Residents of Chicago's Logan Square Neighborhood protested in the rain yesterday morning, in the shadow of the historic Illinois Centennial Column, on Logan Boulevard at Milwaukee Avenue.
Their concern - the City of Chicago's plan to turn a long-abandoned department store building into a Community Arts Center, plus about 28 units of affordable housing. The community group would rather see more affordable housing - 47 units - but no Community Center.
Logan Square ethnically-diverse city neighborhood, about 6 miles northwest of Downtown Chicago and The Loop. Proximity to downtown is unequalled - from the neighborhood, it is easy to hop on the Kennedy Expressway (I-94), and about a twenty minute commute for Loop office workers (double that during Rush Hours). It also lies on the CTA Blue Line L - about a 15 minute train ride.
Within the last 20 years, there was been considerable residential development in Logan Square. On residential streets, you can find recently rehabbed vintage buildings and single family homes, a few new construction homes, and some renovated smaller greystone apartment buildings, shoulder-to-shoulder with older properties in need of repair and renovation.
Parts of the retail district, however, radiating from the neighborhood's old commercial hub at the six-corner intersection of Milwaukee and Kedzie Avenues, and Logan Boulevard, are tired and shopworn. New commercial development along the Logan Square shopping strip has been inconsistent, at best, over the last few years.
The City of Chicago hopes combining a Community Arts Center with over two dozen affordable housing units will best serve the neighborhood long term. Many community activists feel more affordable housing is needed now. Logan Square, as many other Chicago neighborhoods, has its share of homelessness.
Actually, the proposal for more housing units, supported by the community, will cost about twice as much as the combination proposal advanced by the City of Chicago. However, the community contends, the additional affordable housing units, they feel, will be worth the additional investment.
The debate continues!
See our post today at BlogChicagoHomes.com for more info, as well as a link to Gerry Smith's article in today's Chicago Tribune.
DEAN & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO