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Old Posted Jun 17, 2018, 6:48 PM
LouisVanDerWright LouisVanDerWright is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the urban politician View Post
The South Loop is going to creep up on everyone, just watch.

Sure, the West Loop is where all the excitement is. But after some time, with all of the parking lots filling in, the South Loop will suddenly be on peoples’ radar. I wonder if it will ever develop a genuine shopping corridor. Nothing will ever rival the Mag Mile or State St, but even a 1-2 block long boutique shopping strip could be enough to generate trips from outside the neighborhood
This is not going to happen, at least not anytime soon. The South Loop failed to develop the way the West Loop is developing because the built environment is not conducive to the creative industries that make these kinds of districts possible. The West Loop was able to explode like it did because it remained absurdly low priced for a very long time given it's proximity to downtown. This was made possible by the pocket of industrial users that made productive use of the district until demand became so great that it was worth it for them to relocate.

Where in the South Loop is there a big pocket of dirt cheap old warehouses? Almost everything has already been converted to residential and anything that hasn't is in a PMD and can't be converted.

The other problem is that the South Loop is not central to growth patterns in the outlying neighborhoods. Fundamentally this is what really blew the West Loop up. It is surrounded by the Loop to the East, River North to the NE, West Town to the North, Wicker Park and Ukranian Village to the NW, IMD to the SW, Pilsen and Bridgeport to the South, and UIC literally right there. What's amazing about the West Loop is not what is happening to, but that it didn't happen sooner. It's surrounded on all sides by the most gentrifying neighborhoods.

What is much more likely is for areas to the West of the West Loop to continue maturing. There is a TON of industrial stock along the West side and much of it is totally untouched just waiting for the creatives fleeing the West Loop and Pilsen to set up shop. I also believe that a big box retail corridor like North Ave or Roosevelt is destined to happen on the West Side, probably along Western. I believe the IMD gateway retail project will set this off, we will probably use "Western and Ogden" in much the same way as "North and Clyborn". Also, if you think about it, the West side is much more conducive to developing a big retail district like that simply because there is no river creating choke points for cars. For years North Ave bridge was a nighmere and Roosevelt only did well because there's always been a huge viaduct there.

But think about it, with the two pronged pincer movement of growth headed Southwest through Pilsen and Little Village and West/Northwest through Ukranian Village, Humboldt Park, Wicker, Logan, etc., it's only a matter of time before economic conditions are identical along Western and Ogden near 290 to the conditions of Roosevelt and North. At some point the pocket of blight in Garfield Park will collapse and the entire West Side will be redeveloped.
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