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Added Aug 25 2011

Residents of Bronzeville and surrounding areas, let's put our heads together and brainstorm the types of businesses that we'd like in our neighborhood! Step 1: Give 1-3 suggestions, along with where you think the businesses should be located. I'll leave this open for a few days and we'll move onto Step 2, which will be counting the suggestions and narrowing down to the top three suggestions. After that, we'll take it from there. Thanks in advance!

  • grandma 13-year Douglas resident

    In reference to Camp Douglas: I saw a map of Camp Douglas dated 1865 that was prepared by William Bross for a paper read before the Chicago Historical Society dated June 18, 1878 and it showed Camp Douglas west border ,on the east side of Forest Ave, now called Giles from 31st to 33rd but on the east portion it does seem to include all of Lake Meadows.

  • grandma 13-year Douglas resident

    To Bronzeville Visitor Information Center: Will your information Center be the location for the Camp Douglas Project and when the construction begins 2012, do you know where the military barack replicas will be built. For example, in the past didn't Bobby Rush want to repurpose the Chicago Military Building? Will this be the location for baracks and will there be a historic dig for artifacts in the area?

  • grandma 13-year Douglas resident

    When I said in this area, I meant in Lake Meadows. Did Draper & Kramer decide to cooperate with this project?

  • grandma 13-year Douglas resident

    Transportation is also crucial to development. Does anyone know if the 31st street bus route was approved. The decision needed to be made before September 30, 2011 for funding not to be lost. The proposal wanted to connect riders from Little Village, Douglas, Chinatown, Bridgeport and Bronzeville. There would be a stop at 31st street beach going west to state I believe, south to 33rd around IIT, west to wentworth then north again to 31st, then westward... etc. I called and CTA asked if they could have the bus route go south on state to 35th for Metra, Red Line & Green Line. This could help the Dunbar students who travel by train to get on at 31st King by their school and relieve some of the impact on 35th street. CTA has an email for suggestion at feedback@transitchicago.com

  • Bronzeville Visitor Information Center Non profit organization involved in Tourism

    @ grandma, we support the Camp Douglass project but the Camp Douglass Foundation is the driver behind the project. Also there seem to be competing maps of the area. Also I have not seen enough detail on any of the maps to account for the post stores, the defensive zone, Camp entrance and exits, and the other detail. And no, Draper and Kraemer has refused all access. Yes, the Camp Douglass foundation has proceeded with the dig but not on the site owned by Draper and Kraemer, but the adjoining sites that were heavily used (such as the Cottage Grove Forest) which hosted over 600 escapes. I also believe that the Douglass Monument is also included. More info here
    http://www.campdouglas.org/

  • grandma 13-year Douglas resident

    @Bronzeville Visitor Information Center, thanks for the information regarding the Camp Douglas Project.

  • Erica in Bronzeville 12 yrs in Bronzeville; Ready for a Brighter Day

    Hello all! Thanks to the Bronzeville Visitor Information Center for willing to host our brainstorming session on attracting businesess to Bronzeville! The Alderman has already expressed interest in meeting with us! We have either 9/27 or 9/28 from 6:30-8:30PM available for meeting days. Please let me know if you are interested and which day works best for you. Thanks!

  • Mary Hyde Park

    I would love to see funds for local artists to create street art - and have plaques to be folllowed for a self-guided walking tour - or involve Chicago Architecture Foundation for a weekend morning walking tour. Asheville NC did this (called Urban Trail) and it helped to revitalize the area -- visitors stopped in local businesses, and their presence added to the street life: http://www.asheville.com/news/urban.html

  • Bronzeville Visitor Information Center Non profit organization involved in Tourism

    Hello Mary...

    Bronzeville has had the "Walk of Fame" for 10 years, 92 plaques laid into the sidewalk, the great migration statue located at 26th and king drive, and the obelisks that are on State St (and the one to come). We, at the center, offer tours both walking and bus that cover this. We also have the "Map of Bronzeville" located at the intersection of 35th and King Dr. across from the Victory monument. Bronze inlay map denoting the history and accomplishment of Bronzeville. And by the way... we work with the Chicago Architecture Foundation, they are coming to the center for the CAF open house, Oct 15th and 16th, 2011. Stop by if you get the chance...

