Slowing Displacement Starts in Old Town

Dear Ald. Smith,

Please do not stop the project at 1810 N Wells St. as outlined by Block Club https://blockclubchicago.org/2020/12/02/after-city-strips-landmark-status-for-old-town-stable-alderman-tries-new-tactic-to-block-condos/ and Crain’s https://www.chicagobusiness.com/commercial-real-estate/old-town-apartment-project-faces-new-obstacle. The first reason to allow this project to move forward is that it would be a valuable addition to the neighborhood. The second reason is to help Old Town do its’ part to slow displacement in less well off neighborhoods around the city. I’ll go on to discuss the foolish and damaging opposition to the project. You should not let a small, often malicious, group of homeowners prevent progress in your ward. 

This project would turn a parking garage into housing while preserving the facade. Housing is a much better use of space in dense walkable neighborhoods like Old Town than parking. The new residents will patron the local shops and restaurants. In a post pandemic world our local spots are going to need all the support they can get.

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The Destruction of Milwaukee Ave – Population – Part 1

Mark Fruin

A quick response to Andrew Schneider’s @ASchneider2008 recent thread defending the idea of down-zoning proposed by Ramirez-Rosa. For background on this plan see: Block Club Chicago. Schneider does an excellent job appealing the the emotion’s tied to home, neighborhood, and nostalgia.

Who wouldn’t want to live next to “Round-Up”? They could turn that space into a cool brewery like they did in that other neighborhood! But, the argument goes, if the property isn’t down-zoned it will be turned into ugly condos.

However, Andrew ignores one key problem, you need people, and lots of them, to support local businesses. The “Round-Up” went under as a theater, then it went under as a restaurant, then it went under as an electronics store. Clearly there is something larger going on here that is causing businesses to go under.

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