Seniors, yes. But not here

Opinion: Editorials

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The township's senior services are largely tucked out of sight on the upper floors of the Oak Park Arms on Oak Park Avenue. It takes a slow, cramped elevator ride to reach the center, it is not ADA accessible, and it is hard to promote to seniors.

That's why for a decade the township government has done endless space planning studies seeking a new, more visible, more accessible location. With the lease at the Arms now up for renewal, the township is actively shopping other options. One option, apparently, is a commercial building on the 100 block of South Oak Park Avenue. It is one piece of a failed development at Oak Park Avenue and South Boulevard, which as the boom years ended was imagined as a major retail and condo project. Now the multiple parcels are soon to be in the hands of an out-of-state bank that is happy to sell off the pieces.

While we support the concept of a new senior services center, we object to the possible purchase of a prime piece of commercial space in one of the village's major shopping areas. The 100 South block of Oak Park is no great shakes today (and, yes, the Journal has been headquartered on the block for nearly 30 years), but this downturn will end and demand for genuine economic development will return. Clogging up this commercial core with an admittedly worthy social service is not the best long-term solution.

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Diane Krstulovich from Oak Park  

Posted: October 14th, 2010 10:46 PM

Are you ashamed of your seniors?That block is also handy to a friendly neighborhood restaurant, a great resale shop, the other office of the township and a wheelchair-friendly church. Accessibility would be a nice change for many.But then, I was a big supporter of Blago's free rides for seniors, too.

Joel A. Schoenmeyer from Oak Park  

Posted: October 14th, 2010 5:41 PM

This editorial is a joke, right? You can't be this hypocritical, can you?

Angelika Kuehn from Oak Park  

Posted: October 14th, 2010 3:47 PM

I don't see the point in complaining, Dan. Since the Township has the power of eminent domain, it can take any property it wants whenever it wants, and without regard to the consequences for the commercial district. It can hardly damage the district more than Troyanovsky did.

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