Monday, May 18, 2009

Central Area Action Plan: River South Part 2

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 - Part 2
In the first post about the river south area we mentioned how the north portion of this area has developed a lot over the past ten years. Now we're going to talk about the south portion of River South (which is the area south of Roosevelt bound by 18th street on the south, Clark on the east and the Chicago river on the west). As mentioned before this area is gigantic. There was a rumor a poster mentioned about a proposed IKEA that fell through, but besides that we don't know much about this area.

Judging by the city's plan, we figure this will be various mixed use retail and residential (maybe like Roosevelt Collection, which is currently being built). However, there might be an abundance of retail that the Sloop doesn't need and as a result this area might be best served to be completely residential (like Dearborn Park I and/or II). We would love to hear your thoughts on this huge piece of land.

The image to the right details more plans from the city for the River South area. The biggest improvement would be the "Wells-Wentworth" connector which would add an arterial street and restore the city grid structure to this area (noted by dotted line 1). We think this is a much needed addition and something that would make this area highly desirable as it would better connect Chinatown to Printers Row and the rest of the downtown core.

We've already spoken about a couple of the improvements labeled on this map (bridges noted by dotted line 3), but some of the other ones are the infill orange line station (noted by the 7) and the river walk (noted by the 4).

Both of these improvements would do wonders for the area. Although we've said before that the river walk would be great, it really isn't practical right now. The Orange line stop at 18th and Clark would be a massive improvement and in our opinion would help spur future development in this area. The one thing that isn't mentioned is that this stop would only serve the Orange line even though the Green line also could stop there. Maybe we're missing some logistical issue, but we really feel like this proposed stop should be one for both the Orange and Green line.


Anonymous said...

The Orange and Green lines separate to different tracks at about 17th St. So, yes, it would be logistically impossible for the CTA to build a new station that services both lines at 18th St.

Sloopy said...

You're right they do separate around 17th, but they are still very close at 18th street. So the CTA could build a station at 18th that would still service the Red, Orange and Green line (similar to Roosevelt where the red line is on a different track, but you can still get to the green line and orange line).

If you look at google maps and the satelite view, you can get a good sense of where this station might go.