  • Mike in Bronzeville Concerned Home Owner

    I have a question. How do we limit the number of greasy fast food restaurants that are on 35th St. I applaud Church's being out of here but do we really need a Popeye's, Harold's and KFC all withing arms reach of each other? Who do we petition to say enough is enough, and don't get me started on those fast food shacks a little further west. Personally I would like to see them all go. But what action can we as residents take to move them out?

  • Erica in Bronzeville 12 yrs in Bronzeville; Ready for a Brighter Day

    Mike, we need you, and anyone who's thinking like you are, at our business brainstorming business next week!!!

    I have GOOD NEWS! I recently reached out to Ald. Pat Dowell and she is interested in meeting with our group to hear our ideas on businesses that we'd like to solicit!

    But first we need to get together as a group and come up with our ideas! Lucky for us, the Bronzeville Visitor Information Center (411 E. 35th Street) has been kind enough to offer to host out initial brainstorming meeting. We will be meeting there on Wed, Sept 28 at 6:30-8:30PM. Refreshments will be served.

    I'd like for us to target mid-October to meet with the alderman if that works for the group.

    Please send me your name, email address, and cell phone number if you are interested in joining us next Wed, Sept 28 to discuss Bronzeville businesses! I can be reached at ericamo1@yahoo.com. I hope to hear from you soon!

  • Scotty Kummer Attorney, runner, dog lover, Bronzeville Resident.

    @Mike: We don't "limit the number of greasy fast food restaurants that are on 35th St." if we want more choices and better food we stop going to them. I want to love in a neighborhood with good food choices and variety...that being said, I do not want to live in a neighborhood where politics runs businesses. I've seen this in other neighborhoods....where the politicians prevent the McDonald's from coming in (obviously inapplicable here because we have one already but you get my point).

  • Ben in Bronzeville Let's Build a Stronger City

    Agreed. Let's vote with our wallets and pocket books. I personally would like to see some more sit down food options beyond fast food and would vote my wallet and stomach towards that! :)

  • GRD GRD

    Voting with your wallet is the way to go, if we don't patronize the businesses, they will close and the area won't be attractive to more of the same.

  • Inactive user

    I love, love love Bronzeville. It has such beautiful art, a rich history and is a great community committed to preserving that history. I wish all the CPS schools required the study of this great neighborhood, which is pivotal in how the city evolved.

  • Bronzeville Visitor Information Center Non profit organization involved in Tourism

    how true...never spoken better.

  • Bronzeville Visitor Information Center Non profit organization involved in Tourism

    @Mike, once we got rid of the "greasy fast food " and the nuisance "liquor stores" what do we replace them with ? Before we do away with what we have... is there any way we can get them to be "more acceptable"? All of the businesses want more customers, is it a "how they look" or a "what they sell" problem ?

  • Erica in Bronzeville 12 yrs in Bronzeville; Ready for a Brighter Day

    Tomorrow, Wed,Sept 28 is OUR big day! We will be holding a meeting as a group to come up with ideas on businesses that we'd like to see in Bronzeville! Lucky for us, the Bronzeville Visitor Information Center (411 E. 35th Street) has been kind enough to offer to host out initial brainstorming meeting. We will be meeting there on Wed, Sept 28 at 6:30-8:30PM. Refreshments will be served.

    I'd like for us to target mid-October to meet with the alderman if that works for the group.

    Please send me your name, email address, and cell phone number if you are interested in joining us next Wed, Sept 28 to discuss Bronzeville businesses! I can be reached at ericamo1@yahoo.com. I hope to hear from you soon!

