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53rd Street Vision Workshop December 8 2007

Excerpts from final Report in vision53.org plus tally of votes

Presented in simplified format by Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference, its Development Committee, and its website hydepark.org.

From 53rd Street Vision Workshop Report. Saturday, December 8, 2007. Canter Middle School, Chicago, IL

p 1. 53rd St. and TIF district within the city and within Hyde Park-Kenwood

Introduction

Close to 200 Hyde Park and South Side residents packed the gymnasium of Canter Middle School on December 8 2007 for a half-day workshop to discuss future development of 53rd Street, the community's primary commercial business corridor and the development of a vibrant shopping hub for the mid-south side of Chicago.

The 53rd Vision Workshop was sponsored by 4th Ward Alderman Toni Preckwinkle, City of Chicago Department of Planning and Development, The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), and a coalition of local institutional and community organizations including the 53rd Street TIF Advisory Council, the University of Chicago, the Hyde Pak Chamber of Commerce, Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Council, Interfaith Open Communities, and the South East Chicago Commission (SECC).

The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) provided technical assistance and worked with a local committee to plan the workshop. In addition, CMAP facilitated the workshop and introduced the community to the use of electronic had held key pad devices that allowed participants to see the group's responses in "real time".

The objectives of the workshop were to:

1. Seek input from the community to help guide future development on 53rd Street.

2. Develop a set of priorities to share with the 53rd sTreet TIF Council, local elected officials and te Department of Planning & Development to utilize as they develop the RFP for Harper Court, make decisions regarding the use of TIF resources and consider development proposals for the TIF district.

3. Understand the types of places and activities the community wants in the 53rd Street business district.

This document summarizes the responses that individuals note on worksheets. Please not that not everyone completed every worksheet or answered every question.

The information gleaned from the worksheets is discussed in this document.

[Streamed along bottom of this and next two pages are overhead view of 53rd St. from Woodlawn to S. Hyde Park Blvd.]

The actual responses collected at the event are available at www.vision53.org. The days' polling revealed several themes for the future of 53rd Street. But there was a universal desire for:

 

Workshop Organization

Organizers held the workshop in the Canter School cafeteria. The room had 15 table set for groups of10. Every participant received a table assignment and an electronic key pad. Each table had a facilitator. Organizers recruited facilitators in advance. CMAP provided an hour of training to facilitators prior to the workshop.

After an overview of the day, participants completed a 'warm up' exercise called, "Who's in the room?" utilizing the key pad devices to find out the demographics of the participants.

Each group then completed a table exercise where individuals answered questions about "where they live, work, shop, and play," what they value about Hyde Park, and why do they leave Hyde Park. The responses to these questions are summarized later in this document. The facilitator then asked a few groups to share responses.

Mr. Sam Assefa, Deputy Commissioner for the City of Chicago, Department of Planning and Development gave a presentation called, The Benefits of Density. This presentation is available at www.vision53.org.

 

Then everyone in each group answered the following questions on worksheets:

Facilitators led brief discussions of each question and noted responses to each question on a flip chart. Then each group utilized colored dots to vote for their top choices. This was repeated for each question. When all the groups completed the exercise, CMAP staff then reviewed the top choices from each group, summarized and reduced the responses to each question to a list of ten choices. Then the entire group used the keypad devices to identify their first choice form the listed options. This exercise was repeated, to identify people's second choice by eliminating the 'winner' as an option in the next vote. The results were visible to the group instantaneously.


Workshop Questions:

What do you value about Hyde Park?

Respondents consistently indicated that the aspects of Hyde Park they valued most were the:

Participants also noted a smattering of additional attributes like: location, transportation and convenience, walkability, quality of architecture and housing, and mix of commercial and retail services.

Pedestrian-friendly - Over 60% of workshop attendees indicated during the "live" polling that they do not use their car to get around the neighborhood and consistently expressed a desire for a pedestrian and bike friendly community.

[From pie chart: Over 20 years 43%. 11-20 years 19%, 6-10 years 10%, 2-5 years 12%, less than 2 years 9%, do not live or work here 8%.]

What can't you do in Hyde Park?


What should 53rd Street look like?

Participants' individual answers to this question clustered into the following categories:


What should go into th buildings?

Participants emphasized their desire or mixed-use development; retail on the ground floor with office or residential above, throughout the business district. Specifically people mentioned an interest in more restaurants including suggestions for more outdoor cafes, coffee shops, bakeries, ice cream and suchi.

