Today’s Headlines for Wednesday, December 12

  • CTA Board Expected to Approve Contracts for RPM, Red Line Extension Today (Tribune)
  • 6 Mayoral Candidates Support a Community Benefits Agreement for Obama Center (Tribune)
  • As Logan’s White Population Surpasses Latinos, Some Point to TODs and 606 (Block Club)
  • County Judge Delays Ruling on Lawsuit Over Bike Lanes That Displaced Homeless (ABC)
  • Cook County to Vote on Repealing Lower Parking App Tax Rate (Crain’s)
  • Drivers Fail to Yield to Peds in Mid-block Crosswalk on South Side of City Hall (CBS)
  • MBAC Meeting Today 3-4:30 PM in City Hall, Room 1103 (Chainlink)

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  • ohsweetnothing

    “In Chicago Lawn, which includes Marquette Park, the Latino population has surpassed the black population. The community has seen multiple transitions. Virtually all-white until 1970, Chicago Lawn saw its white population fall from 48,000 to 6,000 over the next 30 years. During that time, both the black and Latino population surged there. By 2000, the community was majority black. Since then, the African-American population has declined while the Latino population has continued to grow.”

    Gentrification!?

  • ohsweetnothing

    I look forward to 10 years down the line when the residential streets of Logan are overwhelmingly SFH that fetch well over $1M and I get to read yet another article about the community concerns over TODs forcing the working and middle class out of the neighborhood.

  • Carter O’Brien

    “Gentrification took back many neighborhoods from Latinos displacing them first from Lincoln Park and Lakeview to then continue moving north along the lake and the train stations, northwest along the brown and the blue lines, and also into the West and the South Loop.”

    Lincoln Park and Lake View always had majority white ethnic populations: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/29/chicago-racial-demographi_n_2575921.html (direct link to the demographic map by decade: http://www.gif-explode.com/?explode=http://i.imgur.com/xZoKnTa.gif).

    So I don’t think “took back” is accurate, much less constructive to dialogue. Latinos and the pre-existing more traditionally defined “working class” white folks all got swept out of these two neighborhoods by gentrification, and contrary to the tone of this article – I lived there in the middle of it – there were not white blocks and Latino blocks, everyone was fairly mixed up.

  • Carter O’Brien

    TODs are the proverbial gas to the fire in the case of Logan Square’s transition because of what kind of development they’ve ushered in. It’s not housing for families that is cheaper than existing housing due to the developer not having to pay for parking thatisn’t needed to the proximity to the L. It’s luxury housing. And that’s important because it’s one thing if people are moving into your neighborhood from other neighborhoods, but the demand for this higher end TOD housing (fewer bedrooms that are of no use to families) is much larger than the city, and gets into the much larger world of national and international financing and investment. You can’t build your way to affordability when 80 – 90% of new construction is by definition unaffordable. Instead what happens is you put Logan on the map as a safe space for the upper middle class, within the City, regionally, across the country and beyond.

    So yeah, in 10 years people who grew up in these neighborhoods will still be keenly aware of the history, just as we were 10 years ago, and 10 years before that. Change happens, that’s OK. But there’s organic growth, and then there’s supercharged gentrification. Urbanists have been collectively slipped a mickey by developers who don’t actually care about sustainable urban communities – they just want to make as much money as they can.

  • ohsweetnothing

    This is so wrong and so ahistorical that I don’t know where to start.

    The fact that this is the prevailing narrative in the neighborhood is why I don’t hold much hope at all for affordability there in the future.

  • planetshwoop

    There’s something to be said here about finance. Debt was unbelievably cheap while there were real pressures to not build SFHs. I think that pushed some of these tower developments forward — it’s institutional capital. Making a decision about allocation of $20M for a tower is easier than the smaller amounts needed to build 3 flats, 2 flats, etc.

  • planetshwoop

    This is so wrong and so ahistorical that I don’t know where to start.

    Start at the beginning…. I’m curious about your answers instead of just saying “it’s all wrong.”

  • ohsweetnothing

    Now this is something I can believe re: finance, but the idea that Logan Square is the equivalent to Seattle/Vancouver/Manhattan as some sort of safe place for international financing to park assets is just flat wrong.

