The bus stop on the corner of Chicago Avenue and State Street brimmed with activity on Wednesday afternoon.
A man and his child ate McDonald’s, a utility crew cleared leaves off the sidewalk, and hundreds of people walked up and down the stairs of the Chicago El stop.
Mark Adams stood away from the curb, smoking a cigarette as he viewed the scene.
“This area sure gets busy,” he said. “I got lost on my way over today.”
Adams had just gotten a job at a business off of Chicago Ave. “It’s been a great day so far. Now I just need to get on the bus,” he said, chuckling.Within vision of the bus stop was a wide, low parking lot on State. The lot, once owned by Holy Name Cathedral across the street, was purchased by JDL developers for $110 million in early April.
“That parking lot must be nice for the church,” said Adams. “You don’t usually see lots that big in a place so crowded.”
JDL plans on building two to four apartment tower complexes on the parking lot.
“It’s a great location,” said Adams. “transport, walking, food. It’s all here. I just hope it doesn’t get too congested.”
Noise is normal
A block south of the parking lot, an elderly woman walked and admired the new leaves growing.
“There really are beautiful trees on this street,” said Susan Carson, as she fumbled to show me a picture she took on her phone. “This is my favorite time of year to walk around.”We could hear the sound of construction near us. CA Residential LLC is finishing building new residential skyscraper on 8 East Huron.
“It is a noisy place,” said Carson. “There’s always something being built around here.”
She said she doesn’t mind all the noise from construction.
“Places like this are supposed to be bustling.” Carson said.
She said she thought building on the parking lot seemed like a good idea.
“I feel like that parking lot is wasting space,” she said. “I just hope the people at the Cathedral have somewhere to park when it’s gone.”
Eliot Sterling ate a burger with a milkshake on the McDonald’s outdoor patio.
“I mean, somebody was going to build something there eventually,” he said. “It’s a developer’s dream.”
Sterling, a middle-aged office worker, said how he views the construction depends on what the building plans look like.
“I don’t think the [developers] will be able to build some huge tower,” he said. “There’s too many hoops to jump through.”Sterling may be right. In April a proposed 60 story building was shot down a block away on Michigan Ave. for traffic concerns.
“I know the Church sold it for a lot of money. It’s probably gonna be a big project,” said Sterling. “But I can’t see them building anything that would hurt the Cathedral.”What do you think of the development of Holy Name’s parking lot? Contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter @silber_depaul.