In an effort to see how well some of the city’s mixed-income developments that are part of the Chicago Housing Authority‘s Plan for Transformation are coming along, Joe and I drove through a handful of them yesterday.
What we saw – versus what the sites for each development were marketing – was at times staggering. Many of these projects that were described as being in “exciting” new neighborhoods “right in the middle of it all,” were actually far from it. As you’ll see, many of these developments are a mere fraction of what they’re intended to be and most have plenty of undeveloped lots and unfinished construction.
The first one we hit was Parkside of Old Town, which consists of a small handful of high-rise and mid-rise buildings that have been under construction since the winter of 2006. This development is controversial because it sits on the northern edge of Cabrini-Green, one of Chicago’s most notorious housing projects. You’ll see that the development, which is planned to contain 800 homes over eight city blocks, contains just a fragment of that so far. It’s made up of mix of market value homes and CHA rental units.