abuse as President of the Proviso High Schools; the insider deals for friends, family and campaign contributors; the over $600,000.00 in special interest money he has taken; and the selling out of our district in Springfield to the highest bidder. Enough is enough. Let’s return this office to the people and follow the Chicago Tribune’s lead when it said last week: “We hope voters will drop those mailers directly into the recycling bin — and drop Welch out of the legislature.”

I humbly ask for your vote on March 15th—together we can do this.

— Chris Harris, candidate – 7th District State Representative

I support Chris Harris

As you may know, I am supporting Commissioner Chris Harris in the upcoming primary election for State Representative on March 15th.  I believe that Chris has the knowledge, experience, vision, and integrity to improve conditions in our state and in our district.

Chris Harris served as the Commissioner of Public Property on the Forest Park Village from 2011 to 2015.  I served in the same position prior to Chris and I know the difficult conditions that Chris faced simply by standing up for what he believed was best for Forest Park.  Unlike his opponent, in his time in public service, Chris Harris did not dedicate himself to favors for his friends or special interests, but instead dedicated himself to his constituents – the people of Forest Park.

Sadly, our great state has become the laughing stock of the country due to fiscal mismanagement, pay to play politics, and elected officials serving themselves and their special interests.  The problems we have in our state are not due to Republican or Democratic principles.  The problems are due to our elected officials making decisions that serve themselves and their special interests.  His opponent has a long history in elected office serving himself and his special interests.

Chris is now seeking to represent the 7th District in the Illinois House of Representatives.  It takes courage to stand up and fight for the people of our district and against the highly funded political establishment and their constant barrage of lies and false attacks.  But with your help, we can end the self-interest stranglehold on Illinois and send people of integrity like Chris Harris to Springfield and restore dignity to our great state.

Please join me in supporting Chris Harris and voting for him on March 15th to become our next State Representative. Thank you.

— Marty Tellalian, former Commissioner of Forest Park

What’s Your Maywood Home Going To Be Worth In 2016?


Tuesday, January 19, 2016 || Originally Published: waynebeals.com || By Wayne Beals || Expert Opinion 

The answer to this question is of key importance to many of those looking to sell their homes. Although the future cannot be predicted, we can look at the data to tell us how things are shaping up for the year to come.

Let’s start with the big picture. After five years of decline, the median price of a home in Maywood has been consistently rising since January 2013.

In fact, since 2013 the price of a home in Maywood has increased from $34,450 in December 2012, to over $75,000 as of December 2015. Moreover, the price of the average home in Maywood has increased by over 50 percent in 2015.

Wayne Beals I

So, what’s behind the improvement in prices? Are there more buyers looking for a home? Are there less homes for sale? The answer isn’t as simple as you would think. Let’s take a look at some of the factors that have led to where we are today.

Supply is down. Way down

Supplies of new homes are at their lowest point since 2007.

Wayne Beals II

Why the decline you ask? A couple reasons.

Foreclosures have been in decline since 2013 and have reached a seven-year low

Since 2008, banks have provided the lions share of the inventory available to home-buyers, but that trend has started to change. Banks have steadily declined.

Wayne Beals III

Homes that have been foreclosed, repossessed and sold as is are typically in poor condition and need substantial reinvestment.

Due to poor condition, mortgage options are very limited for home-buyers. This typically means that most successful transactions go to cash investor buyers, who comprise a smaller segment of the market than home-buyers.

This reduction in demand and the corresponding increase in the supply of homes available puts downward pressure on home values.

The number of traditional sales (private party, with no bank involvement) has been in decline since 2008

Sellers who don’t need to sell, don’t when the market is down.


Wayne Beals IV

As value has been lost, more sellers choose not to sell their homes at a low price. The sellers will likely continue to choose to stay in their homes until prices improve significantly. Once prices improve, these entrenched sellers will likely choose to sell and, slowly, inventories will rise.

Demand has (almost) returned to pre-crash levels

Wayne Beals V

Higher rents and continued low interest rates are creating a strong incentive for consumers to a purchase home vs. continuing to rent.

