Risk and Reward in Play With Wrigleyville Developments

A wave of investments is visiting one of the most famous, and notorious, neighborhoods in the city of Chicago. The question is whether the final product will be worth the expense.

April 12, 2018, 8:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Wrigley Field Transit Stop / Shutterstock

Blair Kamin provides commentary on the large-scale redevelopment going on in the neighborhood immediately surrounding Wrigley Field in Chicago—finding reasons to be concerned that the quality of future developments will match the neighborhoods role as a hub of activity in the city.

"The outcome will speak to an issue that resounds far beyond Chicago: Whether public officials can effectively manage the growing phenomenon of 'transit-oriented development,' which encourages high-density construction near transit and commuter rail stops to cut down on car use and save energy," writes Kamin

Two of the larger projects under discussion $2.1 billion Red and Purple lines modernization project, which requires the demolition of 14 structures, and a $1 billion investment by the Cubs that includes renovations at the ballpark, a new outdoor plaza, a new office building for the team, and a new hotel. Nearby there's also a new development called Addison & Clark, an eight-story building that includes apartments, shops, and a movie theater.  

With all of this development potential, Kamin sees need for a warning.

Transit-oriented development — TOD, for short — may sound good in theory, but some developers use it as an pretext for bulked-up buildings that are oversized eyesores and dwarf their delicate-scaled neighborhoods. Examples now blight the otherwise attractive downtowns of suburbs like Wilmette and La Grange.

Kamin offers prescription to prevent TOD, which you can read at the full article.

Friday, April 6, 2018 in Chicago Tribune

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