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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

A necessary conversation regarding development


Recently at The Sixth Ward Worlee Glover had posted about high rises in Chatham. For his revitalizing Chatham means that we will have to construct housing that is desired by younger residents or younger professionals between 21-40. There is a notion in that area that per zoning high rises aren't allowed although Worlee makes clear some areas in that community has high-rise restrictions.

Then he notes:
The conversation is necessary because current trends indicate that young professionals are not as interested in single family homes as they were in the 70-90s. Today young professionals 21-40 place a higher value on "walkable communities" with amenties such as parks, shopping, restaurants, etc. They are less likely to own vehicles but rather use ride sharing, car sharing, taxi and public transportation. They also are attracted to "on demand" services such as food delivery, dry cleaning/laundry, maid service, etc.

While we do not have the desired amenities at this point but we can make the community more attractive to some of these businesses by increasing the target demographic and if you want to take it there YES , gentrifying the community. A recent review of high rise buildings revealed that businesses are aggressively marketing to these buildings and residents by offering onsite free classes, cocktail parties, BBQ's, etc.

While there are many positives there are some negatives. Primarily they are developers and density. In the past there were questions concerning the developers and in other cases the project would have been too dense for the area in which it was proposed. Finding the right developer who is interested in developing a MARKET RATE project that will fit the landscape of the community will be a challenge but not an impossibility.
Often over at The Sixth Ward, we've noted the conversations regarding what the community wants. Just as easily we've noted what the community doesn't want.

Chatham is a predominantly Black middle-class community that has been taking a beating in recent years. Issues of crime and violence has spurred the claim from one blogger that Chatham is turning into Detroit. Although on the flip-side there are dedicated community organizations that are fighting for Chatham.

I would like to see 79th Street, Cottage Grove or even 75th Street become much more vibrant commercial thoroughfares than they currently are now. And that certainly means attracting those business that hopefully will attract these young professionals. Hopefully it also means attracting people from all over the city, and yes that means entrepreneurship.

So let's have this conversation over how we shall further develop our communities. This also means we may need more creative ideas on how to redevelop our communities so that they may thrive or prosper.

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