Visualize the development you want to see

It looks like we’re going to get some planning for future Milwaukee Avenue development roughly between Sacramento and Dawson, which of course includes the Logan Boulevard to Diversey Avenue stretch.

The Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) is planning to lead a Corridor Development Initiative (and see video below) that will give residents an opportunity to influence the type of development they would like to see.

The planning initiative itself is still in the planning stages, but is expected to begin in July with the first of a series of three community meetings to discuss existing conditions, some development principles, and to hear the hopes and concerns of the community.

Two to three weeks later a second meeting will respond to those hopes and concerns with some hypothetical examples of development.  This meeting will be a hands on exercise of experimenting with different combinations of retail and housing units with instant feedback on the implications of desired development.

Some development implications that might be considered:  Will it block a view?  Will it strengthen a street wall?  How can good design improve it?  Is it financially feasible?  And importantly, what tradeoffs might be necessary to achieve the development desired by the community?

At a third and final meeting, a panel of developers responds to the hypothetical desired development and how it fits in the context of current economic conditions and real estate trends, and a community consensus is sought on development recommendations.

Those recommendations then will become a report that can be shared with developers to give them a sense of what the community is looking for.  The premise is that contrary to the typical development scenario where the developer proposes a development in a vacuum, now the community can guide development proposals based on a sound planning process.

Dates for the Logan Square Corridor Development Initiative and the hypothetical development sites have not yet been finalized, but stay tuned.

Last summer, MPC conducted a similar Lawndale Corridor Development Initiative.  The report offers some insight on the process and the types of issues that may be discussed here in Logan Square.

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4 Responses to Visualize the development you want to see

  1. Candice says:

    This is great news, but wasn’t a development plan put together in a similar manner for the Kedzie to California Milwaukee corridor a couple years ago? It does not seem like anything came of that (at least, there isn’t any work being currently done) – but hopefully this one will fair better.

    • Candice: I’m not familiar with a Kedzie to California plan, but there was a plan in the 1st ward from California to Western, the North Milwaukee Avenue Corridor Plan (that’s a draft and I thought there was a final but I’ll have to look further, and there’s also an Appendix). I didn’t participate in the plan, but I understand it was a different process and seems more comprehensive. It was just completed last year, and especially in this economic environment, I wouldn’t expect much to be started yet and certainly not completed. ~ Lynn

  2. Carter says:

    It’s a bit north of here (Wisner, one block north of Dawson), but I wonder what the demolition of the old Avondale theater is going to bring us – it’s 3 city lots, the teardown isn’t completed yet, but it’s an interesting sign considering many projects have been stopped.

    Carter: I was just discussing with someone today why they chose to demo that. While it apparently would have required quite a bit of work to renovate, the real estate listing included: “Seller may cover demo costs for interested developers” and “Seller will consider clearing land for sale to Developers.” So I don’t know why they proceeded with the demolition, foreclosing the option of renovation. Apparently they (out of town owner[s?]) think it is more attractive without the building; others suggest just the opposite. But then they don’t have to actually live with it, do they? ~ Lynn

  3. Carter says:

    I think you’re right, the idea is probably that a blank slate is preferable, that way potential buyers can visualize whatever they want (whether or not it’s suitable, of course!).

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