Today’s Headlines

  • Metra Will Funnel Crowds Through Union Station’s Great Hall During Special Events (Tribune)
  • Businesses Have Left Fullerton/Damen/Elston in Advance of Street Reconfiguration (DNA)
  • Track Fire Near Logan Square Stop Delays Blue Line (Tribune)
  • First Phase of Devon Streetscape Is Nearly Completed (DNA)
  • Petition Against Veteran’s Housing in Humboldt Cites Density, Parking as Concerns (DNA)
  • Rogers Park Business Alliance Will Stop Using SSA Money to Subsidize Customers’ Parking (DNA)
  • City Will Try Do-It-Yourself Denver Boot Removal Program (Sun-Times)
  • CTA Needs to Teach Bus Drivers How to Share the Road With Cyclists (Kevenides)
  • Active Trans Visits Bikes N’ Roses Bike Ed Center in Albany Park
  • Come on and Take a Free Ride: CTA Waiving Fares on New Year’s Eve (RedEye)
  • Lakeview Chamber Handing Out Gift Cards at CTA Stops Tonight & Tomorrow (RedEye)

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  • Exciting to see things finally happening at Elston/Fullerton/Damen! That whole area is going to be interesting to watch redevelop in the next five years or so, with the new parcel sizes/angles/adjacencies.

  • BlueFairlane

    My prediction is that in five years, it will look roughly like it does. There might be a strip mall.

  • Considering that right now it’s mostly disused warehouses and empty parking lots, I’d argue that it’s likely to get a lot more development.

  • BlueFairlane

    I would not argue that. The only thing that’s going to change here is the shape of the roads, and all the new shape will do is chop things up a little more than they already are. I expect it to stay mostly disused warehouses and empty parking lots.

  • cjlane

    What part, in particular, are you expecting to not change?

    The Thybony “disused warehouse” is already gone, and Midtown is expanding their main building fairly substantially. Vienna is moving out, and probably demolishing the plant–no one else would want it as is. Plus there are 150,000+ sf of ‘warehouse’ being torn down for the construction.

    There will probably be a ridiculous strip mall in the rectangle bt new Elston and Fullerton, true–maybe another Mariano’s and *two* mattress stores–so long as it’s not a drive thru anything, that won’t be too awful.

    Something will go on the Vienna site. Even allowing for a riverside trail/park, it’s a big enough site for most big boxes–which isn’t ideal, but is likely.

    Honestly, in the immediate area, the more like “staying the same” 5 years from now is Lathrop.

  • BlueFairlane

    Well, as I said above, a “ridiculous” strip mall is pretty much all I see happening there, and maybe a fast food outlet that complements the Popeye’s. I don’t see why simply rejiggering the road network so that this goes from being a big three-point intersection to being a really big three-point intersection is going to suddenly make this a hot development property. Elston has long been dead in either direction, right up to the empty big box where the Circuit City used to be. There’s nothing going on with Damen, nothing going on with the several run-down houses along Fullerton. I have trouble thinking that somebody’s just been waiting for the stoplights to move to turn this into the next big thing. And not everything can be a Mariano’s.

  • When the parcel sizes were as insane as they were, there was no way for any tenant smaller than “gargantuan” to get a workable space out of it. The strip with My Gym in it and the like managed to make it work because all those businesses were “pullers” — people found out about them through some not-in-person method and then had a reason to put in the effort to find them. I was invited to a birthday party at the My Gym, and even with a Google Maps section beforehand spent about ten minutes driving around the empty acreage of deserted, depressing parking lot trying to figure out where I was meant to be.

    Having a more usually proportioned lot means businesses can put their signage and entrances actually near the right-of-way, which will bring them business from people actually KNOWING THEY ARE THERE.

    It will probably have to be mostly car-centric (though I hope some businesses will take a flyer on putting in significant bike racks, given how de-facto arterial Elston is for bike commuters) in orientation, just because of how the area is, but there’s a bunch of good retail on the other side of the river, so Lincoln Parkers and Logan Square and us Albany Parkers are already used to driving down there for certain stores.

  • cjlane

    Well, there are going to be a couple of vacant available parcels, of decent size, available in 2016–parcels that are or were in active use until recently. Several of the run-down houses on Fullerton are coming down.

    And Mariano’s was a joke, of course.

  • R.A. Stewart

    “Come on and Take a Free Ride”–I saw what you did there. :-) And thanks for the earworm, I guess!

  • Hopefully it won’t be a “Slow Ride.”