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UPTOWN CHICAGO COMMISSION

Uptown in the News  

September 6, 2004
Chicago Tribune
Noise and Fury in Uptown


You can always tell a neighborhood is changing by the squabbling.

Each group fears something different. The wealthy worry about too many poor, the poor worry about losing their homes, the existing small businesses worry new residents won't support them, the elderly worry about limitied incomes and condo converesion.

The current changing neighborhood is Uptown, specifically Wilson Yard, which is planned to be developed with a Target store, a supermarket, a multiplex movie house, and 70 units of housing. Many nearby property owners fear that if this affordable housing goes through, Wilson Yard may signal Uptown's relapse into an urban reservation of homeless people, drug addicts and families on welfare.

The housing portion of the project will be financed through a complex conbination of tax credits, tax-increment financing and state grants.

Opponents say that instead of limited-income folks, they'd like to have the building reserved for artists. Such a restriction seems to have a classist or even racist ring. At any rate, subsidized residential buildings shouldn't be restricted to certain occupations, whether they're artists or dentists.


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