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Patch Reader: 'EPers Must Embrace Diversity and (The Plaza Redevelopment) Must be Upscale'

In recent articles about The Plaza Shopping Center, Patch readers have hinted toward the apparent change in demographic in town, and in the types of stores in the mall. Read what a few of your neighbors had to say and join the conversation.

The introduction of a new development can shape a town for years to come. Along with developmental changes made locally — and globally — over the years, demographics have inevitably changed, and so have the actual shops in , a concern many Patch readers have voiced on the site.

If you want to share more, then meet us at The Well, , 3450 W. Maple St. at 7 p.m. on June 28 for  : an open forum on the development of The Plaza. If you can't make it in person, join online and  We'll field your questions and comments to the crowd.

Last week,

Reader stated:

In order for this development to be successful, EPers must embrace diversity and it must be upscale. Any development in this area will attract residents from the diverse Beverly area. People must look at the individual behavior of a person and not their skin color. The businesses must be places that the urban riff raff doesn't shop. We should say absoLUTELY NOOOOOOOOOO dollar stores, family dollars, currency exchanges, fast food, hip hop wear, gym shoe stores, etc. We need some boutiques and fine dining places. This development should be interesting and diverse.

Also it should be mixed used. Every suburb that is revitalising itself is turning away from strip malls. The developers favor strip malls because they are cheaper to build and maintain. Mixed use makes the area more localised and there is limited parking. Less parking and very limited parking discourages the riff raff from the undesirable areas outside of Beverly/ EP from becoming patrons. Also we should lobby CTA to run less frequently and shut down at an earlier time, keeping the undesirables out as much as possible. They can have shuttles for employees of the mall. I believe the CTA will agree to this as it will save them money.

 adds:

"...We need upscale stores for the upscale people of our neighborhood..."

But what do you think? Do Evergreen Parkers need to "embrace diversity" for this new development to work? What constitutes "upscale stores?"

Leave your answer in the comments to continue the conversation and Like' us on Facebook for more.

Catch up on the latest news about The Plaza Shopping Center's redevelopment on Patch.

Paula Gray June 20, 2012 at 02:15 AM
I'm curious if those espousing cutting back CTA bus runs & shut down earlier actually ride the CTA. I do and would no longer be able to sing with the choir I have been a member of for 12 years. Most of the people I see coming home late at night are coming home from late shifts, students and the like.
anita garrison June 20, 2012 at 11:06 AM
What? "Undesirables" don't have cars? I don't drive and sometimes take CTA home late evenings or at night after a day downtown . Who is defined as "urban riff raff"; which neighborhoods outside of Beverly are desirable? The adjacent neighborhoods are comprised primarlly of people with brown skin. Are they the ones that need to be kept out?
EP Lover June 21, 2012 at 04:40 PM
Recognizing that EP desperately wants or needs both property and sales tax revenue from the Plaza location, I'd like to see a development along the lines of Randhurst Village in Mt Prospect. This complex is also anchored by a Carson's but also includes several restaurants and a variety of stores. Also included is a movie theater but I'm not sure that 's a good idea for the Plaza location. As for the upscale remark, we need retail and dining establishments that appeal to the EP, Oak Lawn, Beverly and Mount Greenwood populations. In my opinion, I'd love to see the following at the Plaza location: World Market, Home Goods, DSW Shoes or Famous Footwear, Loft, Francesca's jewelry/clothing boutique, Barnes & Noble and Old Navy just to name a few. I'd also like to see some variation in the restaurant choices - Sushi/Japanese, Mongolian BBQ and Vegetarian options would likely be welcome additions to the neighborhood.
EP Lover June 21, 2012 at 04:57 PM
Also an Indian restaurant, 'bubble tea' shop, wine bar and some sort of venue for live music would also be welcome additions to our community.
lilian darcey June 22, 2012 at 06:15 PM
I'm the person that brought this issue front and center. Race must be addressed, people shouldn't be afraid to possibly have a shopping commercial district that is at least 50-60% white and the rest non-white. It works well in hyde park and everyone gets along fine. As a child my family stopped shopping at the "black mall". I'm hoping that attitudes have changed and progressed since then.
monica June 24, 2012 at 12:51 AM
Lilian, I don't think it's a color thing. I work in Hyde Park and they are bringing stores to the area that the people of Hyde Park and Kenwood want. Whole Foods is coming, Treasure Island is open. Not to mention all of the great eateries and shops that support those residents. I'd love to see that here. As a middle class working woman, I need an Ulta, DSW, Loft, pet store, Trader Joe's, etc... Our area is full of working middle class folks of all colors. None of us have stores that support our needs as residents of the EP/Beverly area.
EP in the EP June 27, 2012 at 06:23 PM
I have a suggestion: we need to let it be known that we are NOT OKAY with travelling to Orland or Chicago to get our shopping done. Apparently, a comment was made by a higher-up in Orland Park when Pete's was being developed that we don't mind to travel to OP to shop. Whatta load! As for this issue - I do believe a more diverse and upscale setting is needed. We don't have a health food store (Whole Foods/Trader Joes) within 20 minutes from our doors (17 miles actually). We don't have anywhere on the southside to watch non-hollywood films (think Landmark Century Cinema). We don't have a wine bar and our restaurant choices for GOOD food are scant. I'm tired of travelling everywhere else for things I need, and I think if more residents of EP/Beverly/Oak Lawn/Mount Greenwood made a list of their needs and where they are met, they'd more accurately pinpoint what we need to do with the Plaza space. Unsavory characters are those who create crime in our village. If you look at the crime section on this website, you'll see they are mostly from Chicago who likely have access via CTA. However, I think if we cater more to an upscale environment, eventually (it will take time), they will see that we won't tolerate their behavior and Evergreen Park is NOT a place for them to wreck havoc. Perhaps it's a place you'll want to take your girl on a nice "fancy" date :)

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