Monday, August 25, 2014

What does it mean to invest in a neighborhood?

Recently JP Paulus posted to our FB page an article about a group in Bucktown who purchased a building that contained a recently closed bar. They wanted to turn this place into a "community amenity". JP posed this question: "Could we do that with some of our fading businesses?"

Recently I ran into this post at EveryBlock, this was posted over two years ago and RAGE made a call about asking for investors for Englewood. Now a new question: What does it mean to invest in a community?

Does this involve purchasing real estate with a strong purpose? Does it involve building upon the real estate? Does it involve opening a business that not only provides jobs, but also tax revenue to the community at large? Does it also involve providing necessary services and amenities for the community?

Upon seeing that EveryBlock post I had this idea of doing a post and starting it off this way. This blog initially started in 2007 mainly to talk about the communities of the 6th Ward, especially Chatham. Chatham is a neighborhood known for having a strong population of Black middle-class people.

In recent years, Chatham has experienced issues it's safe to say the neighbors there have rarely seen. Now it's still rare yet with issues of crime & violence but those issues are there and probably more often that not even if it's still miniscule. Also it's still a community where you can tell people take care of their property.

Regardless, Chatham is still a great place to live but just like Englewood it needs investors of its own. I want to point out this earlier article from Red Eye where Ald. Sawyer's chief of staff Brian Sleet was quoted: "The neighborhood needs a facelift because it looks the way it did in the 1950s, but the vibrant storefronts are now gone, Sleet said."

Now we have a new question. What does it take to attract investors to Chatham? I would like to think in the long run where Chatham goes hopefully so will the surrounding neighborhoods.

ALSO, I posted about this DNA Info article from out of Humboldt Park on the north side. This is one answer to investing in a neighborhood. It was my hope that this would spark some ideas.

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