For Profit Parties In A Non Profit Owned Building---Does Tragedy Have To Strike Before Something Is Done?

The parties at The Metropolitan are a disaster waiting to happen.

Then of course I’ve felt that way for years---ever since the congregation that filled the former Metropolitan Apostolic Church moved to Bronzeville.

This isn’t the first time I’ve written about the late night parties across the street from my building. Depending on the night, serenity and neighborhood cleanliness are two concepts that my neighbors and I don’t enjoy on a consistent basis.

Yet out of all of this---the loud partiers, the music, the public drinking, the used condoms, the empty liquor bottles---the fact that the people who book the parties just seemingly don’t give a damn about the overall effect on the neighborhood just floors me.

In a meeting two weeks ago at my alderman’s office, the person who is effectively the operations manager of the building said that he understood our concerns about the parties and that he personally wouldn’t book any future parties.

On the surface that sounds like a solution, except that he’s not the only one that books the parties.

When I asked if his colleague would stop booking these rowdy parties as well, the only response I received was he needed to check her calendar to see if any events had been booked and were already on the calendar.

An e-mail I sent inquiring about the status of any future parties has yet to elicit a response.

You can see why I’m less than confident that turning my neighborhood into the south side’s latest party spot will cease anytime soon.

The operations manager also stated that if anyone in the community needed the Metropolitan for a wedding or a funeral repast then he was going to let them use it.

Once again, on the surface that sounds reasonable, yet as those of us on the south side know a gathering can start out with the intention of a peaceful celebration or reflective repast and possibly end in deadly violence.

Licenses, zoning & parking be damned.

The fact that a Woodlawn Organization owned building is being used for parties and gatherings without a public place of amusement or retail food license (according to public records) is jaw dropping.

Even more so as this has been an ongoing commercial enterprise for well over three years.

The question that stands out in my mind is how can a building exempt from the tax rolls repeatedly hold for profit parties that aren’t seemingly benefiting any charitable or non-profit organization.

More importantly, when is the Metropolitan’s luck going to run out?

And when it does, who will be held responsible?

Because at this point it’s only a matter of time.


Leave a comment
  • You should write a letter to Mary Mitchell or Mark Brown at the Chicago Sun-Times and see if they print your letter. If this gets enough publicity, it will stop.

  • Are you sure the revenue from these “events” isn’t supporting a not for profit service? Unfortunately the economy is just as bad for not for profits as it is for us all (with the few exceptions of bankers we bailed out and they jumped with golden parachutes). 501C3 orgs are forming social enterprises to bring in funds. It’s too bad that our community can’t come up with a better yet profitable use for the Metropolitan. Maybe we (Bronzeville residents) need to have a Crowdsource Placemaking ( plan to help them address this mess.

  • Danie,
    To answer your question, I don't know if any possible revenues are supporting any not for profit programs. Yet you would think that if that were the case, the Metropolitan would spearhead the process for their proper licensing, zoning & parking plans. Additionally, I still challenge the types of groups that they're renting to. Even the most well meaning non-profit wouldn't want to be associated with questionable funding.

Leave a comment