  • ohsweetnothing

    Honestly man, I’m just tired of having this same argument twice a year with people in the neighborhood. At some point I’m yelling at a wall ya know? I think I’ve had this back and forth with him specifically before, haha!

    So I don’t really feel like rehashing this again, but I’ll say that blaming gentrification pressures in Logan Square on an ordinance that passed in *2 0 1 5* is a stretch.

    And again, you still don’t hear a PEEP about the fact that SFH’s, many of them deconversions or outright teardowns, in that very same neighborhood are approaching $1M. Not a word. It’s the TOD’s that are “luxury”.

    I’m tired.

  • ohsweetnothing

    My broadstroke answers have always been some combination of:

    1. More density along the arterials, 5 stories at least, higher when TOD can be applied.
    2. Ban SFH exclusivity from the R districts.
    3. Make all IZ requirements on-site.
    4. More CHA/affordable/mixed income housing in the neighborhood.
    5. Rent stabilization.

    Or you know, we can keep scapegoating greedy developers instead of ourselves and our neighbors. Or wax nostalgic about “organic” change and growth, as if the white flight that made the housing stock so cheap to begin with was “organic”.

  • Carter O’Brien

    Well, as someone who lived in the neighborhood in the 70s, and has been connected to it my whole life (I have friends with multi-generational roots there) even before moving “back” 16+ years ago, I am simply going to say that you can say whatever you want, but it doesn’t change the reality for those of us on the ground viewing this through the lens of the 8 – 80 age spectrum, and who do not have a “home” suburb or Midwestern town, or where ever, to return to.

    Your answers don’t change the facts. And the facts are, the neighborhood went into overdrive as part of the TOD deal. If you don’t like it, then I guess you are indeed doomed to be miserable and tired.

    All that said, never once did I say there haven’t been other factors as well. Deconversions are certainly a big part – but hey, guess when those started taking off? And it takes two to tango, housing buyers but also housing sellers. People who don’t want the neighborhood to gentrify sure better not sell their homes for market price, as that most squarely makes them part of the process. SFHs are indeed insane, a big part of that is people who want to live in this neighborhood who 5 or 10 years ago would have been looking in Lake View, or Lincoln Park, or Lincoln Square. The TOD towers are basically the gentrification welcome flag in the same the rainbow poles on Halsted or the Puerto Rican flags on Division are.

    But TODs, *here*, are luxury housing. What do you think “microunits” are and who do you think those are being marketed to? Again, show me one of these projects where the new housing is actually cheaper than what was there before, thanks to the “savings” of not having to build parking. You know, the original stated goal of TOD’s, before they slipped in the density bonuses.

    And you didn’t pick up the full picture of what I was saying about demand – I’m talking about people as well as financing. People are moving to Logan Square from across the country, albeit sometimes with a short pit-stop in the South Loop or Streeterville, or some other, even more gentrified, neighborhood.

    And that said, what leads you to believe that the larger real estate sector doesn’t look to invest in these kinds of massive projects? You apparently weren’t around in 2007 and 2008 when all the big towers started popping up in the South Loop and thereabouts – after hours, those units were dark for years while the economy rebounded. Why? Because international investors knew to sit tight. It would be beyond implausible to suggest that Logan Square is not on that radar, being the “it” neighborhood is not all its cracked up to be (says the guy who just saw his damned property tax assessment go up 46% even as the neighborhood is miserable to live in right now thanks to poorly coordinated street closures & the Belmont L stop work).

    Look, bottom line is support new construction designed to leverage a fixed asset like the Blue Line if you like. Or you can say you’re interested in affordability, and at least mitigating gentrification.

    But you can’t say you’re supporting both, they are inherently at odds, the former comes at the cost of the latter.

    What *I’m* tired of is this poor developer-promoted understanding of housing supply and demand that leads people to believe fancy new construction will make this neighborhood more affordable. That’s a big old nope.

