Dear Chicago Reader,

Gabriella Filisko [Letters, February 14] is probably right to claim that there is a mountain of support for the Freed development in Uptown, and can’t be faulted for expecting Women & Children First bookstore to compete against Borders like good little capitalists. However, she ignores two essential points driving both the affordable-housing groups and the Plymouth Hotel preservationists in their pursuit of a competing plan, perhaps because Joravsky spent little time addressing them in his article: that Uptown residents overwhelmingly vote in nonbinding referenda to use TIF money to support preservation efforts and the development of low-cost housing, and that Freed’s development, funded by TIF dollars, achieves neither. It’s one thing to ask renters and retailers to brace themselves to be priced out of the neighborhood they built and love, and quite another to ask them to pay for the privilege. Under such circumstances, it isn’t really too much to ask that an admittedly last-ditch alternative plan be given a fair shake, and I for one am disgusted by the public officials who appear so eager to bury it.

Bob Conrad

W. Winnemac