The West Loop is experiencing a boom in development, but is also going through some major growing pains. With the influx of capital to repurpose old structures into high tech offices, and a rush to build hotels and restaurants, the Fulton-Randolph neighborhood is experiencing somewhat of an identity crisis. The battle over the future course of the neighborhood has divided residents, and has stirred up strong feelings towards proposed developments. Last night a community meeting was held to discuss the growth and development of the area, and how everyone can remain happy (hopefully) moving forward. The outcome of the meeting, which Crain's reports had hundreds of attendees, was to split up the area into four "districts".
To balance the interests of both the food wholesalers and the emerging high tech and service industry entering the region, city planners are suggesting that breaking up the Fulton-Randolph neighborhood could be the solution to the area's identity crisis.
The districts would include:
Randolph Row - An area for small businesses and limit residential and commercial developments to five stories, on the south end of the neighborhood.
Innovative Industries - The north section of the nabe would represent the emerging high tech investments and office development.
Stay and Play - This area centered around the Morgan CTA station would allow for taller developments, up to 15 stories.
Fulton Market - Centered around Fulton Street, this district would be comprised of the food wholesalers and old school industry that remains in the area.
Plans to create these new districts could potentially affect recent hotel proposals, but Alderman Burnett says that the community can review zoning changes on a case by case basis. More meetings about the development, and the potential "breaking up" of the neighborhood will be held in the near future.
· Fulton Market-Randolph planning session draws a crowd [Curbed Chicago]
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