Monday, October 1, 2012

Mayor Emmanuel Touts $65 Million Worth of Improvements to the Sloop

Image from Chicago Sun-Times
Every so often we hear whispers of incremental improvements to the neighborhood.  Whether it's street beautification or new lights or improvements to a park or improvements to a CTA stations, slowly but surely things improve for our neighborhood.

Well this past Friday, Mayor Emmaunel, Alderman Fioretti, Alderman Dowell and others gathered at Weather Mark Tavern to announce various improvements that are coming to the broader South Loop area.  We're not going to go through every single thing since most of them have already been announced, but if you're looking for a good summary of everything we highly suggest reading the entire article in the Chicago Sun-Times.

Instead, we're going to highlight some new things (or at least things we don't remember).

Image from Chicago Sun-Times
First, some new renderings of the new green line station at Cermak were unveiled (see pic on the right).  The station looks pretty interesting, different and modern if you ask us.  It was also announced that the station is going to be called "Cermak/McCormick Place" which makes sense since we've been told one of the big reasons for this station was to serve McCormick Place.

Second, it was announced that the South End of Grant Park is going to get some remodeling (according to the Chicago Journal's recap):
Another $3 million has been allocated to southward expansion of Grant Park. According to the map provided by the City of Chicago, the extension would fill in the vacant site west of the 11th/Museum Campus Metra station.
This is what we're most excited about.  We were happy about them knocking down the old dilapidated station there, but it seems like this space was ripe for a makeover.  Hopefully it will be nice.  We shall see.

Finally (and unsurprisingly) there was some more talk about Motor Row.  We love the idea of this area becoming something that serves the city and area better, but frankly we're exhausted by all of the talk and from what we can tell lack of action.  We hear about how the city wants to develop this area, but what gives...why can't this happen?

The Chicago Tribune (free digital membership required) has a story that summarizes some of the new talk about Motor Row.  Most of it isn't new stuff (like Cheap Trick Venue, Hotels, Restaurants, Broad Shoulders Brewery, Music Studios, etc) but it seems like this is stuff we've been hearing about for awhile.  I guess Rome wasn't built in a day and apparently Motor Row won't be either.

For more info about Motor Row the blog Chicagoist also weighs in here.

Anyway, this is an encouraging post for us at Sloopin.  It's always good to hear that city officials (mainly the mayor) have decided to invest in our neighborhood.  Not only will we see some improvements, but it's also positive coverage that is disseminated throughout the city and region.

What do you think about this stuff?


Dan said...

Very happy to see confirmation of some of these previously rumored projects, but is there a timeline anywhere for when they expect to start/complete these?

Anonymous said...

Why was Dowell there?

Anonymous said...

Sad that some of our city kids don't have books and/or computer access at their schools but the city has 65 million to invest in the SLOOP, wow Rahm! Wait are you using our TIF money to build the brewery too?

Anonymous said...

move to the burbs if you dont like it in chicago---- its that simple

Anonymous said...

TIF money is used to spur development and attract new businesses, residents and commercial entities. The Chicago Public School has its own budget and they need to spend it wisely. Paying teachers $49k at an entry level, and averaging $71k will leave no room for more books, more teachers' aide, more investment in school infrastructure. The businesses TIF money attracts are actually taxpaying businesses that generate the very same money Chicago Public Schools spend. Before you spew garbage, maybe you should know who pays for what rather than believe that money grows on trees.

Anonymous said...

Agreed- TIF $ isn't for the schools.
Dowell was there because she's going to be our new Alderman, unfortunately, due to the ward re-mapping. It's really too bad that Fioretti is no going be around in the future. He has played a huge part in revitalizing the South Loop!

If read some of the other blogs and Everyblock, many of Dowell's existing Bronzeville constituents are complaining that they are missing out on this money.