East Village 2016 year in review
East Village is a magnet for young professionals and the developers who follows them. EVA's most popular posts of 2016 follow the progress of St. Boniface, Pure Dairy, Ace on Ashland and other developments.
March 31: Neighbors of St. Boniface organized to save St. Boniface Church at 1358 W. Chestnut St. A threat to raze the church drew new interest in preserving the site, an EVA goal since the church closed in 1990. Stas Development finally stalled demolition in a last-minute deal to buy the site. An open house this coming Tuesday will preview the construction timeline for condos and a music hall.
Ongoing: Expansion of Chicago's Transit Oriented Development rules, which waives parking space requirements near rail lines, drew contractors to EVA's development guidelines, which discourage one-off zoning changes.
Oct. 3: The modest Mariano's grocery at 2021 W. Chicago Ave. has the chain's most popular liquor section. Store director Shiela Cosgrove told EVA members produce and other departments had improved under new owner Kroger Co. Expansion plans might feature organic products and a bar.
July 30: A condo development plan would preserve the white-tile facade of the Pure Dairy building, most recently a Leona's restaurant. The city Landmarks Commission encouraged EVA review yet rejected the result Dec. 9, asking for direct input.
Jan. 31: The former Ace Hardware site at 1013 N. Ashland will emerge as 33 condos above first-floor retail space. After reviewing early plans, members of EVA's development committee suggested adding 3-bedroom units for a more diverse mix.
Ongoing: East Village crime incidents are tracked from updates to Chicago's data portal. A view of 2016 city data on the Crime Around Us website indicates 111 violent crimes and 378 property crimes withinin EVA boundaries.
Sept. 19: Two apartments will replace the closed tavern at 1824 W. Augusta Blvd. A Bridgeport bar's proposed reopening the space as the operator shifted focus to launching a Polish-Korean restaurant. But as the bid collapsed it prompted a feisty exchange between EVA members and Ald. Proco Joe Moreno.
Dec 12: Ald. Brian Hopkins told EVA he would deny a liquor license to the onetime operator of Red Apple Convenience, 2000 W. Damen Ave. He had asked EVA for feedback on a reopening proposal predicated on liquor-license approval. Police blocked the operator's 2012 application.
Jan. 31: West Town schools don't have enough students, according to a Chicago Public Schools assessment, with 11 of 16 schools considered "underutilized." The report prompted concerns about future public school closings amid an abundance of charter schools. This fall Wells High School enrollment slid an additional 15%, to 387 students.
Ongoing: EVA is a member-supported volunteer association. Its traditional membership drive is in January, but dues now are collected year-round on PayPal. If you have not renewed lately or your credit card has been reissued, please take time now to renew your membership.