  • Carter O’Brien

    Sigh. And just reminded of this by LSP: https://blockclubchicago.org/2018/10/23/massive-apartment-project-pitched-for-cta-land-near-logan-square-monument/

    Please read, and note “Farpoint did, however, create a study, which provides a rough visual of the development’s footprint. The study shows many more studios and one-bedroom units than two-bedroom units. It also shows a fitness center, dog play area and retail.”

    Recognizing the margins for developers, the housing market, and why they seek to build this kind housing development is not to write off developers as greedy, heartless individuals – they are simply playing the cards they are dealt (putting aside pay to play issue for a moment). Why be surprised that community members with fewer financial resources do the same?

  • Courtney

    *sigh* The Red Line extension is such a waste of funds considering the lack of density on the Southside. No, the Red Line extension won’t spur density. The money we’re spending on extending the Red Line could go towards BRT.

  • ohsweetnothing

    I don’t know if my original response is going to post, but I kind of hope it doesn’t at this point. There’s nothing worthwhile to counter a bunch of made up points/history topped with a bit of “I’ve lived here for __ years so I’m surely correct.”

    Yelling at a wall.

  • planetshwoop

    You are confusing who finances the building with the buying. I have no idea who buys these condos. I was trying to make a point about who supplies the capital to build them.

  • Cameron

    The demand for the Red Line extension shows the costs of the inefficiencies of the region’s balkanized transit agencies. The tracks and most of the stations are already there. What’s needed is increased service and fare integration/reform so that residents are served by the existing infrastructure. We shouldn’t need to spend billions on redundant parallel infrastructure because two boards of political appointees can’t play nice together.

  • Tooscrapps

    Exactly. At the least, the CTA should shoulder some of the cost of bulking up service on this line for a 12-24 month pilot.

  • Cameron

    Spend the $21 million slated for developing a proposal that will require finding billions of dollars to implement (if it ever is implemented) on a pilot that would actually provide a service.

  • ohsweetnothing

    I understand and agree with your point. I was contrasting it with the other “big money” fear I hear about larger developments, including the earlier comment.

  • Austin Busch

    While a simple pilot would be nice, the largest changes will come from bus feeder service and fare integration, which are harder to implement. However, that’s still worth it, it’s just more involved than most pilots would be.

  • Carter O’Brien

    Fascinating. So you know the history of a neighborhood better than a person who lived/lives there. Yeah, one of us is like a brick wall, but at least in this case it isn’t me.

    And as for censorship, how your dismissive insult of a post made the cut but my detailed response to your developer apology note did not is a mystery.

  • Courtney

    I largely agree with you. The only part I’m confused by is “the demand for the Red Line extension.” Who is demanding it? I admit I haven’t been following the extension timeline closely but I am wondering if residents were given the option between BRT and the Red Line and if their concerns/ideas were taken into consideration.
    Considering many transit projects in the U.S. are done without much citizen input, I feel like I already have my answer.

  • ohsweetnothing

    Lol what are you talking about? My response to your response looks like it got lost due to the crappy internet connection and/or old computer I was on. I said nothing about censorship. I just didn’t feel like retyping it all out. My original replay was curt because I’ve spent time and effort typing out all the fallacies you’ve stated over and over again. There was nothing insulting about the post, your facts and dates are wrong. No personal shots at you or anything like that.

    And yes, I don’t care how long someone has lived in Logan Square. If that person, whomever it is, is claiming that a 3 year old ordinance is what really lit a match to gentrification (and deconversions somehow??) in the neighborhood, I’m going to assume I know the history of the neighborhood better.

    The good news for you is that it seems like the neighborhood organizations around there largely agree with you, so we’ll get to see how this all plays out in real time!

  • Carter O’Brien

    Your reading skills need work, which explains a lot of this/prior conversations. MY comment got flagged and is being held up, it may just be too long. I’ll break it in two and see if that helps.

    1) Well, as someone who lived in the neighborhood in the 70s, and has been connected to it my whole life (I have friends with multi-generational roots there) even before moving “back” 16+ years ago, I am simply going to say that you can say whatever you want, but it doesn’t change the reality for those of us on the ground viewing this
    through the lens of the 8 – 80 age spectrum, and who do not have a “home” suburb or Midwestern town, or where ever, to return to.

