Friday, December 30, 2016

Looking Back at 2016 and the Roller Coaster Year it Was

2016 is almost gone, so per usual we're taking a quick look back at the year that was in the Sloop.

Scene in alley off of 18th street after fatal shooting
First the quantitative look back.

According to Google Analytics are biggest spike in traffic on the site was on Monday, August 29th when we posted about a fatal shooting of a neighborhood man in the alley south of 18th between Michigan and Indiana.  Simply put, it was a jarring event that put many of us on high alert.  

The good news (if there can be after such a horrific event) was that the neighborhood rallied and a saw a huge crowd show up at the patio of Spoke and Bird to discuss what could be done

Second highest spike - again more shooting.  This time on Monday, February 29th, when numerous readers emailed us about a shooting at 1801 S. Michigan.  Luckily it sounded like no one was hurt in this altercation.

Although safety and violence are always a top concern for the neighborhood, the most pervasive story - again - was development.  It didn't seem like a week would go by without some form of announcement.  It also feels like every single vacant piece of land in the neighborhood has something proposed.  What gets built is a different story, but there are a ton of cranes in the area.  We anticipate this continuing into 2017.  

Beyond that, who knows.  Seems like we're in a boom cycle.  We're skeptical that there is enough demand to keep up with the pace of building, but what do we know.  

In more civic development news, 2016 was the year the George Lucas museum was officially killed for the museum campus.  But we did see major progress on Cermak road with the build out of the DePaul Arena (will be known as the Wintrust Arena apparently) and hotels.  This area still has a ways to go, but it is making visible progress which is a change for the talk of the past.

Lot acquired by city for new South Loop Elementary School
Another major story was the announcement that the city is building a new elementary school for the South Loop at 16th and Dearborn.  Lots of questions still remain, but definitely an exciting project that many in the neighborhood are optimistic about.

We're not going to spend much time on the business/restaurants/bars that opened and closed in 2016 because we've done that over the past two weeks.  Needless to say, still trending in the right direction for new places opening.

To round out the year, 2016 was epic for something that did happen and didn't happen in our backyard.  

As you're probably guessing, we're talking about the Cubs winning the World Series and hosting (arguably) the 7th largest gathering of human beings in the world (cough cough - right?!?).

Regardless if you're a Cubs fan, it was a pretty surreal experience in and around the Sloop.  It was an unseasonably warm November day and that brought a ton of people to the neighborhood to celebrate this once in a lifetime type of celebration.

Along those lines, it was also a strange to watch the 2016 Olympics in Rio.  To be clear, we probably are fortunate to have lost the bid to host the 2016 Olympics in Chicago.  While it would have been a once in a lifetime experience, it would have undoubtedly put a spotlight and stress on our city and neighborhood that would have been hard to withstand.   

Finally, we just wanted to say thanks for all the peeps who help us do what we do with Sloopin.  It's not an easy endeavor and without the emails, comments, tips, pictures, etc it wouldn't exist.

So thanks and looking forward to a great 2017!

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