Month: July 2019

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Renovated 1920 brick two-flat in North…

Written by Curbed Chicago

Photos by VHT Studio. Courtesy of @properties listing agent . This house has an inviting sun room and backyard A brick two-flat built in 1920 in North Center right between the two expansive parks and the river is on the market. If all that greenery isn’t enough, this home has a grassy backyard with a pergola, too. The home was converted into a four-bedroom, three-bathroom flat and comes with a new kitchen, open layout, rehabbed bathrooms, and a two-car garage. Some of the original woodwork remains which is visible in the flooring and beams. The master bedroom has a plant-filled sunroom with sliding glass doors and a walk-in closet separated with a rustic barn door. Plus, radiant heated floors were installed on the first floor and in the master bathroom. The house sits on a on quiet street just one block from the North Branch and Horner Park which has tennis courts, native plant gardens, a dog-friendly area, and a ceramics studio in the field house. A few blocks northeast is Welles Park with an indoor pool, playground, volleyball court, and horseshoe pits. Sound like the neighborhood for you? is on the market for $799,900. In the entryway some of the original woodwork is restored. The living room features a decorative painted fireplace and bright windows. A brand new chef’s kitchen. The master bedroom has a walk-in closet with a sliding barn door. The fenced in backyard is a prized amenity in Chicago.

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New housing policies for exiting prisoners…

Written by Curbed Chicago

Shutterstock Expanding post-incarceration resources will help create stronger neighborhoods New housing policies that ensure stable conditions for people leaving prison could prevent them from getting incarcerated again and save the state money, says a new report. The report is the culmination of the 3-year effort from the and the Illinois Justice Project. Together the organizations looked at state policies and current challenges before laying out recommendations for how to reduce recidivism. In Illinois, billions are spent to send men and women to prison, but there are very few resources to keep them from returning, according to the . Nearly 40 percent of people return to prison in just three years which costs taxpayers $150,000 each time. About 60 percent of homeless people in Chicago were previously in prison. Roughly 28,000 people leave the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) and most must find housing on their own which often doesn’t lead to stability. “The Illinois Housing Department Authority, already hard-pressed to meet the state’s need for permanent supportive housing, does not have the resources to service the needs of the vast majority of those exiting secure facilities and in need of housing, particularly those with substance abuse and/or mental illness problems,” the study says. More than 60 organizations that regularly interact with those leaving prison contributed to the information detailed in the report. It is also the first time that IDOC and IHDA have reviewed their re-entry policies. The biggest challenges communicated to the researchers centered around affordable housing shortages, restricted housing options, and discrimination. To address these issues, the report suggests 15 ways city and state agencies can expand housing options for exiting prisoners. Those include: Create a new rental subsidy program for those with physical and mental health needs, similar to the . Keep people who have short sentences out of prison For non-violent offenders, eliminate restrictions that ban them from public housing Offer landlords tax incentives who rent to people leaving IDOC of the Cook County Jail Invest in pre-release job and life skills training so that more people are informed and successful when they leave Increase support for transition programs offered by St. Leonard’s Ministries, A Safe Haven, and Oxford House The costs of recidivism disproportionately affect people of color. Of those in IDOC, 55 percent are African-American and 13 percent are Hispanic. When they are released, most former inmates return to familiar neighborhoods where they previously lived. In Chicago, which is highly segregated, that could mean they are heading back to neighborhoods that have a history of redlining, disinvestment, and a lack of resources. Those who can’t find housing or jobs become a “disruptive force in the community” and often return to prison. A system with policies that ensure these basic necessities will then strengthen and “stabilize neighborhoods,” the report said.

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Moody Bible Institute lists 10 acres…

Written by Curbed Chicago

HFF The downtown parcel could support up to 5.3 million square feet of new development Chicago’s Moody Bible Institute is looking cash-in on a 10-acre of land on downtown’s Near North Side—a move that would open a large swath of prime real estate to new development. The educational institution hired brokerage firm HFF to sell the properties bordered by LaSalle Street, Oak Street, Chestnut Street, and Franklin Street, first reported. According to the , the listing “offers an investor a rare opportunity to acquire one of the few remaining under-developed land parcels” in the area. The asking price was not disclosed. Moody would still maintain ownership of its adjacent “core campus” but could transfer some of its zoning rights to the for-sale parcels. Combined with a zoning change from the city, the 10-acre site could support up to 5.3 million square feet of development, according to the flyer. The school is open to offers to buy all or a portion of the land. HFF Moody’s “core campus” is not for sale but its unused density could be be included in the transaction. Surrounded by high-rent neighborhoods such as River North, Old Town, and the Gold Coast, Chicago’s once-sleepy Near North Side welcomed a growing number of residential developments in recent years. New projects include , , , and . Plans are also in the works to redevelop and construct a at Chicago and Wells.