Participants provided numerous comments about the overall business mix Some people simply stated the desire for more shops and a greater diversity of shops, while others gave specifics regarding the type of merchandise they wanted. First and foremost in terms of specific retail desired is apparel and shoes (including resale and discount). As mentioned earlier, apparel shopping was also cited specifically as something participants cannot do in Hyde Park. Attendees expressed preference for locally owned and independently owned businesses.

Participants stated an interest in more entertainment options including suggestions for comedy and dance clubs, movie theatre and other cultural venues and options to foster more activity throughout the day and night.

Attendees also noted that they valued the convenience of having doctors, dentists, lawyers, etc located in the community's prime shopping district.

[From the pie chart: Mixed use retail & residential 53%, Unique shops and specialty stores 18%, 24 hour activities and late night options 10%, Trader Joes 5%, Small-scale entertainment 4%, 3% Higher density retail, Clothing stores 3%. Mixed income housing 3%, Mix of national chains 1%, Restaurants 1%.]


What should the buildings look like?

People stressed that building should be of good quality, design and well maintained, and had a strong desire for all buildings to be compatible with the neighborhood character and scale. In this context people specifically mentioned the use od brick and limestone, and a mix of styles, both old and new, was important. Specifically 44% ranked "a mixture of historical and well designed modern buildings" as a priority.

Building heights -The individual written comments and workshop discussions reflected a wide range of views on this topic, with some preferring low-rises, others mid, and some high-rises.

Later in the workshop, meeting facilitators provided definitions for low-rise (1-3 stories) and mid-rise (3-12 stories) and then asked participants to indicate via the electronic keypad devices whether they would accept a mid-rise building somewhere in the 53rd St. district. Approximately 63% said yes, 26% said no and 11% said unsure.

[From the pie chart: Mixture of historical and well designed modern buildings 44%, Mixed use 17%, Height limitations 8%, Continued use of traditional buildings 7%, Underground and off-street parking 7%, 3-4 story tall buildings 6%, Patios atriums and balconies 4%, Rooftop gardens 3%, No visible security gates 2%, Retail 1%.]

 

What activities will people engage in?

A range of activities that participants would expect to see on 53rd Street were shopping, dining, socializing, living, working, playing, walking etc. In other words, people would like 53rd Street to become a lifestyle destination that served as the community's 'downtown' and offered an array of activities and choices for people.

[From the pie chart: Shopping 40%, Nightlife (bars, dancing, movies, etc.) 12%, Interactive entertainment (music/poetry/art) 10%, Eating 9%, Recreational entertainment options 8%, Personal use-walking-churches-sitting 7%, Youth programs and activities 6%, People interacting 5%, Residential living incl. dormitories 2%, Groups meeting in town square 1%.]


Comments and feedback

Participants were given an opportunity to provide feedback and comments for the organizers. There were a total of 70 comment/feedback sheets. Most included comments like the ones below:

"Had a wonderful time sharing ideas"

"Great work getting people to event"

"Great working with neighbors"

"Enjoyable, energizing event"

"Wonderful opportunity to voice" within an appropriate venue

"Uplifting vision of the community"

"Felt I contributed to the meeting by voting (first time)"

"Great exercise"

There were six critical comments that generally pertained to the last question, lack of transparency and a perception there was a hidden agenda.

Suggestions - There were additional comments that reflected further thoughts on a range of topics and attitudes.

Specific comments about the event agenda and logistics included:

Appendix: Remaining Keypad Polling Charts

Age: 50-59 25%, 60-69 20%, 40-49 17%, 30-39 15%, 70 or better 12%, 20-29 8%, Under 20 3%

Gender: F 59%, M 41%

Race/Ethnicity: Caucasian 64%, African American 23%, all others incl. decline to answer 13%

Connection to Hyde Park: Comb of live-work-bus-play 61%, Live 27%, Work 4%, Shop-eat-play 3%, Business 2%, Student 2%

Zip: 60615 68%, 60637 18%, 60653 4%, 60649 2%, others 8%

Do you live in a... Single family home 35%, multi 4 plus 24%, High-rise apartment bldg. 17%, other 13%

How do you get around Hyde Park? Walk 54%, Personal car 31%, bike 7%, bus 2%, Don't live here 6%

How do you get to work? 29%, Combination 28%, Walk 13, CTA train 8?%, Bike 6%, Metra 5%, Bus 4%, Carpool 2%

How did you get to the workshop? [It was a cold day]. Walk 46%, Personal car 31%, Bike 2%, Combination 2%, Bus 1%


List of sponsors and participants

Top

 

Tally of Votes at the December 8, 2007 53rd Street Vision Workshop at Canter School, attended by over 150 residents. Cosponsored by Ald. Preckwinkle, 53rd TIF, City of Chicago, and CMAP official planning agency as well as several community organizations. Courtesy of Irene Sherr, Community Counsel.

