Chicago has been leading the nation in corporate investment (four years in a row) and in residential tower construction, but the level of demolition activity, new construction, and number of zoning changes being granted to developers is far from equal throughout the city. Often times, the neighborhoods that experience the most demolition and new construction activity are the ones that witness some of the most intense battles over zoning and development.
According to a new map tool from Chicago Cityscape, the 1st Ward, which includes parts of Wicker Park, Noble Square, and Logan Square, has seen 32 projects so far this year, while the 27th Ward, which includes much of the West Loop, Goose Island, and Illinois Medical District has witnessed 33 projects. Meanwhile areas like the 43rd Ward, the 4th Ward, and 3rd Ward have seen fewer than five zoning applications or zoning changes so far this year. Many wards throughout the South Side have seen just one proposal—or none at all in 2017.
In terms of zoning changes granted so far this year, the 1st Ward leads with 22, while the 27th Ward has seen 19 granted zoning changes. The 47th Ward rounds up the top three with 11 zoning changes approved so far in 2017.
The new data helps to illustrate the development booms happening in these communities. Beyond Chicago’s central business district, areas like Fulton Market and the Milwaukee Avenue Corridor have been some of the hottest spots for new development and construction. As of late last year, dozens of new developments were either on their way or being planned for the West Loop, meanwhile, thousands of new apartments are being planted along Milwaukee Avenue during this development cycle.
This map shows the proposed and requested zoning changes in Chicago community areas for all of 2016. Notice West Town is #1 in both. pic.twitter.com/EnaLBfeKN5— Steven Vance (@stevevance) May 20, 2017
As neighboring aldermanic jurisdictions, the 1st Ward and 27th Ward share similar areas—specifically the greater West Town community area. There’s not only a lot of new construction activity happening in West Town, but the area has also been leading the city in terms of demolition activity. As of last month, Logan Square and West Town had been at the top of the list of neighborhoods with the most demolition permits issued in 2017, with 30 and 27 respectively. However, the trend is nothing new as West Town has been a leading Chicago area for demolition activity for at least the last few years.
- Zoning changes approved in 2017 [Chicago Cityscape]
- Logan Square and West Town leading city in demolition permits for 2017 [Curbed Chicago]