In this post, the blog calls one of the "darker sides" to his legacy was the pace of residential growth and the ramifications on local restaurants and retail. They used the South Loop to illustrate this point:
At the same time, the development during Daley's reign had a dark side. The renovated buildings and high-income communities that allowed $40 per plate restaurants to exist often drove out small, locally-owned business. Sometimes,
as in the case of the South Loop, development was done so fast that it backfired. When the goal was simply to draw in as many wealthy people as possible, whatever the consequences, neighborhoods often ended up without retail or dining for long stretches of time - the South Loop still struggles to attract and keep restaurants.
Although the paragraph seems to be on-point in some areas, it's ironic that last week we had a post quoting a story in the Red-Eye (via Metromix) saying that the "South Loop is on the verge of an eatery expansion" (see post here). The fact of the matter is that the South Loop has had spotty restaurants and retail in the past.
For every successful restaurant there seems to be two that struggle. Obviously this is a shortsighted view and in our opinion is natural for any neighborhood in transition. Let's remember that much of the growth in the South Loop was as a result of the housing bubble. The corresponding recession has definitely had a huge affect on the retail and restaurant scene in the neighborhood (and we're not the only neighborhood who has had similar issues).
In three or five years (or maybe ten years if you're being pessimistic) we will see if this growth really "back-fired" as the post indicates. There are signs that the retail and restaurant scene in the South Loop is picking up. Only time will tell if Daley's "food legacy" in the South Loop is shortsighted or in fact visionary.
Sometimes we feel that the vision for the South Loop came from the movie Field of Dreams..."If you build it, he will come".
It's built, let's just hope he (the restaurants and retail) will continue to come.