|City trying to develop random sites - Here is one in the Sloop|
at the corner of Archer, Dearborn and Cullerton
The view from the triangular slice of concrete at Milwaukee Avenue and Leavitt Street in Bucktown is not exactly postcard material: an Aldi grocery store, a set of abandoned train tracks, a grassy empty lot and the CTA Blue Line clattering past close enough to be noisy.
It's one of more than 60 odd parcels scattered from Jefferson Park to Hegewisch that fell to the Chicago Department of Transportation over the years, most the result of streets added to the grid and others closed to traffic.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel is betting a company will look at those random plots and see dollar signs. He's looking for someone to transform the bulk of them into plazas with cultural programs and attractive landscaping. The firm could raise money by selling advertising, securing sponsorships and getting businesses to set up shop.
In return, the city would add inviting public spaces to its neighborhoods, offload maintenance onto a private operator and share in the profits.
In theory it sounds interesting. As always, the devil is in the details.
So you're probably wondering where and if this could come to our neighborhood. The answer is yes.
From what we can tell there are some locations in the Sloop. If you look at page 30 of the city RFP you can see where the spots are.
A good example of the type of lots the city is "selling" is displayed in the image above where the random triangle is formed at the intersection of Archer, Culerton and Dearborn. There is another one at the corner of 18th and Clark. Some additional spots in Chinatown and then another one near us just north of Congress.
What do you think? Interesting? Stupid? Or you will wait and see how it plays out.