We were told to expect the first round of renderings for the Lathrop Homes redevelopment by the end of the month, and lo and behold, CHA-appointed Lathrop Community Partners didn't disappoint. Mind you, they only surfaced thanks to Ald. Scott Waguespack's dutiful outreach. You see, this week's public meeting was cancelled and Waguespack took it upon himself to disseminate three preliminary designs for reworking and densifying the old public housing project. The Roscoe View Journal reports that the densities range from 1,322 to 1,610 units, with varying degrees of building reuse. Existing structures, as laid out 75 years ago, only allow for 925 units. So yeah, it's about to get denser. Rumors of a 48-story tower seem to be completely unfounded, but the absence of developer commentary is exactly what generates such wild speculation.
All of the plans employ new outdoor amenities like community gardens, an amphitheater, wetlands, and a river promenade. Commercial space will also be set aside in the hopes of luring retail and restaurants. The one thing not addressed in the initial schematics is the hot-button issue of affordable unit ratio. Whatever the breakdown, you can bet groups like Hamlin Park Neighbors (HPN) will have a thing or two to say about it. In their Monday meeting, HPN's board let it be known they're staying on top of the Lathrop project. Density is another stated concern of theirs. Buckle up for many months of wrangling!
·Density a Hot-Button Issue as Initial Plans for Lathrop Redevelopment Revealed [RVJ]
·Lathrop Homes Redevelopment— Initial Designs [Scribd.]
·All Previous Lathrop Homes Coverage [Curbed Chicago]