Thursday, May 7, 2009

Central Area Action Plan: River South Part 1

As we posted a couple of weeks ago, Chicago has recently unveiled a plan for many neighborhoods in the downtown area. Many of these plans affect various areas of the Sloop and as a result we are going to have some posts over the next couple of weeks looking into these changes. Some of the changes are already underway, but most are plans that could happen sometime before 2020. Will they happen? Who knows, but it's still good to consider.
River South
The city has broken up the area we consider the sloop into various specific neighborhoods (which is reasonable since it's a relatively large area). The River South neighborhood is a name we've never heard of, but has a ton of potential in our mind. According to the plan this are is bound on the north by Congress, the Chicago River on the west, Clark street on the east and 18th street on the south.

Roosevelt road intersects this neighborhood and really showcases the difference in the two areas. To the north, River City, Target and the under construction Roosevelt Collection stand out (with other residential buildings). There are a couple huge lots that have a lot of potential and almost certainly will get developed at some point.

South of Roosevelt is a different story. This gigantic 62 acre area is completely desolate. Commuter Metra trains runs through the area, but besides that it's a huge empty, grassy lot. Again, this provides a huge development opportunity for the future as it's a prime, large piece of real estate. We envision a great residential neighborhood similar to Dearborn park 2 (directly east of this area), but by no means is that necessarily going to happen.

Central Area Action Plan for this Area
In part one, we are going to look at the area directly north of Roosevelt. This area has already seen recent development in the form of Target and AMLI (among other buildings). The biggest recent project is currently still under construction, Roosevelt Collection. Franklin point (which is directly south of Congress and next to the Chicago River) is also a big planned development, but has recently been put on hold according to some reports.

The riverfront path would greatly benefit this area mostly from a quality of life perspective but in our mind this is a great to have, but not necessarily a must have. Probably the biggest two improvements would be the potential bridges at Taylor and Polk that would cross the Chicago River. This would help the River South area become connected to the South West Loop (which we posted about before). Another big improvement would be the Wells-Wentworth connector which would provide a new street connecting the northern parts of the sloop to the southern.

The blue areas on the map above are deemed opportunity sites. Right now they sit vacant, but serve as enticing and interesting sites for future planning. Does anyone have any insight on what they would like to see in these sites? Is the area missing something? Do we need more of something (townhouses? retail? new football stadium? casino? school?)?

1 comment:

Me said...

I believe the lot between Roosevelt and 16th Street (along the river and bounded by Clark on the east) was supposed to host a huge development that was going to be anchored by Ikea. That fell apart when Ikea pulled out and the developer sold the property off. It's the largest continuous undeveloped track of land in the downtown area, though.