Chicago downtown residential population surged 36 percent in the last decade. The city handled 134,000 residential building permits, many in the Loop and the Near North Side, the two downtown neighborhoods that have experienced the most growth. Although much of Chicago is losing population, development downtown is busting out toward nearby neighborhoods, like the Near South Side. This area has big facilities like McCormack Place and Soldier Field and a smaller population than other parts of downtown, but it is revitalizing. Motor Row in the Near South Side, which has many old loft buildings and automobile showrooms from the early part of the 20th Century, has big development potential. The area is seeing significant public infrastructure investment, including $5.8 million in tax-increment financing funds for streetscape improvements, and improved connections between a soon-to-be-built transit station and McCormack Place, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Note: This article is from the April-May 2013 issue of Better! Cities & Towns.
Michael Bloomberg has added or extended more historic districts than any previous New York City mayor, according to an article in The Wall Street Journal. This policy has provided a counterpoint to an otherwise aggressive development approach, the Journal notes. Eyeballing the Journal's graphic, it appears that perhaps 10 percent of Manhattan is designated, but no more than 2 percent of the entire city. Preservation has played a key role in neighborhoods that have revitalized from Greenwich Village to SoHo to the Meatpacking District, according to the report. For a long time, the designations focused on Manhattan. But most of the designations in recent years have been in the other boroughs. While there is plenty of room for unrestricted new development, the historic designations are helping to preserve an aspect of the city that is appealing to residents and visitors alike.