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Little Villagers Have Bold Plans for Proposed Superfund Site Park

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For years, Little Village residents have wanted a new park, and they've identified exactly which amenities they want it to have: All of them. They want tennis courts, a sledding hill, an amphitheater, soccer fields, a pond, greenhouses, outdoor community gardens, a skate park, basketball courts, and more. (View full plans here.) They even got Perkins + Will to draw up some plans. The catch? The vacant 24-acre plot they have their sights on is a designated Superfund site (it once housed an asphalt factory, which dumped cancer-causing coal tar in the soil), and although the EPA says that remedial cleanup is finished, the feds will have to sign off on any plans for the site. And then there's the issue of acquiring the land and coming up with the estimated $450 million it'll cost to realize those park plans. The Trib reports that the current owner of the land, Joanne Urso, wants $12 million for the site, while the city's most recent offer was for $3 million. Obstacles be damned. Here's hoping La Villita gets its park.
· Little Village residents pine for park on vacant land [Trib]