Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Will Conventioneers Make "Motor Row Entertainment District" Succeed?

Joe Cahill of Crain's recently had a post questioning the city's assumptions in their plan to build the DePaul "activity center" and two new hotels in the area.  We've spent a lot of time thinking about this and talking about this.

Cahill looks at some of the city's assumptions and then lays out his thinking.  One of the assumptions he states is:
”Motor Row,” a desolate stretch that housed car dealerships a century ago, will morph into a bustling nightlife district.
Later in the post he counters this assumption with the following:
As for Motor Row, if the rapidly expanding residential areas of the Near South Side haven't spawned a thriving nightlife scene yet, conventioneers won't make it happen.
So what do you think?  Do you agree with this rationale?

While we see his angle, it seems like he's drastically oversimplifying.  While conventioneers aren't solely going to revitalize the area, they are probably going to help.  Couple that with the Sloop's growth trajectory and it would seem like both could make "Motor Row" succeed.

We also wouldn't call the Sloop's nightlife "thriving" but it's definitely better than it was 5 or 10 years ago (anyone disagree?).  Slowly but surely it's reasonable to think it could continue to extend south, especially if the city makes an effort to make this happen.

Maybe we're wrong.  What do you think?  

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