Report From Madison Street

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By John Hubbuch

My walk to the YMCA makes me a regular observor of Madison Street aka Desolation Row. I can report that the fireplace store remains vacant and that District 97 District Headquarters still looks like a front for CBW research. But on a brighter note construction has begun on Grove Apartments, a 51 unit mixed income housing collaboration between the Oak Park Housing Authority and Interfaith Housing Development.    

I had forgotten about the project in part because of the passage of time, and a pessimism that there would never be funding in this supposedly difficult economy. The building of this project is consistent with the Village's historic committment to diversity and pluralism. It is a good thing in a number of ways.    

I am sympathetic to the concerns of the immediate neighbors, but it is often the case that these projects are good for and therefore supported by the Village as a whole , but are not so good for the neighbors. See the lights at the OPRF football field. The hue and cry against the project is amplified by the media. Defending home and hearth elicits a strong emotional response.              

Fortunately, in a democracy, elected officials decide, issues resolved and a decision is made. It now seems almost like ancient history that the construction of this project was a very big deal. There was a loud and raucous debate. Now the only sound is that of construction equipment. And life goes on.

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Reader Comments

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Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: December 2nd, 2012 10:02 PM

Trust me Mr. Hubbuch, the quiet is not a result of concern being gone. the team spending 300,000+ per one bedroom unit on this building has alot to prove given the flawed people management model set to populate and manage its residents. Beautiful bricks don't solve everything...you'd think we would know that by now.

property tax man  

Posted: November 20th, 2012 9:31 AM

ITS THE PROPERTY TAXES, STUPID. Please, spare me the hand-wringing. Drive over to Forest Park and see what lower property taxes can do. Oh, I forgot, OP is liberal and we don't believe high taxes destroy prosperity. My bad.

Neighbor to the Madison Project from Oak Park  

Posted: November 20th, 2012 9:30 AM

1. This would never be proposed and given serious consideration if it was going to be in North Oak Park. 2. Research indicates that scattered site housing is a better approach for providing housing for the poor. This is a risky experiment for OP.

Brian from Oak Park  

Posted: November 20th, 2012 8:50 AM

For the record, this is not a mixed income project John. It's supportive housing for the poor. Meaning there are services available to the disabled target residents. Facts comrade, facts.

John Hubbuch from Oak Park  

Posted: November 20th, 2012 7:19 AM

For the record: I am totally against having tanks run over those who opposed the Grove Apartments.

Must crush.... dissident voices  

Posted: November 19th, 2012 5:02 PM

Ha! Gratuitous victory lap by a sore winner. The last paragraph in particular reads word for word like Chinese Communist Party propaganda. Could just as well be titled "Report from Tiananmen Square". Must be nice to be one of the Party elite.

Dave Coulter  

Posted: November 19th, 2012 3:29 PM

Sometimes the sound of jackhammers ain't all bad?

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