Friday, June 10, 2011

TIF Dollars Requested for South Loop Indoor Skate Park

About a month ago, Mayor Daley presided over his last city council meeting and surprisingly proposed that an indoor, 24 hour skate park should be built at 1600 S. Clark. At the time, funding was TBD, but TIF funds were rumored to be tied to this project.

Fast forward to this week and that rumor appears to be true based on a story we read in the Chicago Sun-Times on Monday:


A South Side land giveaway that would pave the way for Chicago’s first-ever indoor, all-night skateboard park sailed through a City Council committee Monday, but it will be built only if Mayor Rahm Emanuel authorizes $2 million in tax-increment-financing.

According to the article Emanuel has promised to "rein in TIF spending". Regardless, this isn't a done deal:




“This is a cool project. I just told Danny [Solis, whose 25th Ward includes the project] that I want him to buy me a new pair of roller skates so I can practice,” said Committee Chairman Ray Suarez (31st).

Solis promised community meetings before the TIF subsidy is approved. But, he called the skate park a wonderful addition to “almost adjacent” — and soon to be expanding — Ping Tom Park.



“This skate park will just add to what will hopefully be one of the premier parks in Chicago. I look forward to having this park be one of the jewels of the city,” Solis said.
Still, Solis acknowledged that “there is some concern from residents — not just in my ward, but other wards” about the indoor skate park that will allow skateboarders to blow off steam day or night.

“This is simply an acquisition. There will be a number of community meetings to allow input and refine how we put this park together,” he said.


Stay tuned...

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Open all night long? On the south side? Trouble. Trouble. Trouble.

Steven said...

Across the street from the CPD. Think this will have a moderating influence on the shenanigans. At least some. Now I know what they building along the river north of the 16th street overpass. An extension of the beautiful riverfront Chinatown park. Nice.

Steven said...

Across the street from the CPD will be a moderating influence on shenanigans. New Chinatown park extension on the north side of the 16th street bridge along the river. Very nice.

Anonymous said...

This is a total WIN for the sloop! More stuff for the kids to do that doesn't involve video games...

oh wait... it's on the south side?!? OMG! They should build this a couple miles north, then nothing will go wrong. Dummy. Dummy. Dummy.

Anonymous said...

Horrible idea. We will become a destination point for idiot teens in the middle of the night. This will also bring in no real revenue for the area. Sell the land to an actual business that will benefit the area. We are have enough parks and one new one going in a 16th and Wabash. How about getting all of the vagrant pieces of garbage around Jewel out of the way first before we take on babysitting teenagers for all hours of the night.

Anonymous said...

idiot teens?
vagrant pieces of garbage around Jewel?
This will bring in no real revenue for the area?

Do you realize that you sound like an idiot adult piece of garbage?

Do you realize if this skate park doesn't happen, nothing will change at this site?

Let's look at the bright side of this and the opportunity for kids of all races to get together and skate during the middle of the winter while there is a consistant police presence next door. jeezze!

Anonymous said...

This article just shows what the South Loop Residents are in for if Dowell picks up more of the South Loop from the new Aldermanic boundary discussion.

Dowell just can't see spending money on improving the life of more well off South Loopers, even though infrastructure projects like this are what the TIF money is for. She would be bad news for residents.

Vagrant Teenage Babysitters? said...

skate or die! If you build it they will come (and thrash).

Tim said...

Let me get this straight... adding a destination for legitimate foot (or board) traffic in a currently deserted area will make that area more dangerous?

Anonymous said...

This is great news! I know of hundreds of people who will be absolutely ecstatic about this if it happens and the park is built well.

I am opening a skate shop very soon and and very excited to see this. This will help my business enormously.

Many people who don't skate don't know this but there really aren't any good indoor parks in Illinois. Krush in Orland Park is ok but nothing spectacular. Having a skatepark in a central location, will be insanely popular. If this happens and the park is built well, just watch. The south loop will look at this facility with great pride!

