Need a reason to meet with Ald. Flores? Look around

President's Message by John Scheer 

The East Village has been very busy and the East Village Association has been right there with all that's happening. You can be part of it too, by joining the November EVA membership meeting. It's scheduled for Monday, Nov. 2 at the Happy Village, 1059 N. Wolcott. Ald. Manny Flores (1st Ward) is scheduled to speak and will be a great source of information on current events and your community interests.

There was beautiful weather and a great turnout for the Renegade Art Fair. Some of the best crafts were on Division Street, with creative solutions to repurpose selected products. If you have interest in the future use of a major street, come to the November EVA meeting to share your thoughts with Ald. Flores.

Curbs are being dug up and replaced along Damen Avenue. This is the current fix when water consistently pools above the drains. Other street work is appearing on Division, Augusta and several other streets. If you have thoughts about this or any other city transportation initiatives, come to the next EVA meeting.

The Winchester Restaurant was given the green light for a zoning change to renovate a previously vacant property at Winchester and Chicago into a significant business enterprise. There is some evidence that the business plans have changed. After the City Council passed a zoning change, landlord Ken Lebovic says the Winchester project has not been abandoned and received building permits a few weeks ago. If you have interest in the scheduled renovation and future business options, check in with Ald. Flores at the next EVA meeting. (This paragraph contains corrected information, published October 31, 2009.)

The economic recovery is making progress. There are demolitions and new development on most blocks. The neighborhood is showing signs of resilience in spite of difficult financial times. At the same time, major developments have stopped work or bankrupted their LLC as well as their financial lender. If you're concerned about the safety of partially constructed, abandoned buildings like the project at Division and Honore, visit the EVA membership meeting to get the details from the 1st Ward alderman.

Chicago, Damen, Division and Ashland have some new businesses and some that will become memories. Greenheart has reached out the neighborhood to establish their trade and get engaged locally. The tavern Fuel seems to be history. If you want to know more about what’s coming and going in our neighborhood, stop by at 7 p.m. on Nov. 2 and ask your alderman.

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