DNA Info: Alderman Wants to Bring Coffee Shops, Bars to Desolate State St. Stretch
When Alderman Sawyer first got into office in 2011 he was talking about the need for businesses around the 6th ward's L stops. So would developing a business strip along stretches of State Street would help in that effort.
Ald. Roderick Sawyer dreams of bringing coffee shops, restaurants and bars to a desolate stretch of State Street in the neighborhood where he grew up: Chatham.Well there is plenty of room for redevelopment between 69th and 79th Streets. What would you like to see along that stretch of State Street?
By doing so, he hopes he can transform and revive the once-vibrant community by persuading the younger generation to remain in the neighborhood — and even coaxing young families to move here.
“We still have young people who aren’t choosing Chatham as a destination place to live, even though I think we have decent housing stock, because we don’t have the stuff they like,” the 6th Ward alderman said.
Sawyer has targeted the strip between 69th and 79th streets, the site of many empty storefronts, vacant lots and few thriving businesses.
Last week, the City Council Committee on Zoning approved Sawyer's request to rezone State between 76th and 77th streets to allow retail. He also is working with the Chicago Department of Transportation to make the strip more walkable and pedestrian-friendly.