Here's a tough one – the empty lot along the south side of 87th Street between Troy Street and Albany Avenue. There are a lot of uses around this lot, which makes figuring out a single use more difficult. On the surface, it seems to make sense to build – this will shock regular readers – a mixed-use development. To the west across Troy Street is an apartment building. Across 87th Street is a school. To the south are single-family homes. To the west are a giant strip shopping center with a grocery store on the northwest corner of 87th and Kedzie, a little strip mall carved out of the cemetery on the southwest corner of 87th and Kedzie, and a little tobacco shop that is totally out of context by itself on the southeast corner.
This is an area that is not particularly well served by transit although one could conceivably take the Kedzie CTA bus to the Southwest Service Metra stop at 79th Street, or the 87th Street bus east to the CTA Red Line. The Kedzie corridor north of 87th Street is an eclectic mix of little shops and eateries, refreshingly devoid of chain stores for the most part.
I could see apartments working here, with ground-floor retail primarily serving the neighborhood to the south. A coffee shop, maybe a dry cleaners and a restaurant with a little grocery store – a small one for necessities – serving people who don't want to venture across Kedzie and 87th to the Ultra Foods, or across Kedzie to the Walgreens.
Eighty-Seventh Street could use a little love in the form of a nice, classy development.