The past year has been another cycle of extraordinary development in our neighborhood. The Neighbors of West Loop Development Committee has worked hard to keep up with everything, help residents understand the impacts of each new project, gather input from the community, and relay our positions to the West Loop aldermen.
Since January we have learned about plans for several new office buildings in Fulton Market, a 19-story Hyatt Hotel at Washington & May, a proposed reuse of the Church of the Epiphany (201 S. Ashland) as a special event venue, two 50+ story buildings along Randolph, and a new movie theater in Fulton Market (345 N. Morgan), among many other projects. You can see them all (as well as projects from 2015 & 2016 and upcoming ones for 2018) on the WL Development Map and read about each one here on our blog.
These projects underscore how attractive the West Loop is to residents, businesses, and developers from across the city and beyond – and the important economic role our neighborhood plays as the City works to get its fiscal ship in order. While like many in Chicago we have felt the sting of higher taxes, increased crime, and infrastructure woes, the development we have seen has put our neighborhood in position to be a positive driver for Chicago’s future.
In the past twelve (12) months our Development Committee has submitted thirteen (13) development position letters, all of which are posted on our committee page. Additionally, members of our committee have attended many of the sixteen (16) community meetings held in 2017 for a West Loop development project, which has helped to help inform each of our position letters. Our committee members also attended local meetings/workshops about infrastructure, parking, safety, the West Loop Design Guidelines, the Fulton Market Innovation District, and installments in NoWL’s State of the Ward series. This engagement makes our committee one of the most active volunteer groups of its kind in the city!
Looking forward to 2018, we expect to see the same pace of development, with several new projects across the neighborhood expected to surface in the next year. To help guide our approach to these projects, we will soon release the Neighborhood Plan, NoWL’s community-driven perspective on how the rapid pace of development in the West Loop can be balanced to optimize its positive effect on residents.
If you would like to get more involved, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to join our emailing list and attend one of our monthly meetings. Be sure to also follow NoWL on Facebook, Twitter, and on the web. And – if you have not done so already – please become a member of Neighbors of West Loop at https://www.memberplanet.com/neighborsofwestloop to help support our mission!
Thanks and happy New Year!