Vision Driving Development report

April 22, 2010

Vision Driving Development:  Logan Square Corridor Development Initiative is now available.  This report is the culmination of last summer’s workshops led by the Metropolitan Planning Council with Logan Square neighbors considering future development along Milwaukee Avenue.

I wrote about some of the issues back then (see Hypothetical Milwaukee Avenue development:  Scenario 1, Scenario 2, Scenario 3,
Scenario 4, Open space and Milwaukee Avenue, Height and Milwaukee Avenue, and Parking and Milwaukee Avenue), and this report expands on the process and the variety of hypothetical development scenarios that were imagined.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Update on height and Milwaukee Avenue

November 24, 2009

Even as I wrote in Height and Milwaukee Avenue (Part I) (now updated),  that “it took several sessions just to get the question right so that it adequately reflected the sentiments of participants concerning height,” the responses didn’t seem quite right, but I brushed off the feeling.

After recently reviewing the sessions once again though, I noticed that I had not shared the final iteration of the responses, but the one prior to the response options having been ultimately revised.  Below is the final and more nuanced breakdown of desired height:

What average height do you envision for new buildings along Milwaukee Avenue?

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Parking and Milwaukee Avenue

October 17, 2009

How participants in the Milwaukee Avenue Corridor Development Initiative workshops responded to a question about parking also surprised organizers of the workshops (in a good way) (also see Height and Milwaukee Avenue [Part I]), and a few participants as well (in a not so good way).

How do you feel about parking on Milwaukee Avenue?

CDI parking question

Sixty-six percent of workshop participants felt that there is sufficient or too much parking on Milwaukee Avenue, and only 34% felt that more parking is needed.

I think workshop participants got this answer right, and the response is consistent with the results of the polls I posted at Do we need more parking? (click on image below for better legibility). Read the rest of this entry »


Height and Milwaukee Avenue (Part II)

October 7, 2009

I think the preference expressed at the Milwaukee Avenue Corridor Development Initiative workshops for three- to four-story new buildings reflects a respect for the existing buildings and the existing character of the Milwaukee Avenue corridor.

New and old, side by side

As I previously mentioned (see What the real estate experts may not know), one of the sites chosen for constructing a hypothetical development during the workshops, was the Pay Half building at the northwest corner of Spaulding and Milwaukee Avenues.  This site is located just south of the Milwaukee-Diversey-Kimball Landmark District buildings.

So, what if a new building were to be constructed next to these historic buildings?

Scenario 1 marked up B

Hypothetical Milwaukee Avenue Development:
Scenario 1 (in context)

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Height and Milwaukee Avenue (Part I)

September 30, 2009

Another interesting point of view that came out of the Milwaukee Avenue Corridor Development Initiative (also see Open Space and Milwaukee Avenue [Part 1]) concerns the desired height of the buildings along Milwaukee Avenue.

It took several sessions just to get the question right so that it adequately reflected the sentiments of participants concerning height:

What average height do you envision for new buildings along Milwaukee Avenue?

Read the rest of this entry »


Open space and Milwaukee Avenue (Part II)

September 24, 2009

Not surprisingly, real estate experts at the last of the Milwaukee Avenue Corridor Development Initiative workshops did not share the community vision of open space along Milwaukee Avenue.

What the real estate experts may not know

As volunteers and people who do not live in the neighborhood, the real estate experts may not have known about the larger Logan Square community’s (though not necessarily Milwaukee Avenue’s, see Open space and Milwaukee Avenue [Part I]) lack of open space, and so may have lacked the context of the community’s desire for open space.

Like the community volunteers, they likely didn’t know of the plans and existing opportunities for open space on public properties along Milwaukee Avenue, but they did not feel that open space on private properties along Milwaukee Avenue was appropriate.

Not living in the area, there is another context that the real estate experts may not have known that may justify some open space:  One of Milw Ave scenario 1A marked upthe sites chosen for constructing a hypothetical development, was the Pay Half building at the northwest corner of Spaulding and Milwaukee Avenues, which, as those of us familiar with the area Read the rest of this entry »


Open space and Milwaukee Avenue (Part I)

September 23, 2009

One of the interesting things that came out of the Milwaukee Avenue Corridor Development Initiative, is the desire for open space.  Every single development scenario, not just the four I’ve featured here (see Scenario 1, Scenario 2, Scenario 3, Scenario 4), included open space of some sort.

Commenting on the imagined development scenarios in the last workshop of the series, the real estate experts did not necessarily agree, either stating that open space was not appropriate on Milwaukee Avenue or that there was already adequate open space in the area.

So who’s “right,” the community or the real estate experts? How about both?

What the community may not know

What many of the community volunteers didn’t know was what open space was already planned for Milwaukee Avenue, and perhaps they didn’t consider what already exists or the potential of what already exists.

The 2004 Logan Square Open Space Plan calls for a plaza Read the rest of this entry »