Although our forum on is two weeks away, the conversation has already started right here on Patch.
Our Evergreen Parker and host of has made his position clear on the redevelopment of The Plaza many times. "I hope to use my time at the forum to make the case for a town center and show some examples of other dead regional malls that have been successfully redeveloped as town centers," he says, "or at least developed following a mixed-use concept,"
But your neighbors have had much to say about this, too. Read what two of them posted on Patch, then meet us at The Well, , 3450 W. Maple St. at 7 p.m. on June 28. If you can't make it in-person, join online and We'll field your questions to the crowd.
While I applaud Mr. Clair in anticipating what failure of Plaza development might look like some years into the future, I believe he is short sighted in not considering how a mixed use development might fail. If the housing units fail to attract renters or buyers (a very real possibility in the current real estate market), what happens to them? Do they remain empty and subject to vandalism, vagrancy or potentially become Section 8 housing or some other form of low income housing project? If the housing units fall to attract the desired residents how does that impact the site's retail establishments? I think it should also be acknowledged that any retailer who chooses to do business on the Plaza site needs to be able to successfully absorb losses from shoplifting and theft - an economic factor that may preclude local businesses from choosing the location.
You are on track Chris! I believe that the comprehensive presentation of a well thought out blueprint for a regionally contextual retail development plan with executable steps and goals, in an effort to work towards the Village of Evergreen Park becoming the "capital of the Southwest Side", will be extremely beneficial for residents and businesses. I will be out of the state for the meeting but please include as many environmentally friendly LEED initiatives as you can, along with walkable/bikable routes for the surrounding areas.
Safety is a huge concern for our area so I think that there is a need for plans to address personal safety (police emergency boxes, cameras, security guards etc.), traffic (countdown lights for pedestrians and bikes) and Village safety (limited number of liquor/gambling licenses/sales, no weapons/ammunition, and no 24 hour businesses). We cannot sacrifice our safety for $$$.
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