Tuesday, January 03, 2006

FC2: Business and Building Boom in Hot 48th Ward

Today in Forbidden Chicago: An AntiGuide to the City, I present to you the Bryn Mawr Historic District. This look at one of Chicago's "jumping" streets is inspired by a couple of paragraphs about Detroit in today's Chicago Tribune, which read:

One block southeast of the Detroit Lions' $430 million home on Brush Street, a decaying building with a boarded door and graffiti illustrates the way poverty and prosperity intersect in this Super Bowl host city.

There is Greektown, a Chicago-styled neighborhood full of choice restaurants, old churches and a casino. There are panhandlers, neglected patches of land and other reminders of Detroit's unwanted label as America's poorest city if you stroll too far in another direction. There are places to treasure and avoid.

In the article, a Detroit resident says, "There's still the crime issue and poverty and a real race problem that needs to be addressed, but things are so much better in terms of things to do. It's not Chicago, but it's improved a lot."

Want to see a land of contradiction right here in Chicago's 48th ward? Take a walk on Bryn Mawr between Sheridan and Broadway. Like most Chicago politicians, Alderman Mary Ann Smith is doing her best to drive out the crime and poverty and race problems by bringing in high-end developments and cleaning up the streets. Let's see how she's doing. The following photos are by me, text from Smith's website.

Over the past five years, the 48th Ward has become one of the "hot" communities for new development of all kinds. The Bryn Mawr National Register District takes in the historic buildings between Broadway and Sheridan Road including the Edgewater Beach Apartments, the Bryn Mawr and the Belle Shore. Creating this historic district helped spark the revival of Bryn Mawr.

Development is taking many forms: old buildings are being restored and re-purposed for exciting new uses; new market rate housing is being built; new mixed-use construction is adding both retail and residential space; affordable housing is being included in some of the new developments and residential rehab is continuing.

Our Ward is becoming an entertainment destination with award-winning restaurants, professional theaters, and dance and music venues. And the retail climate is sunny and hot with new businesses vying to come into the neighborhood.

The result is a vibrant community with a healthy business and cultural environment that adds up to a better quality of life for those who live and work here.


Anonymous art attack said...

All I can say is hat I love the old buildings in Detroit and I hope they save them. On the same note, the Bryn Mawr district has a lot of potential and I am glad they are working hard to keep Mayor Daley from bulldozing the old and putting up crap.

6:21 PM  

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