Rehabbers have continued to fix foreclosed homes and resell them in peak condition to “first time” and “recovering” home-buyers.

The availability of down-payment assistance programs has lowered the amount of cash that a home-buyer needs for a down-payment; in many cases to as little as $1,000. This assistance creates more incentive to purchase vs. rent.

So, what’s going to happen in 2016?

The forecast is for the improvement in prices to continue and likely at a brisk pace. The leading indicator of price direction is Months Supply.

Months Supply is simply the amount of time that it takes for all the homes in a market to be absorbed by all the potential buyers in the market.

Months Supply peaked at at high of 19.3 months in March 2010. It’s currently at 4.7 months as of December 2015, which is the lowest point in the past seven years.

This graph shows that the Months Supply of homes in Maywood is quickly approaching seller’s market conditions.

Wayne Beals VI

Wayne Beals is a top-producing Chicagoland realtor, who has been engaged in all facets of the real estate industry in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs for the past 12 years.

The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the positions of The Village Free Press.

Seeking to Fill Vacant Housing, Cook County Land Bank Looks to Partner with Maywood


Wednesday, November 12, 2014 || By Michael Romain 

Maywood-based Nonprofit Housing Helpers is also seeking to provide additional reinforcements to the village’s vacancy crisis

Tuesday, November 11, 2014 || By Michael Romain || Updated: November 12, 2014 || 2:30 PM

This article is sponsored by Villegas Headstones and Monuments – Support them because they support us.

MAYWOOD || Nearly two years after the Cook County Commission unanimously passed an ordinance to create the Cook County Land Bank Authority, the bank is looking to make inroads into Maywood.

This year has been something of a watershed for the infant organization, which is tasked with obtaining “properties in areas that may be risky but are ripe for a turnaround, clear title to them and find a suitable developer,” according to the land bank’s Executive Director Brian White during an interview with the Chicago Tribune.

In July, The PrivateBank extended a $10 million working capital line to developers that acquire properties from the bank. The PrivateBank’s direct investment is the first of its kind for the authority.

Since its creation in January 2013, more than 23 foreclosed properties have been donated or sold at below-market prices to the bank. Another 35 were under review as of November 7, according to the Tribune.

What the land bank does with those properties and that financing can set a major precedent for future endeavors that are similar in nature.

White was at an October 15, Legal, License and Ordinance Committee (LLOC) meeting in Maywood to propose that the village Board of Trustees consider authorizing a memorandum of understanding between Maywood and the bank.

According to varying reports, there are 219 properties classified as vacant and 332 foreclosure filings in Maywood; 126 properties are privately owned with two or more years of forfeited taxes. The Maywood-based nonprofit Housing Helpers — which targets deteriorating properties, rehabs them and sales them to working-class homebuyers at market rates — has identified about 21 problem properties within the village.

White said the land bank would only target those parcels where there is strategic value and an actual plan for redeveloping them. He said the land bank, although a government entity, is ultimately driven by private demand.

“We’re demand-driven,” White said. “We aren’t looking to have all of your [distressed properties]. [We’re] looking to go out and acquire [properties] strategically in ways that make sense.”

White said that the land bank can act as a conduit between parties who want to acquire property but can’t and those who want to get rid of property, but also face obstacles to letting it go.

The authority would work with the village in a variety of functions, such as extinguishing liens and back-taxes. White also said that the bank is able to pledge parcels, establishing site control for small entities and nonprofit developers that typically find it hard to acquire funding due to a lack of capital — an essential factor in establishing site control.

“We can take [the parcel], hold it, take our committment to the funding source [and] say, ‘They now have site control,” White said.

White said that the owner of a property at 238 S. 12th Avenue has expressed interest in donating to the land bank. The property has $25,000 in delinquent taxes and a $2,200 Maywood lien, which the bank could acquire from the village. It would then hold the property — maintaining its condition — until an interested developer comes around.

White also noted that a vacant lot at 409 S. 21st Avenue, the site of a single-family home that a private bank demolished earlier this year, was donated to the land bank. The bank is holding that property until a plan is devised for its use.

In addition to mitigating local blight, White said that the land bank also has the potential to create job opportunities in the event that it needs to demolish or deconstruct properties.

