It's that time of year and like many other websites, tv stations, newspapers and blogs, we're going to take a look back at some of the most important and biggest stories of 2011.
#2 - Motor Row Entertainment District
Strategically speaking, it makes sense for the city to invest in the future of the Cermak corridor mainly due to the fact that McCormick Place remains a huge asset for the city. While the real estate and residential boom in the neighborhood helped the area, most of the development never quite made it down to Cermak.
However, in 2011, various projects, initiatives and efforts were put forward to help evolve and shape the future of this area. As posted earlier in our top 11 Sloopin stories, the announced Green Line stop at Cermak was one big piece of the puzzle for the area.
Probably the biggest development was Alderman Fioretti's push to transform the stretch of Michigan avenue from Cermak to the Stevenson Expressway into an "entertainment district". While we're unsure about what this exactly means, it's good to see some attention being devoted to this stretch.
With this announcement came some other interesting developments. First off was the announcement that Cheap Trick (a prominent local band from the 70s) would be opening up a multi-purpose museum, restaurant, concert venue to anchor this entertainment district. We also heard about a new brewery that would also be coming (which we recently found out was going to be called Broad Shoulders Brewery).
There was also talk about renaming the entertainment district from "Motor Row" to "Music Row" to embrace the areas musical roots (since there were numerous record labels in the area). This seems like a good idea if you ask us given that Music would probably resonate with an entertainment district more than Motor.
Finally, there was also talk in November about a massive hotel and retail complex at the Northeast corner of Cermak and Indiana. However we recently found out that a judge has put the brakes on this project.
Needless to say, there has been a ton of talk about this area in 2011. We imagine this will continue into 2012 so stay tuned...it should be interesting.