    Your answers don’t change the facts. And the facts are, the neighborhood went into overdrive as part of the TOD deal. If you don’t like it, then I guess you are indeed doomed to be miserable and tired.

    All that said, never once did I say there haven’t been other factors as well. Deconversions are certainly a big part – but hey, guess when those started taking off? And it takes two to tango, housing buyers but also housing sellers. People who don’t want the neighborhood to gentrify sure better not sell their homes for market price, as that most squarely makes them part of the process. SFHs are indeed insane, a big part of that is people who want to live in this neighborhood who 5 or 10 years ago would have been looking in Lake View, or Lincoln Park, or Lincoln
    Square. The TOD towers are basically the gentrification welcome flag in the same the rainbow poles on Halsted or the Puerto Rican flags on Division are.

    But TODs, *here*, are luxury housing. What do you think “microunits” are and who do you think those are being marketed to? Again, show me one of these projects where the new housing is actually cheaper than what was there before, thanks to the “savings” of not having to build parking. You know, the original stated goal of TOD’s,
    before they slipped in the density bonuses.

  • Carter O’Brien

    2) And you didn’t pick up the full picture of what I was saying about demand – I’m talking about people as well as financing. People are moving to Logan Square from across the country, albeit sometimes with a short pit-stop in the South Loop or Streeterville, or some other, even more gentrified, neighborhood.

    And that said, what leads you to believe that the larger real estate sector doesn’t look to invest in these kinds of massive projects? You apparently weren’t around in 2007 and 2008 when all the big towers started popping up in the South Loop and thereabouts – after hours, those units were dark for years while the economy rebounded. Why? Because international investors knew to sit tight. It would be beyond implausible to suggest that Logan Square is
    not on that radar, being the “it” neighborhood is not all its cracked up to be (says the guy who just saw his damned property tax assessment go up 46% even as the neighborhood is miserable to live in right now thanks
    to poorly coordinated street closures & the Belmont L stop work).

    Look, bottom line is support new construction designed to leverage a fixed asset like the Blue Line if you like. Or you can say you’re interested in affordability, and at least mitigating gentrification.

    But you can’t say you’re supporting both, they are inherently at odds, the former comes at the cost of the latter.

    What *I’m* tired of is this poor developer-promoted understanding of housing supply and demand that leads people to believe fancy new construction will make this neighborhood more affordable. That’s a big old nope.

  • Carter O’Brien

    And for good measure: “And yes, I don’t care how long someone has lived in Logan Square.”

    Well, duh, tell me something I don’t know.

    What is so hilarious about this attitude is that it exists in defiance of both common sense and even the business world’s viewpoint. Apparently you would see no difference in two job candidates whereby one had 3 years of experience and one had 30. Or perhaps your problem is simply that as the one with less experience, you have to resort to undermining other people’s lived experiences and wisdom.

    When I moved to my neighborhood I certainly did do my best to make it a better place – but that has never included this thinly-veiled desire to simply rid the people different from myself so I the neighborhood wold better reflect my preferences.

  • ohsweetnothing

    I could see your response yesterday.

    I understood your response, it’s still not convincing.

    I also replied to it in a lengthy post yesterday. That reply never got posted (not due to censorship, but a technical error). I didn’t and still don’t feel like retyping it all out.

    Multiple users on here have had this or very similar disagreements re: TOD with you man for years man…including myself awhile ago! You can say I’m being a brick wall or whatever all you’d like, but either you’re the one true truthholder or….

    And finally, you’ve made some odd (and wrong) assumptions about me throughout this entire thread. Not the best ground to base an argument upon. But hey, I’m just a brick wall, what do I know!?

  • Cameron

    Far south side community leaders having been calling for more transit investment in general and rapid transit connections of some sort. They seem to be rather agnostic on the specific form that transit takes.

  • johnaustingreenfield

    Gentlemen, please keep the discussion polite, and it might be time to put a bow on it — all the alerts are clogging my inbox. Thanks.

  • Carter O’Brien

    As far as gentrification conversations go, this conversation is pretty polite in my opinion. But I’ll make an effort to not let the gaslighting get to me.