“The demolition of property typically requires two people to drive the back-hoe and one to set the site,” White said. “Deconstruction requires taking a property down piece-by-piece, which takes a lot more time — you salvage the building material and have an opportunity to train people on how the building is put together….This recyles money and social good broadly throughout the community.”

Screenshot 2014-11-12 at 12.37.42 AM

Village attorney Michael Jurusik said that the memo of understanding, which the board approved unanimously, is “really a base document to get the ball rolling,” noting that the land bank is an opportunity for the village to unload some of its many problem properties onto the county. The  land bank would do the heavy lifting of maintaining the property and facilitating the development process.

Housing Helpers Executive Director Sarah Lira said that her organization is in total support of the land bank and is interested in being one of its developers if and when the bank acquires properties in Maywood.

Lira said that over the years the nonprofit, which was started in 1990, has put 24 families into 24 renovated homes. Recently, Housing Helpers has been responsible for the renovation of 15 affordable homes, six of which are completed, five of which were sold and three of which are currently under construction.

“There is a demand in Maywood and the market exists for affordable housing,” Lira said.

Housing Helper’s Board President Wayne Beals, however, expressed concern about unsecured vacant homes neighboring those being renovated by the nonprofit.

“It’s difficult to sale homes at market value…if homes across the street and next door to them are vacant,” said Beals, a realtor by profession.

Beals and Lira suggested that the Board should utilize a state statute that gives local governments the right to appoint a receiver to secure properties that are unresolved and whose owners are unresponsive.

But some Board members felt that Housing Helpers would be duplicating efforts by the land bank. What the trustees considered duplication, however, Beals considered reinforcement.

“Every stakeholder at the table trying to help should bring forth their efforts,” he said. “We’re proposing we add another tool to the village’s kit without adding costs…[This will] make it easier to take our blocks back.” VFP


Operation Uplift

Operation Uplift

MILESTONES: Chicago Reader Names Maywoodian “Best Real Estate Agent In A Tough Market,” Founder of West Town Museum Honored

Wednesday, July 3, 2014 || By Michael Romain

Chicago Reader Calls Maywood Resident Wayne Beal The “Best Real Estate Agent In A Tough Market”


Maywood resident and real estate agent Wayne Beals recently caught the attention of the Chicago ReaderHere’s what they said:

“If you’re the type of home buyer with buckets of money to put down and the means to bid significantly over the asking price for that perfect West Loop loft or Logan Square two-flat, this is the real estate market for you. If you’re not that person, be prepared to hustle—and to have an open mind. Real estate agent Wayne Beals might be based in Oak Park, but the man knows every corner of Chicago (and beyond) inside out, and he will patiently explore your housing options in any of them. Traipsing across the city with Beals is like embarking on a live-action history lesson, and examining a home with him is a learning experience even if you think you already know your fair share about vintage fixer-uppers. It helps that he’s a native Chicagoan and a former contractor, and has served as a historic-preservation commissioner. But Beals’s real gift is his combination of down-to-earth work ethic, sweet-natured calm, and tolerance for a client with Veuve Clicquot tastes on a PBR budget. The only downside to working with Beals is that, once you end up with something you adore, you no longer have an excuse to tour the city with him.”

Chicago Friends of the Amistad Honors Northica Stone

Amistad Luncheon

Jeri Stenson (pictured right), the curator of Maywood’s West Town Museum of Cultural History, and author and historian Glennette Tillis Turner, were at the Chicago Friends of the Amistad Resource Center for the 19th annual Irma Kingsley Johnson Awards luncheon, held on Saturday June 28, 2014. Mrs. Stenson accepted the Community Service recognition awarded on behalf of Mrs. Northica Stone, the West Town’s founder. The award was presented to Mrs. Stone for her tireless commitment to ensuring that the culture and history of Proviso Township is maintained and shared with future generations. VFP

If you, a friend or a loved one wants to share a personal or professional milestone with the community, please email the details, along with any pictures you’d like to include, to thevillagefreepress@gmail.com; or leave a message on our Facebook page. We’d love to hear from you.


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