Several dozen Rogers Park and Edgewater residents gathered in a brightly lit middle school cafeteria on a weeknight, many responding to an email blast by 49th Ward Alderman Joe Moore. Some voiced concerns about the changes they said they see in the neighborhood, from rising rents to an increase in luxury apartments.
The meeting, which took place on Aug. 23 in the Chicago Math and Science Academy on North Clark Street, was an attempt to create more transparency about transit-oriented developments (TODs) — a type of development which has grown in Rogers Park in the last year.
“My biggest fear is Rogers Park becoming Andersonville,” said 25-year-old Rogers Park resident Gabrielle Schreiber. “Andersonville is a great neighborhood … but it’s expensive.”
Transit-oriented developments are buildings, often mixed-use — meaning they include both residential and commercial space — that are within walking distance of public transit, such as a train, bus or bike station.
The Chicago city zoning ordinance creating TODs was enacted in 2013 to allow for buildings with higher density, more height and reduced parking.
TODs have been promoted as affordable and greener alternatives to traditional commercial or residential buildings, but it’s questionable if the people who are supposed to reap the most reward from the developments are seeing many of their benefits.