City faces challenge developing vast vacant lots

The Home Front

02/22/2012

It’s leap year 2012, a time to take a leap forward to look at the challenge Chicago faces in the future of developing its vast supply of vacant land. One of the great questions Mayor Rahm Emanuel faces is what to do with the ever-growing real estate wilderness — Chicago’s vacant lots.
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Mixed success

Four years after last of Horner Homes came down, how has life changed in West Haven?

02/22/2012

Near the corner of Madison and Western avenues, two black men in their 20s are having a casual conversation in front of recently renovated condo building. The white, middle-aged man approaches. The conversation stops. The white man walks past them and strides into the building. He casts a quick look back as he closes the door behind him. Once the older man is inside, the conversation resumes as if nothing happened.
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Loyalty, shaken up

New West Loop startup looks to take deal industry by the horns

02/22/2012

A new player is entering the field of tech startups trying to help local businesses sell their wares and attract new customers, and they’re calling the West Loop home.
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Crane reborn as medical school

At 11th hour, Brizard signs off on plan to keep high school local with a new focus

02/22/2012

After months of intense fighting between officials and activists about whether or not to close the Near West Side’s Crane High School, Chicago Public Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard has signed on to a plan to keep the school open.
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Brizard signs off on plan to remake Crane as medical high school

School will still be local, will debut in 2013; 2012 freshmen to go elsewhere

02/21/2012

After months of intense fighting between officials and activists about whether or not to close the Near West Side’s Crane High School, Chicago Public Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard has signed on to a plan to keep the school open.
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All hyped up

Some protesters and business leaders downplay early forecasts for disaster at G8/NATO summit

02/15/2012

As Chicago collectively gears up to play host for the G8 and North Atlantic Treaty Organization summits later this spring, idle talk of how the globally-watched events might play out in the white city has ranged from brassbound optimism to survivalist warnings.
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Something new on the books

Vacant Borders store comes to life as pop-up art exhibit

02/15/2012

When Borders Bookstore went belly-up last year, cities everywhere began to wring their collective hands. The bookstores were big sales tax generators with big footprints — who would replace them in this economy?
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Sprouting up

New play space aims to give kids a place to let loose in the South Loop

02/15/2012

For families living in the relatively freshly redeveloped South Loop and Near South Side, kid-friendly activities can be few and far between. Sure, the Museum Campus is right in your backyard, but there are few options for a place where kids can just let loose locally.
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Numbers don't tell the whole story

Crane advocates say CPS punishing school for taking in challenged kids

02/15/2012

As the brass at Chicago Public Schools continues to push for shutting down Crane High School on the Near West Side, the district has repeatedly tossed out chunks of information showing just how the school is failing its students.
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Union Station chugging forward

Chicago's train hub plans future, from rehabbed retail to new offices and traffic patterns

02/08/2012

Nobody would be surprised to see Chicago’s Union Station busy during rush hour. On weekday mornings and evenings, the concourse and the second-floor mezzanine become nearly impassable. But even on the weekend, the food court on the second floor still gets decent traffic. Nearly every seat in the dining area is taken.
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