West Loop Park

Not related to our pocket park, which is still in the proposal stage (jeebus, there's a lot of paperwork to fill out), but every block converted to green space is good news.

Patterns of Behaviour

Chicago Tribune news : West Loop green space
The Chicago Park District on Wednesday approved tax-increment financing worth $6.22 million to buy a former eye and ear infirmary and the land around it from the University of Illinois at Chicago. The lobbying that led up to a deal for 1.42 acres in the 900 block of West Adams Street demonstrates the hurdles faced by a city trying to find open space during an extended housing boom. The deal must still be approved by the City Council. West Loop residents have been pushing for new park space for about a decade. .... Every green space in that part of the city is expensive, and the new park property will cost about $7.3 million, according to Arnold Randall, director of planning and development for the Park District. Grant money will help cover part of the cost, Randall said.

“Clearly, we're paying a significant amount of money for this property, but we knew this was an area of very high growth in 1998, and a lot of people have moved in since then,” he said.

Even with the new land, the neighborhood will be well short of Chicago's CitySpace Plan, which recommends 2 acres of open land for every 1,000 residents. In 1998, during the early stages of the boom, the Near West Side would have needed 14 more acres of open space to meet that standard.

There were 4,555 housing units in the West Loop and River West area then, including new development activity by the University of Illinois at Chicago, according to Gail Lissner, vice president of Appraisal Research Counselors. As of 2005, there were 12,296 units, according to the Chicago-based consultant group.

Google map here, previous coverage here

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This page contains a single entry by Seth A. published on July 14, 2005 8:01 AM.

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