Monday, January 2, 2017

McCormick Square - A New Community, a New Vision? Maybe, but Also New Confusion for Us

We hate to start the new year out with a head-scratcher, but here we are.  We just heard and read about a new initiative to re-brand part of the neighborhood as McCormick Square.  Apparently this initiative has been underway for most of 2016, but we're just hearing about this now.

So what is this?  According to their website:
Nestled between the South Loop, Chinatown, the Prairie District and Bronzeville, the McCormick Square community is built on a vision of growth, economic stability and entertainment for its surrounding communities. From McCormick Place to the new Wintrust Arena to Motor Row, McCormick Square is a destination fit for tourists, convention goers and native Chicagoans alike. Above all, McCormick Square is committed to serving and bettering its community as a good neighbor.
Clear?  Not to us.  Seems like an unnecessary addition to an area that we thought was going to be called the Motor Row entertainment district.  Obviously they're acknowledging Motor Row in the description above, but seems convoluted to now have to try to establish/brand two "districts" from scratch.

To get more literal - it's still not clear what is and isn't part of "McCormick Square".  Is it a set of buildings?  Does it have specific boundaries?  Do they realize the logo is a diamond and not a square?

We're not experts in the convention industry, but the only sense we can make of this is that it allows the McPier peeps to sell in this new "community" to existing and potential clients.  Maybe this will work, but from our perspective it only confuses the situation for residents of our city.

We like to think we have a good understanding of what's happening in the neighborhood.  We read a lot and we talk to a lot of people about happenings in the Sloop.  But this just confuses us, so we can only imagine what a layman thinks (or knows for that matter).  That's why we're left scratching our heads about this initiative.

The vision for the broader area around Cermak is confusing.  We know about developments here and there, but it just seems like leaders can't get out of their own way for this area.

Maybe we're overreacting, but this just seems counterproductive to us.


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