Addendum to “The Alderman’s Secret Housing Meeting”

Sources tell me that parking was the only issue raised at last night’s meeting on the new housing development at Western and Morse Avenues. About a dozen people attended and were satisfied that the 26 parking spaces proposed would suffice.

Each townhouse is expected to sell for about $450,000, while each condo will cost about $340,000. These price points raise some interesting questions about property taxes and gentrification, but those issues were not part of the discussion.

Are residential buildings rather than commercial buildings the best choice for this stretch of Western Avenue? Should that be decided  only by a dozen residents, the developers, and the alderman?  What are the risks that existing residents will be forced out of the neighborhood because of higher property taxes? Can we talk about the fact that this development permanently alters  the character  of that part of our neighborhood? Should the larger community have any input? What exactly is the alderman’s vision for the community and how does this new development fit into it? Or is that a secret too?

So many questions. So few answers. Will the alderman meet with the entire community to discuss them?

Stay tuned.



4 thoughts on “Addendum to “The Alderman’s Secret Housing Meeting”

    • I saw a real estate story late last year that noted that West Ridge was one of the last affordable north side neighborhoods, with condo prices as low as $90,000 and houses available for $200,000 or less. An influx of luxury housing is not needed. There are more than 70,000 people living in the ward at this writing. Many are jammed into housing inadequate to their needs and too expensive for their pocketbooks.

      We are a neighborhood without a community vision and without a community plan. That plan should be developed and directed by residents, not developers and politicians, openly and with full transparency. The neighborhood has to work for everybody.


  1. I will say it again. Transparency and engagement are needed for a comprehensive and holistic economic development plan. The new library opens the door wide open for seeking out new opportunities for businesses and restaurants, cafe, to get visitors and families to spend an afternoon in the neighborhood.


    • Agreed. We also need movie theaters, bowling alleys, art galleries, coffee houses, gift shops, candy stores, and community events like a Fourth of July parade ending in a community picnic.


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