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Tuesday, December 13, 2022

WBEZ: The other Michigan Ave in Roseland poised for a comeback

 I would like to see the shopping strip south of 111th Street at least get the attention it needs. From Chicago Public Radio:

Roseland is the last of the 10 communities targeted for redevelopment under the city’s ambitious INVEST South/West economic program; Michigan Avenue is a centerpiece. Compared to other neighborhoods struggling with vacant land, this part of Michigan Avenue has comparatively few – only 10 empty lots, according to my informal count.

The city owns three vacant lots in the vicinity, including the former Gately’s department store at the corner of 112th and Michigan. The city’s vision for that location is housing with retail stores. The planned CTA Red Line extension is a few blocks south near 116th and Michigan, and the city wants to develop the land next to it. And there’s a third vacant lot that was the site of a movie theater that Cox sees as a blank canvas.

Other elements of the city’s revitalization plan include affordable housing, transit-oriented development and retail connected to the emerging medical district anchored by the nearby Roseland Community Hospital. Normally when the city looks to redevelop land it owns, its department of planning and development, which Cox leads, puts out a request for proposals.

“We found that that was an unfair barrier for a lot of Black and brown developers,” Cox said. Instead Cox says the city is asking for a request of qualifications for Michigan Avenue. Developers and architects will then be matched up to create a joint venture. Those teams will each get a $20,000 to $30,000 stipend from a philanthropic foundation to pitch a proposal.

“We eliminate that barrier of smaller emerging developers from being able to compete and having to advance those dollars to come up with their proposals,” Cox said.

The community will hear the proposals by March 2023.

Read the whole thing. Perhaps this is something that those candidates running for Alderman in Ward 9 where this strip is located can express their ideas.

Oh and there is a theater in the neighborhood still standing waiting for redevelopment although if that vacant lot that once had a theater is the State Theater perhaps if they could make a good deal with the Post Office. 

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