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Chicago issue and trend - Research Paper Example

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Chicago issue and trend Name Date The Central Station and its impact gentrification of the South Loop Introduction The term gentrification has been used by activists since the 1960’s to challenge and describe the recent trend of spatial and socio-economic restructuring experienced in major cities in the United States of America.1 Whether this definition is limited to the replacement and displacement of lower income households by higher-income households or broadened to cover the wholesome transformation of a city into an area of spectacle and speculation, gentrification continues to spread in a steady trend…
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Download file to see previous pages In the process, it has resulted in a dramatic increase in the value of property leading to the greatest affordability crisis ever experienced in Chicago. Even a slight expectation of gentrification was considered a gentrifying factor to an extent that neighborhoods in areas such as the Southern Loop, Pilsen and Bronzeville were considered gentrified way before they actually became gentrified. The Great Chicago Fire that occurred in 1871 destroyed over 18,000 buildings and 2,000 acres of land. Though the destruction caused by the fire was very expensive, it can be argued that the most adverse effects were ultimately felt in those parts of the city that were not devoured by the flames.3 While the devastated Northern Side experienced what was referred to as the Great Rebuilding, majority of the Southern Side remained in its 19th century state. The two districts were divided by the Loop which is the city’s central business district. This act earned the South Side a reputation of being the wrong side of the loop. However, this notion is now being lifted from the South Loop. Over the last two decades, investment of billions of dollars in development has helped transform the area that was once run down into a high end residential area of the Loop. One of the driving forces that revitalized the Southern Loop was the 80-acre Central Station development. 4 This development is considered the largest mixed-use development in the history of the history. Central Station replaced the abandoned tracks of the former Illinois Central Railroad that dominated the Near Southern Side for over a century. Originally costing about $3 billion, the Central Station development has a floor area of14 million square feet. 5It comprises 8,000 rental and for-sale homes, offices, retail space hotels, and space for specialized commercial use. The rental component includes market-rate and senior living apartments. The size of the development, its location, and history make it an integral part of the city’s plans regarding the South Loop. Timothy B. Desmond, who was the master developer and president of Central Station Development Corporation, described the South Loop as the fastest-growing area in Chicago. He further added that Central Station would serve to promote further growth. True to his word, the South Loop has continued to see momentous growth in infrastructure and development. The Central Station Development Corporation was a joint venture between Cleveland-based Forest City Enterprises,Inc and Chicago-based Fogelson Properties,Inc.6 After the1989 purchase of the IC rail yard that was vacant, Gerald Fogelson, who was the chairman of Fogelson Properties decided to team up with Forest City in development of the Central station. This move was advised by the fact that Forest City had over 80 years of experience in nationwide development projects. During the early 1990s, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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