Tuesday, September 15, 2009

what say you on gentrification?

So, you know the building under construction at 3300 W Lawrence? The one that had a gas leak and exploded in September of 2007, with the explosion destroying half of the building? And then they had to level the rest of the building and start all over again? The one right across the street from the best thrift store in the neighborhood, Village Discount?

According to Liz Griffiths, the Executive Director of the Lawrence Avenue Development Corporation (LADCOR) and the Albany Park Chamber of Commerce, the building at 3300 W Lawrence will be a mixed- use condominium building, offering 24 condo units with 6 units of 5,000 square feet for retail use. The condo units will cost more than 300 K, with the lay-out being 3 bedrooms/2 baths. Each condo unit will include hardwood floors, granite countertops, 10' ceilings, fireplaces, and terraces. The building is being constructed in three parts, and the outside façade will "mimic the former buildings architectural elements".

So far, an estimated 10 million dollars (!!!) has been invested in that building, and there are 34 other developments/projects in Albany Park and Mayfair for 2008- 2009. Over 200 million dollars has been pumped into Albany Park (and Mayfair) in the last 2 years.

When I asked Rebecca Rico, the Project Coordinator of the North River Commission about gentrification, she said they view it more as a "positive", and that they do substantial work with local landlords to keep the rent affordable.

more from those interviews to come.....


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