What we're watching for in 2012
12/28/2011 10:00 PM
In this issue, we summed up what we thought were some of the biggest local stories that affected Chicago Journal readers. It was a busy year, particularly at the top of the city, where Mayor Rahm Emanuel took over.
But a lot of what happened this year simply set the stage for what will happen in 2012. So with that in mind, here are a few things we hope to see next year.
More activity on Motor Row. When Ald. Bob Fioretti first started pitching a plan to revitalize that all-too-quiet strip of South Michigan Avenue earlier this year, it quickly made sense. The ornate old auto dealerships are perfect for new businesses, especially entertainment-oriented ones like Fioretti targeted.
Right now, that stretch is just begging for some activity, and it looks like itís coming. Broad Shoulders Brewing, the new beer emporium, has a website up and running. Cheap Trickís lead guitarist Rick Nielsen was recently interviewed by Fox Chicago Newsí Bob Sirott, and it sounds like that venueís moving forward.
Letís see this thing get rolling. Thereís so much promise in the area, and boosting it would be a huge boon for Chicagoís convention industry at Motor Row, as well.
Get Peteís Fresh Market moving finally. It seems like every few months we write that Peteís is finally supposed to do something or other. Then we drive past the site, and itís the same old fenced-off vacant lot it has been for years.
We donít know whose fault this is. Is grocery store management just dragging their feet? Are they having problem navigating the cityís byzantine permit system?
Frankly, weíre just mystified. Peteís has other locations in the city, so itís not like this is their first time at this.
Regardless, we want this store to open, and we hope the last target date we heard ó the end of 2012 ó is still a possibility. The Near West Side could use a boost like this big grocery store.
Another new aldermanic map. Letís be honest ó the two that are out right now stink. But the Hispanic Caucus map is slightly better for the West Loop and South Loop. We unilaterally reject the Black Caucusí map, which would send the 2nd Ward up to Lake View.
Ald. Fioretti has been a good voice for the community and has done a good job of listening to his constituents, getting things done while simultaneously being an independent voice in the city council. He doesnít deserve to be gerrymandered into another aldermanís ward.
Letís see another whack at this. And hey, letís try to keep neighborhoods together, why donít we.