Question # Choice # Correct Answer   All Participants
 
 
           
      Have you ever lied to your mother?
     
1    
           
  1   I have never lied to my mother 16 13.8%
  2   Only once 9 7.8%
  3   Several times 38 32.8%
  4   Often 13 11.2%
  5   Too many times to count! 40 34.5%
      N 116  
           
      What is your gender?
     
2    
           
  1   Female 70 59.3%
  2   Male 48 40.7%
      N 118  
           
      What is your age?
     
3    
           
  1   Under 20 4 3.4%
  2   20  29 9 7.8%
  3   30  39 17 14.7%
  4   40  49 20 17.2%
  5   50  59 29 25.0%
  6   60  69 23 19.8%
  7   70 or better 14 12.1%
      N 116  
           
      What is your racial or ethnic background?
     
4    
           
  1   African American / Black 27 23.3%
  2   Asian 2 1.7%
  3   Caucasian / White 74 63.8%
  4   Native American / Alaska Native 0 0.0%
  5   Native Hawaiian / Pacific Islander 0 0.0%
  6   Hispanic / Latino 2 1.7%
  7   Multi-racial 6 5.2%
  8   Other racial background 1 0.9%
  9   Decline to answer 4 3.4%
      N 116  
           
      What is your zip code?
     
5    
           
  1   60615 81 68.1%
  2   60637 21 17.6%
  3   60653 5 4.2%
  4   60649 2 1.7%
  5   Other 10 8.4%
      N 119  
           
      How long have you lived or
worked in Hyde Park?
     
6    
           
  1   Less than 2 years 11 9.3%
  2   2  5 years 14 11.9%
  3   6  10 years 12 10.2%
  4   11  20 years 21 17.8%
  5   Over 20 years 51 43.2%
  6   I do not live or work here 9 7.6%
      N 118  
           
      What is your connection to Hyde Park?
     
7    
           
  1   I live here 33 27.0%
  2   I work here 5 4.1%
  3   I am a student 2 1.6%
  4   I am a business owner 2 1.6%
  5   I come here to shop, eat, play 4 3.3%
  6   A combination of the above 75 61.5%
  7   None of the above 1 0.8%
      N 122  
           
      How do you get to work?
     
8    
           
  1   Walk 14 12.7%
  2   Bike 6 5.5%
  3   Bus 4 3.6%
  4   Train/CTA 8 7.3%
  5   Train/Metra 6 5.5%
  6   Carpool 2 1.8%
  7   Personal Car 32 29.1%
  8   Combination of the above 31 28.2%
  9   None of the above 7 6.4%
      N 110  
           
      How do you get around the neighborhood?
     
9    
           
  1   Walk 64 53.8%
  2   Bike 8 6.7%
  3   Bus 3 2.5%
  4   Train/CTA 0 0.0%
  5   Train/Metra 0 0.0%
  6   Personal Car 37 31.1%
  7   I don t live in Hyde Park 7 5.9%
      N 119  
           
      How did you get here today?
     
10    
           
  1   Walk 54 45.8%
  2   Bike 2 1.7%
  3   Bus 1 0.8%
  4   Train/CTA 0 0.0%
  5   Train/Metra 0 0.0%
  6   Carpool 10 8.5%
  7   Personal Car 49 41.5%
  8   A combination of the above 2 1.7%
      N 118  
           
      Do you live in a:
     
11    
           
  1   Single-family home 42 35.3%
  2   Two or three flat 13 10.9%
  3   Multi-family home (four or more) 28 23.5%
  4   High-rise apartment building 20 16.8%
  5   None of the above 16 13.4%
      N 119  
           
      Which statement is true?
     
12    
           
  1   The image on the right is more dense 25 22.3%
  2   The image on the left is more dense 34 30.4%
  3   They have a similar density 53 47.3%
      N 112  
           
      Which block has the highest density?
     
13    
           
  1   A 15 17.0%
  2   B 50 56.8%
  3   C 23 26.1%
      N 88  
           
      What should the street look like (1st Choice)?
     
14    
           
  1   Green with trees & landscaped 16 15.5%
  2   Visually clean & attractive 13 12.6%
  3   Upper floor residential 4 3.9%
  4   Off-street parking (in the rear) 5 4.9%
  5   Sidewalk cafes 7 6.8%
  6   Green all year round 1 1.0%
  7   Buildings in good repair 2 1.9%
  8   Variety of retail 25 24.3%
  9   Mixed use buildings 25 24.3%
  10   Stores close to the curb 5 4.9%
      N 103  
           
      What should the street look like (2nd Choice)?
     
