Alderman Cappleman released his end of year recap of 46th Ward news this morning. Although it's worth reading the whole thing in detail, we thought we would summarize some of the highlights here:
Alderman Cappleman's introduction:
When I first entered office back in 2011, my goal was to make the 46th Ward a place where a young parent with their child would feel at ease walking on any street in their community. It was a big dream given that some parts of the Ward were in the 95th percentile for violent crime. Today, we're experiencing the lowest rate of violent crime in our Ward's history.
I know better than to take all the credit. It really goes to all of us working together. Crime goes down when the police, Cook County State's Attorney's Office, our local chambers, our area businesses, and most importantly, our residents are all working together.
When word got out that the 46th Ward was a great place to live, it became a sought after community. Two weeks ago, the headline from Block Club Chicago stated, "A Wave Of Construction Is Changing Uptown's Wilson Avenue. Here Are the 4 Projects Adding 650 Apartments" and no one, not even me, would have ever imagined such a thing just 10 years ago.
Now, we're going full steam ahead with all types of projects and we are still experiencing very low vacancy rates. It certainly didn't come overnight, but nothing worthwhile happens that way. It was hard work. This newsletter includes a summary of all we accomplished this year.
- The 46th Ward was the first ward in the City to partner with CDPH to provide Narcan to residents to combat the rise of Fentanyl in recreational drugs.
- With respect to homelessness, the 46th Ward was the only Ward (of 50) that used City of Chicago menu grants exclusively on addressing chronic homelessness, funding existing service providers.
- Alderman Cappleman worked with City Council to expand funding for shelters and housing, increasing rapid rehousing units by 1200 in 2023 (an increase from 400 units in 2022) and ensuring official commitment to use the 7 principles outlined by the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness.
- Courtenay School opened their new play space, enabled by TIF funds.
- Clarendon Park Community Center renovations began, using TIF funds and a contribution from the developer of 811 Uptown. The remaining half of the TIF went to homelessness programs.
- The Clarendon Park tennis courts on Montrose were scheduled for rehabilitation and repaving
- The Uptown Coastal Natural Area project began this year at Wilson and Marine
- The Winthrop Family Historical Garden was reconstructed and rededicated, honoring the legacy of the Winthrop ‘Family,’ a community of Black residents who fought racist segregation to make Uptown their home along the 4600 Block of Winthrop.
- The existing protected bike lanes along Broadway from Montrose to Wilson will transition to pre-cast concrete curb barriers to more effectively block vehicles and other obstructions.
- Nearly $10 million in Chicago Recovery Grant funds went to 46th Ward programs, including Chicago Market, CircEsteem, the People’s Music School, Marina’s Cafe and the Chicago Center for Photojournalism
With respect to development, Alderman Cappleman noted that ongoing and completed projects are bringing 2,093 new units to 21 different sites. 1,895 of those units are being built on property where no housing previously existed. 9 developments qualified for the Affordable Requirements Ordinance, adding 120 onsite affordable units and in-lieu fees totaling $4.6M.
- Developments were completed at 4502-04 N. Beacon (former parking lot), 4533 N. Clark (former warehouse) and 4526 N. Sheridan (rehabilitated vintage building)
- Development projects are ongoing at 4611 N. Broadway (former 1 story retail), 4753 N. Broadway (former bank and offices), 4511 N. Clark (former 1 story retail), 4537 N. Clark (former 1 and 2 story retail), 4645 N. Clark (former 2 story retail), 3501 N. Halsted (Howard Brown Medical Center, replacing former 1 story retail), 4447 N. Hazel (replacing an abandoned church), 4600 N. Kenmore (former parking lot), 920 W. Lawrence (gut renovation of existing senior housing), 1039 W. Lawrence (gut renovation of a SRO property), 4600 N. Marine Drive (former parking lot), 4840 N. Marine (renovation of an existing hospital), and 4501 N. Sheridan (former 1 story strip mall and parking lot)
- Approved or in process projects at 640 W. Irving Park (renovating a disused school), 3636 N. Lake Shore Drive (empty lot), 4612-30 N. Malden (empty lots), 4102 N. Sheridan (former 1 story strip mall and parking lot) and 4701 N. Clark (former 1 story bank and parking lot) are expected to begin in 2023
- Fully affordable projects are underway at 835 W. Wilson (former empty lot, senior affordable) and scheduled at 4745 N. Sheridan (former parking lot, Sarah's Circle 3rd Building for residents <30% AMI)
With respect to the entertainment district, financing is still in process for the Uptown Theatre, but the plan is to start rehab work before the TIF expires at the end of 2025. Additionally,
- The Riviera is undergoing a total restoration, including new air conditioning
- The Double Door renovation is beginning with plans to open up toward the end of 2023
- The Aragon is undergoing a full exterior rehabilitation
- The Preston Bradley Center is undergoing a privately funded full rehabilitation
Another very successful year for the 46th Ward and Uptown, and we thankful for all that Alderman Cappleman and his team do.
We are also hopeful that the new 46th Ward alderman will continue to focus on continued growth of the Ward in 2023 and beyond.