Old Chicago / NEW Old Chicago Area Plans
Site of some of the oldest housing in the City, the area north of Seventh Avenue and west of 13th Street has seen the impacts of urban renewal, IL 92 / Rock Island Parkway construction, Sunset Business Park development, and lack of investment over time. In 1993, neighborhood resident and property owners, with the support of City staff, created the Old Chicago Plan. It focused on eliminating abandoned housing, rehabilitating existing homes, creating a neighborhood association, and cleaning up the area. Much has been done, but more work is needed. A copy of this plan is not available electronically, but hard copies are available at City Hall.
Constructing the Plan
In 2005, the Planning and Design Institute of Milwaukee, Wisconsin was hired to develop a concept plan for the NEW Old Chicago Neighborhood. This area is bounded by 12th Avenue on the south, 12th Street on the east, and the Rock Island Parkway (Centennial Expressway) on the north and west.
The NEW Old Chicago Neighborhood Plan envisions new commercial, residential, and park investments; remodeled and renovated homes and commercial buildings; and enhanced streetscapes (repaved streets, newly planted trees, and decorative crosswalks). This is not a short-term project but one that will take 10 or more years and significant sums of private and public funds.
Improvements to Seventh Avenue from Mill Street to 22nd Street were completed in 2007; Douglas Park Place (at Seventh Avenue and Ninth Street) opened in 2007; and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center expansion and remodeling was completed in 2011.
Neighborhood Stabilization Program I and II funds totaling more than $21 million were secured by the City and GROWTH Corporation in 2009 and 2010. More than $5 million will be invested in the NEW Old Chicago neighborhood, demolishing dilapidated structures, replacing obsolete infrastructure, and building new infill housing. A new park across Ninth Street from the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center is also planned for 2012. The NEW Old Chicago area will see more than $13 million in improvements between 2006 and 2012.