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Development In Humboldt Park Sparks Discussions Of Gentrification

 

CHICAGO (CBS) — A decaying building may be an eyesore for some. It’s about to be demolished.

But not everyone wants the neighborhood to change.

CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole has the story.

It’s an aging, one-time homeless shelter in Humboldt Park. On its inspection last year, records indicated owners “failed to maintain the exterior walls” and “loose or rotting boards.”

Developers now want to tear it down and replace it with a four story, three-unit upscale condo, not unlike the many others going up in the surrounding blocks.

“I think there needs to be more compelling reasons to provide housing in Chicago than simply making a profit,” said Christian Diaz of the Logan Square Neighborhood Association.

“These neighborhoods are changing very fast,” added Diaz.

It’s another example, according to housing advocates like Diaz, that higher prices and property taxes will force people out.

“These are monuments to the displacement of working class families in Chicago and it’s a painful reality for us,” said Diaz.

Back in 2010, the average price for a home in the area was about $175,000. Eight years later it has climbed to $467,000.

“It’s amazing how things go from one extreme to the other,” said Tony Barajas sitting on the steps of his childhood home. “The neighborhood has changed for the best,” said Barajas.

He looks out on a mixed landscape of construction and pricey newer homes in the shadow of the popular 606 Trail. He hopes to sell and remain here.

“It was bad 20 years ago with the gang infestation. Now it’s a quiet nice neighborhood,” said Barajas.

Ironically art imitates life in Urban Theater’s original work “Not for Sale” concerning the rapid changes around the corner. It debuts in Humboldt Park Friday with a call to action.

“It’s been going on for years. What is our responsibility as residents of Humboldt Park or any community that’s being gentrified,” said Ivan Andres Vega of the Urban Theater Company.

Somehow shining a light on the many sides of a building slated for demolition.

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