  • Erica in Bronzeville 12 yrs in Bronzeville; Ready for a Brighter Day

    Hello all! Thanks so much for coming out and sharing your ideas on how to attract commerce in Bronzeville on last Wed, Sept 28! I also want to thank the Bronzeville Visitor Information Center for hosting our meeting and being so generous with offering to support our mission!

    As a recap, we brainstormed a number of businesses that we'd like in Bronzeville, which include: Qdoba, Chipotle, Xport Fitness, Recreation Center for children, Blues Bar, Walgreens/CVS by green line stops on 47th, 53rd, 55th, rehabbing the Forum, bowling alley and billards, Icon Theatre on 47th and State, Rebuild the entire State Street corridor, Roundy's, pet care center, steak house, and J. Alexanders.

    As we mentioned last night, we will be holding our next meeting on Tuesday, Oct 25 at 6:30PM at the BVIC. For that meeting, we plan to discuss the following:

    •Neighborhood Plan - What is it? How can it help us attract businesses? How do we create one? Who can help us create it?: I plan to have an Subject Matter Expert on hand to fill us in on all of the details and provide us with guidance.
    •Bronzeville community groups that are also working on attracting businesses to Bronzeville: We'll have an update on this and discuss how we can work with those groups to make some exciting things happen in Bronzeville!
    •List of businesses that have already expressed interest in coming to Bronzeville: Ms. Fox from the BVIC has this list and we will compare it to our "wish list" and see which ones we can target and help join Bronzeville

    Once again, thanks for your enthusiasm, interest, and dedication. It's the residents of Bronzeville who are most qualified to bring about change in our community, and please don't forget that! Please continue to talk to your friends, family, and neighbors about your ideas for improving the business climate in Bronzeville, too.

  • Bronze1 Bronzeville Futurist

    Hello everyone! Just wanted to chime in.

    35th & Dearborn has a small parcel of land backed up against the metra wall. Would be great to see that used temporarily as electric car charging stations until it is developed for housing or retail. Capitalizing on the new 35th St. Station & Marina (Spring '12), perhaps a trolley bus route can be established to run the 1 mile 35th St. stretch from Metra 35th to Douglas tomb bridge. This trolley system can use empty land of park boulevard as a roundabout.

    I'm not counting on any restos or brick & mortar establishments on the parkboulevardchicago.com land for obvious reasons.

    But, I think that using that empty land on Dearborn and 35th would really be ideal
    for an art fair since it is serviced immediately by the green and red cta lines and the metra line.

  • Bronze1 Bronzeville Futurist

    Bronzeville needs to capitalize on the use of the 35th St. viaduct. Perhaps an electronic board welcoming patrons. Something modern and forward thinking. Bronzeville needs to capitalize on all those Sox fans using the redline. They're already there. Let's get them across the viaduct!

  • Bronze1 Bronzeville Futurist

    A cycling store like Performance would be great to have. The proximity to the lakefront trail and the new Chicago Velo Campus at 86th & Burley is going to keep cycling in Chicago's Southside an essential recreation.

  • grandma 13-year Douglas resident

    It appears that IIT is also researching the needs for Bronzeville.
    Take a look at this site:

    http://urban-activators.org/

  • Glad to see this thread developing into action. I agree that it would be nice to take advantage of the Sox crowd but the reality is that many of these folks think they might get shot if the venture east of the viaduct! Unless they want to get a sub at the shop next to police HQ, why would they come east? I'm not a huge fan of the overdeveloped Wrigglyville area but they were onto something there. The whole 35 St corridor needs to be developed with a nice variety of shops and quality restaurants. No one is going to go to an unfamiliar neighborhood for chicken, McDonalds, and cheap booze:( I have long been perplexed why no one can see the amazing business opportunities that exist by developing this area. It's pretty sad actually:( I applaud all of your efforts of this thread and hope to make it to one of your next gatherings!:)

  • Ben in Bronzeville Let's Build a Stronger City

    Good ideas. That getting shot mentality is what we need to get over. I like the welcome sign approach to get people across the viaduct. It's baby steps, but Miller Pizza, Mother Butters, Jimmy Johns, Starbucks right there are a first step into the neighborhood for Sox folks. I think a nice sit down restaurant/bar in that area with that open space available would be a gold mine from Sox, IIT, and the neighborhood.

