The 606 project was to transform Chicago, similar to the Highline in New York. Designed with an elevated trail for both bikers, runners, and walkers while including art installations, landscaping and urban to create an urban oasis and a new way to explore. There was much anticipation for the trail, with an estimated 50,000 people in attendance during the opening ceremony (Humboldt Park Portal).
As with anything as highly anticipated as this, residents have seen prices along the popular 606 Trail rise considerably. Causing new development to the west, and increasing prices for both residential and commercial prices along the way.
However, Chicago aldermen are proposing new rules in an effort to curb gentrification and maintain affordable housing in the area for residents. The proposed rules for developers looking to demo or de-convert existing buildings in the area (to convert to higher prices single family units) would add a costly demolition fee.
Drafted by Aldermen Joe Moreno (1st), Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th) , Roberto Maldonado (26th), and the Logan Square Neighborhood Association, the proposed ordinance would make it costly to tear-down and build single family residences in spaces that were once multi-family.
In the past few years, with the anticipation and arrival of the 606, there has been increased interest from both residents, potential residents looking to relocate, business owners, developers and builders alike. This has pushed prices higher for the past few years, making the area extremely in high demand and costly.
Though Wicker Park and Bucktown, which lay to the eastern end of the Trail, were mostly developed neighborhoods, prices were still increasing. Residents looking to live nearby but couldn’t afford to live in either Wicker Park or Bucktown, typically found themselves in Logan Square or Humboldt Park, which is located just to the west.
But the 606 has dramatically changed affordability in these two neighborhoods, bringing luxury housing, gentrification and in some cases backlash from existing residents. The ordinance hopes to curb explosive gentrification and drastic drops of affordable housing, but there is no guarantee. At the very least, the City of Chicago would bring in more revenue from the proposed fees developers would have to pay, if passed.
The proposed ordinance would be introduced possibly next month.
Sherwin L. Sucaldito, REALTOR®, GREEN, ABR, CRPM
The Institute of Luxury Home Marketing
Green REsource Council, GREEN
Accredited Buyer’s Representative , ABR
Certified Residential Property Manager, CRPM