A new apartment tower coming to the area near the former Cabrini-Green housing project has finally settled on a name: NEXT. However, the project has shuffled through a series of different names over the last several months, with one stirring some controversy. Initially titled AVANT, the tower's name was changed to NEXT in NoCA earlier this year. The name "NoCA" is short for north of Chicago Avenue and mimics the neighborhood abbreviations commonly seen and heard around New York. While some agree that the area needs a new moniker, the name NoCA proved to be quite controversial, causing the Chicago Tribune to openly oppose it and ask readers for other suggestions.
Developers have been naming neighborhoods for years, so why was this particular one so egregious? In the beginning of the month, we conducted a poll to see what readers thought, and many feel that the name of the area should either simply remain "Cabrini-Green," or take its more historic name of "Little Hell."
The project itself is not unlike many other apartment towers being built throughout the greater downtown area, but the debate surrounding the name seemed to attract more attention than the actual development. Many Chicagoans agreed that the name sound too New York, and we all know how much Chicagoans hate being compared to New York. Some also felt that the name attempted to bury the legacy of Cabrini-Green whitewash the area's history and image. And while the neighborhood is becoming one of the fastest changing areas in Chicago, some people just felt that the NoCA name sounded too manufactured. So ultimately, the name was dropped entirely.
With permits in hand, developer Fifield Companies formally broke ground on the 28-story tower last week, and expects to have the development's 310 units completed and delivered by early 2017.
·Poll: What Should the Former Cabrini-Green Area Be Called? [Curbed Chicago]
·River North Apartment Tower to Formally Break Ground June 9 [Curbed Chicago]
·Previous Cabrini-Green coverage [Curbed Chicago]