Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Tribune: Developers riding 606 trail deeper into Northwest Side

The 606 - Bloomingdale Trail
We've followed from time to time the plans to turn some of the Englewood area's unused railroad lines into elevated recreational space. Here's hoping that they're taking a look at what's going on with the 606 trail up north. Hopefully planners are taking some ideas from that.

You may have seen this article in Sunday's Chicago Tribune
Along portions of Chicago's 606 trail, it's hard to tell the construction workers from the construction workers.

Some are working on the much-anticipated, elevated recreation space along Bloomingdale Avenue expected to open in June. Others are building homes, condominiums and apartment buildings nearby that will bring new residents into neighborhoods and up the steps to the trail's access points.

The $95 million transformation of an unused elevated railway spur into 2.7 miles of park and trail space is designed as a gateway between neighborhoods on the northwest side. But it also is helping fuel housing development that has moved past Western Avenue, pushing up property values and attracting new residents.

At the same time, the changes are likely to raise concerns about gentrification and the inability of some residents to afford more neighborhoods in Chicago. From 2007 to 2011, more than 23 percent of renters in Logan Square, 34 percent in Humboldt Park, 20 percent in West Town and 26 percent in Hermosa were paying 50 percent or more of their income on housing, according to Census data.
Read the whole thing!

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