-Collin Martin
The Pull Skate Shop
Chicago, IL

tarsaucer said...

sounds like a great idea. i was a longtime sloop chicago resident and recently moved to europe. wish they had something like this around when i was in chicago. in europe they have skate parks everywhere and they are definitely a great place for kids to get out some energy, and in fact many adults go there to watch and be excited about what their kids are doing. this really can be the case in chicago and other places in the usa if we stop thinking of "skateboarders" as rebels and rather kids having fun doing something healthy and skillful.

for myself, i was a serious skater when i was young and became interested in being a mechanical engineer when i kept breaking my equipment and started to build ramps with better construction principles. skating actually gave me something to do and helped me to become a better and productive person. it sure beats telling kids to stay inside and play nintendo or surf the internet.

give these kids a chance and spend your energy thinking of ways to make the sloop skatepark a safe place for kids to have fun.

tarsaucer said...

sounds like a great idea. i was a longtime sloop chicago resident and recently moved to europe. wish they had something like this around when i was in chicago. in europe they have skate parks everywhere and they are definitely a great place for kids to get out some energy, and in fact many adults go there to watch and be excited about what their kids are doing. this really can be the case in chicago and other places in the usa if we stop thinking of "skateboarders" as rebels and rather kids having fun doing something healthy and skillful.

for myself, i was a serious skater when i was young and became interested in being a mechanical engineer when i kept breaking my equipment and started to build ramps with better construction principles. skating actually gave me something to do and helped me to become a better and productive person. it sure beats telling kids to stay inside and play nintendo or surf the internet.

give these kids a chance and spend your energy thinking of ways to make the sloop skatepark a safe place for kids to have fun.

Anonymous said...

As a life long south side chicago resident, frankly I am tired of the stigma of south neighborhoods being more dangerous when i've seen more alcohol fueled violence in Wrigleyville and GoldCoast. This is a good idea. Currently it's an empty lot and now it'll be a helpful addition to Ping Tom Park. It'll give people a place to exercise along a very scenic riverfront.

Anonymous said...

Parks/ attractions bring revenue. Local businesses within the vicinity will gain foot traffic. It also brings people from different parts of the city to new unexplored areas where one wouldn't normally go. essentially fresh customers. although the park benefits the locals, Chicago also has a reputation of lacking quality designed parks. This deters companies from adding chicago to their tour destinations. Chicago needs more well designed parks. I am in full support of this idea.

Anonymous said...

WOW! this would be GREAT! I personally grew up on the southside where there was plenty of negative influence around. Thanks to a local skatepark in Posen i had a place to go to meet other kids like me and through that camaraderie i stayed away from trouble with the police and drugs. Skateparks encompass so many wonderful attributes for kids. A skatepark is a place where kids can get exercise, focus on their medium (rollerblading, skateboarding) learn discipline and test their physical limits. And again the friendships made at skateparks, amongst fellow skaters is invaluable. I was very fortunate to have something like this growing up and i support this idea 100%. some of the best times of my life and some of my best friends we're made at the skatepark.

Anonymous said...

I'm ambivalent about this. I'd be 100% for it if we didn't have other things that would benefit the area more with that money.

Let's be serious here. It's a skate park for an area with very few resident teenagers, from what I can tell. So, why would we want money for our neighborhood to go into something that will benefit so few who actually live here? What we do have are a lot of dog owners and the dog park at 16th and Wabash is being reduced in size. I'd be surprised if dogs are allowed in it at all by the time all of the "neighborhood input" from people who live nowhere near the proposed park is taken into account.

I don't know all the details of TIF money and how it works (or if there's any way it can go to CTA projects) but if we could get it used to help fund an 18th Street train stop, that would be so much better for the community than a skate park.

Anonymous said...

AnonymousJ uly 2, 2011 6:40 PM -

While I agree with some of your sentiment, I disagree about 16th & Wabash as:
a. In reality, there is not that much density around that park
b. There is a dog run at 15th & Wabash
c. The biggest daily dog congregation is actually at Twain Park
c. Improved human & kid space - The South Loop is woefully inadequate in quality parks and open space in general (dogs included). Even worse for teens.

There is no quality outdoor playground east of Wabash, as Twain is miserable quality. We are sitting on the biggest pot of TIF funds, doing the least about it, while the West Loop is spending tax money of all kinds on real infrastructure...people should be pissed.
said...

Anonymous said...

I have to disagree. There are a lot of dogs right around 16th & Wabash. I know because I live right there. Though I don't live in them, the apartment buildings at 1620 and 1720 S Michigan are full of dog owners.

Further, the dog run at Coliseum park IS NOT a dog park. There's no grass and no place for dogs to really play without getting hurt. Dog runs are not dog parks. My dog probably gets more exercise running around my apartment than she does at the dog runs.

But, that's really neither here nor there. I almost never see any teenagers in the South Loop, other than right by the Roosevelt station or at the Jewel. I see some small children and lots of dogs but almost no teenagers. Why would we spend $2 million on a skate park for kids in other neighborhoods? Seriously, this would not create a lot of walking traffic (where would they walk to?), but it would create a lot of driving traffic of cars full of kids.