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Two apartment towers, office building pitched…

Written by Curbed Chicago

A rendering of the project from the corner of Randolph and May streets. It shows two apartment towers (center and left) as well as a proposed office building (center right). | LG Development/NORR Architects The “Amylu Collection” would transform both sides of Lake Street between May and Racine The boom is showing no signs of slowing down as developers unveiled plans for a pair of apartment towers and a new office building on both sides of Lake Street between May and Racine. LG Development and NORR Architects presented the proposal Tuesday evening at a hosted by 27th Ward Alderman Walter Burnett Jr. and the West Loop Community Organization. Dubbed the “Amylu Collection,” the multi-building development gets its name from longtime property owner and sausage-maker Amylu Foods. The residential portion of the project calls for a 22-story tower at 171 N. Racine Avenue and a 20-story tower at the opposite corner of the block at 168 N. May Street. Topping out at 238 and 217 feet, the glass, metal, and concrete buildings share a common base topped by a fifth-floor amenity deck with two pools. Google Street View The apartment towers would replace this vacant lot at the corner of May and Randolph as well as the parking lot to the east and a single-story industrial building at Lake and Racine. Combined, the high-rises will offer 484 studio, one-, and two-bedroom rental units with 20 percent affordable housing located on-site. The transit-oriented complex also provides ground-floor retail space topped by 220 parking spaces which are hidden behind smaller residential “liner” units. For the nearby vacant lot on the north side of Lake Street, the development team envisions a new 11-story commercial building containing office space, ground-floor retail, and underground parking for 75 vehicles. The 185-foot-tall structure has a precast concrete base and glassy exterior above. The office building is slated for this block-long site at 1150 W. Lake Street. The overall design of the new buildings is more modern and cool in color compared to the warmer brick facades of the many neo-warehouse developments in the area. The materials of the Amylu Collection were selected to provide some visual contrast, explained NORR architect George Sorrich. The plan will need a zoning change from the city to move forward. LG’s Brian Goldberg said he expects the approval to happen near the beginning of next year. Total construction will take 20 months, starting with the apartments and the office building lagging about four months behind, according to the developer. Community meeting for the proposed development at 1150 West Lake Street.Posted by on Tuesday, July 30, 2019 A handful of neighbors attending the meeting voiced concerns about the project’s height. The development team and alderman explained that taller, thinner buildings are supported by the as well as the city’s Department of Planning and Development. The two taller towers roughly match the height of the approved 220-foot apartment building slated for nearby . With the addition of the Amylu Collection, LG Development will grow its already sizeable footprint in the West Loop neighborhood. The Chicago-based firm is behind the condos at 111 S. Peoria and is currently building a 166-unit apartment project at . LG is also seeking approval for a 21-story office building at 210 N. Aberdeen and a 17-story hotel at 215 N. May Street, according to .

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12 coolest playgrounds in Chicago

Written by Curbed Chicago

From zip lines to rock walls and splash pads There are in Chicago, and its a great place to travel with family. The city has over 500 parks and that means a lot of places for little ones to jump, slide, and run. Whatever your playground needs may be, there’s something for everyone. In 2013, the Park District spent three years rebuilding and renovating hundreds of playgrounds across the city. The agency wanted to make sure every kid was within a 10-minute walk of a park or playground. Even today, new playgrounds continuing to open such as the one under construction in near the 606 Trail which has a towering slide, splash pads, and a nature play area. There are massive playgrounds like the 3-acre with curly slides, bridges, hills, and climbing walls. But also neighborhood parks with all wooden climbing structures, water play tables, swings, and zip lines.

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Much Ado About Nothing needs something…

Written by The Reader Chicago

Beatrice and Benedick are better apart than together in Oak Park Festival’s production. Chemistry is everything in romance. The folks at Oak Park Festival Theatre prove this again and again over the course of their well-paced, nicely costumed, but ultimately disappointing revival of Shakespeare's oft-produced comedy (directed by Melanie Keller) about two very different couples and the obstacles they encounter as they try to, well, couple (or, in the case of one pair, avoid coupling).…

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The video game’s the thing in…

Written by The Reader Chicago

Otherworld Theatre’s Stupid Shakespeare Company makes a low-budget, high-laugh debut. Do you remember laughter? Most days—especially the days when I log on to Twitter—levity just isn't a thing.…

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A historic guidebook lover’s guide to…

Written by The Reader Chicago

Which restaurant to avoid in 1857, which bar to visit in 1979, where to buy cheap carpet in 1994 The first Chicago guidebook I ever read was written by a New Yorker. A gift from my father before I started college in Hyde Park, Mr. Cheap's Chicago by Mark Waldstein (1994) had a cover that promised "Bargains, factory outlets, off-price stores, deep discount stores, cheap eats, cheap places to stay, and cheap fun things to do."…

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You Can't Fake the Funk is…

Written by The Reader Chicago

Black Ensemble Theater’s celebration of the history of funk dazzles with defiant joy. Now onstage at Black Ensemble Theater: a hard-charging, gotta-dance, groovilitastic celebration of the genre of superfreaks and pile-driving downbeats. If you've ever sung about (or in fact are) the kind of girl "you don't take home to mother," this show is yours.…

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Drunk Shakespeare stumbles into Chicago

Written by The Reader Chicago

Macbeth> gets a boozy but hilarious makeover in this exhilarating show. The moral implications of Drunk Shakespeare, in which a performer gets deliberately plastered before attempting a major role in Macbeth, may feel a bit troubling. But concerns about liver damage aside, the recently opened Chicago version of this show (created by Scott Griffin and director David Hudson) that's now in its fifth year in New York brings together a murderers' row of comedic talent to what is essentially Comedy Central's Drunk History with a literary twist—served on the rocks, straight up, and with many disgusting variations in between.…