15    
           
  1   Green with trees & landscaped 23 20.9%
  2   Visually clean & attractive 35 31.8%
  3   Upper floor residential 7 6.4%
  4   Off-street parking (in the rear) 23 20.9%
  5   Sidewalk cafes 8 7.3%
  6   Green all year round 0 0.0%
  7   Buildings in good repair 5 4.5%
  8   Variety of retail 0 0.0%
  9   Mixed use buildings 1 0.9%
  10   Stores close to the curb 8 7.3%
      N 110  
           
      What should go into the buildings (1st Choice)?
     
16    
           
  1   Mixed income housing 3 2.8%
  2   Mixed use retail & residential 57 53.3%
  3   Higher density retail 3 2.8%
  4   24-hour activities and late night options 11 10.3%
  5   Unique shops and specialty stores 19 17.8%
  6   Clothing stores 3 2.8%
  7   Trader Joe's 5 4.7%
  8   Restaurants 1 0.9%
  9   Small-scale entertainment 4 3.7%
  10   Mix of national chains 1 0.9%
      N 107  
           
      What should go into the buildings (2nd Choice)?
     
17    
           
  1   Mixed income housing 7 6.3%
  2   Mixed use retail & residential 1 0.9%
  3   Higher density retail 7 6.3%
  4   24-hour activities and late night options 21 18.9%
  5   Unique shops and specialty stores 37 33.3%
  6   Clothing stores 9 8.1%
  7   Trader Joe's 4 3.6%
  8   Restaurants 7 6.3%
  9   Small-scale entertainment 12 10.8%
  10   Mix of national chains 6 5.4%
      N 111  
           
      What should the buildings look like (1st Choice)?
     
18    
           
  1   Continued use of traditional buildings 8 7.3%
  2   Height limitations 9 8.3%
  3   Mixed use (retail on ground, office/residential above) 19 17.4%
  4   Underground and off-street parking 8 7.3%
  5   Roof top gardens 3 2.8%
  6   Mixture of historical and well designed modern buildings 48 44.0%
  7   Patios, atriums and balconies 4 3.7%
  8   3  4 story tall buildings 7 6.4%
  9   No visible security gates or shutters 2 1.8%
  10   Retail 1 0.9%
      N 109  
           
      What should the buildings look like (2nd Choice)?
     
19    
           
  1   Continued use of existing buildings 4 3.8%
  2   Height limitations 14 13.2%
  3   Mixed use (retail on ground, office/residential above) 43 40.6%
  4   Underground and off-street parking 23 21.7%
  5   Roof top gardens 2 1.9%
  6   Mixture of historical and well designed modern buildings 0 0.0%
  7   Patios, atriums and balconies 8 7.5%
  8   3  4 story tall buildings 9 8.5%
  9   No visible security gates or shutters 2 1.9%
  10   Retail 1 0.9%
      N 106  
           
      What activities will people engage in (1st Choice)?
     
20    
           
  1   Personal use, walking, churches, sitting around 7 6.7%
  2   People interacting 5 4.8%
  3   Recreational entertainment options 9 8.6%
  4   Interactive entertainment (music/poetry/art) 11 10.5%
  5   Residential living (including dormitories) 2 1.9%
  6   Shopping 42 40.0%
  7   Groups meeting in town square 1 1.0%
  8   Nightlife (bars, dancing, movies, etc.) 13 12.4%
  9   Eating 9 8.6%
  10   Youth programs and activities 6 5.7%
      N 105  
           
      What activities will people engage in (2nd Choice)?
     
21    
           
  1   Personal use, walking, churches, sitting around 4 3.7%
  2   People interacting 5 4.7%
  3   Recreational entertainment options 6 5.6%
  4   Interactive entertainment (music/poetry/art) 9 8.4%
  5   Residential living (including dormitories) 8 7.5%
  6   Shopping 0 0.0%
  7   Groups meeting in town square 4 3.7%
  8   Nightlife (bars, dancing, movies, etc.) 39 36.4%
  9   Eating 27 25.2%
  10   Youth programs and activities 5 4.7%
      N 107  
           
      Would you be willing to accept a mid-rise building (8-10 stories) somewhere in the 53rd Street TIF District?
     
22    
           
  1   Yes 66 62.9%
  2   No 27 25.7%
  3   Unsure 12 11.4%
      N 105