Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Concerned Citizen's of Chatham: It's time for an unpleasant but necessary conversation

Chatham Executive Building - 640 E 79th St
A longtime reader of ours twitter user @strannik_reb45 alerted us to a recent posting on his LiveJournal blog regarding the opening of Fleck's last month. This sparked a debate between himself and Worlee under @ccitzofchatham here is just a sample embedded below
I'm sure this exchange prompted Worlee's recent post over at Concerned Citizens of Chatham which talks a lot about 79th Street. Worlee has often discussed the many ways 79th can be improved and often it has started with better street light. The focus of his recent post was to bring more business activity to that corridor. In fact there are more comments in a post over the the Concerned Citizens of Chatham FB page.

In any case there is a question he wrote that comes out of this:
With several buildings on 79th street remodeled and in great condition and renewed interest in 79th Street, residents of Chatham have to start to have an unpleasant conversation. The conversation of "is it time to tear down some of the mixed used building to make way for new modern development".
A few years ago we talked about Chatham "Hyde Parked" (or "South Looped") and in talking about we must keep in mind that Hyde Park was a different community almost 60 years ago than it was now. And we can still ask the question is this what's necessary here in Chatham?

I often bristle at the idea of unnecesarily tearing down buildings especially if they remain viable. Most importantly my preference is to see nothing torn down unless something else is set to replace that structure. Besides Chatham has waited over 20 years to see something replace the vacant lot that once was home to the Rhodes Theater for example. I recognize that development doesn't always work like that although all throughout the south side there are vacants lots where a commercial building or home once stood with no immediate plan to redevelop such property.

In one of the comments I've seen on FB, it was noted that there is a need for a project such as the Target on 87th/Cottage Grove to make 79th more attractive to businesses. So if there is ever a need to tear down buildings on that street then perhaps we should start there.

A better idea, what could replace the Pioneer Building that was torn down last year at 7801 S. Cottage Grove. Better yet what about the recently redeveloped but still vacant Chatham Executive Building. Where could we start to make 79th Street more attractive to businesses?

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