We've posted about the topic many many many times and it will be good to squash rumors and hear some news straight from the horses mouth. Stay tuned.
|Image from Architecture Chicago Plus|
The Roosevelt Road viaduct is another example of Chicago's man-made levels. It goes on for blocks, towering above Dearborn Park, over once endless strands of railroad tracks now mostly gone, and on to the approach to the bridge over the Chicago River.
In the middle of that viaduct is The Roosevelt Collection, a mixed use development with 342 residential units and nearly 400,000 square feet of retail space, A. Epstein, RTKL and Hirsch Associates, architects. While it has a new Target to the east, the complex, whose site plan looks like an oversized clothespin, otherwise lies within a moat of some of Chicago's largest tracts of undeveloped land.
The post goes on to walk you through the history of the road and leaves us with a critical jab at its current state:
Right now, the Roosevelt viaduct is an anti-urban disconnect from the fabric of the city, just as the retail to the west of the river veers towards an anti-urban, shopping-within-a-sea-of-parking vibe. Assuming all those vacant tracts around the Roosevelt viaduct eventually begin to fill up, the city needs something more than a development-by-development improvisation, lest the district become just a series of insular, self-contained mega-projects, existing in near-perfect isolation one to another. That's the profile of a second-rate suburb, not a great city. All the parcels will be developed separately, but continuity counts. Chicago needs a plan and a set of guidelines to stitch this tabula rasa together if the Roosevelt Viaduct District is to realize its potential as one the city's great neighborhoods.We understand what the writer is saying, but don't think it's that bad. Yes, it could be better and more "urban" but personally we appreciate the convenience that comes with a commercial corridor like Roosevelt Road could become.
While most urbanophiles love local, small stores with character (as do we), the reality is that most people still flee their area for the convenience of big box stores. The challenge in our opinion is to build up Roosevelt Road, but keep the North/South streets more "local" and "urban". If you walk down State, Wabash, Dearborn and Michigan Avenue you get this. It could be better, but it's slowly getting their.
Hopefully Roosevelt Road corridor continues to develop and becomes a shopping destination, bringing people around the city to our neighborhood. If the people come all the businesses in the area will benefit.
What do you think? Disagree? Agree? Tough to tell?