  • Ben in Bronzeville Let's Build a Stronger City

    Yahoo local article about "hot" Chicago neighborhoods relevant to this discussion...

    http://beta.local.yahoo.com/chicago39s-hottest-neighborhoods-watch-monkeysee?bouchon=602,il

  • grandma 13-year Douglas resident

    I was just told that "DLR Clothing" would be opening a store in Lake Meadows.

  • Bronze1 Bronzeville Futurist

    The Overton Hygiene Building on State St., across Park Boulevard, is leasing space for small businesses. Good site for fitness center or sports bar.

  • Bronze1 Bronzeville Futurist

    I could see a temporary exhibit held at park boulevard on 35th & Dearborn where 20 foot shipping containers are used to house various exhibits! You could easily line up 20 containers against the Metra wall. Exhibit would last a week or 2.

  • Bronze1 Bronzeville Futurist

    Great video of 31st St. Marina on this webpage. Bronzeville tourism should link with it!

    https://secure.chicagoharbors.info/

  • Bronze1 Bronzeville Futurist

    Bronzeville Tourism should hang a banner on 35th/Metra "Welcome 31st harbor opening 2012", like on the chicagoharbors video!

  • Bronze1 Bronzeville Futurist
  • Bronzeville Visitor Information Center Non profit organization involved in Tourism

    Thanks for the suggestion. The 35thst station is metra, I'll float the idea to them!

  • Bronze1 Bronzeville Futurist

    BVIC, It may be a fantastic idea to establish a bike lane along 35th St. between Metra@35th to the Douglas Memorial bridge. This can help promote ridership/tourism from suburban residents.
    They can get off the train, ride their bikes to the marina. They will discover the storefronts along 35th.
    Also, IIT's B-cycle bicycle rental signage & area map can be
    put up by the train station to encourage this!
    The marina changes everything!

  • Bronze1 Bronzeville Futurist

    A B-cycle station at the marina to complement the existing ones on IIT will help boost commerce along 35th!
    http://chicago.bcycle.com/contactus.aspx

  • Bronze1 Bronzeville Futurist

    A signboard like this on 35th & Dearborn would really set the tone for Bronzeville's new direction!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6XIovZyJVgw&feature=youtube_gdata_player

  • Bronze1 Bronzeville Futurist

    Biking the Boulevards. Why Bronzeville could use more B-cycle stations:

    http://www.wttw.com/main.taf?p=74,3

  • Bronze1 Bronzeville Futurist

    BVIC, it would be GREAT if the BVIC can develop a QR code so anyone who is traveling through bronzeville can just scan it w/ their smartphones.

    The QR code can link up to BVIC's site and a list of stores can be pulled down from a menu.

    QR codes can be place on street signage, train stations & merchandise!

    Also a sign on the marina "1.25 miles to 35th St. Trains". can direct foot traffic towards Bronzeville.

  • Bronze1 Bronzeville Futurist

    When the QR code & website is up and running, run an ad on the Southtown Star paper to inform South Suburban residents who are using the Metra Rock Island line.

  • Bronzeville Visitor Information Center Non profit organization involved in Tourism

    I have been working on rfid... QR codes? OK I'll bite..
    cross linking scanning, and rfid ? RADICAL !

  • Bronze1 Bronzeville Futurist

    I can imagine one billboard with just the QR code of BVIC. Perhaps, attached as a street sign or an ad on the CTA stations. It would be cool if it were on a billboard sitting atop IIT's technology center where passengers on trains just waiting would just scan it from their seats!
    The menu should have tabs for a)coffee shops b)white table cloth restaurants 3) office supplies 4)fast foods , etc.
    I'm sure people will figure out how to get there with all the GPS tech.

  • Bronze1 Bronzeville Futurist

    Looks like IIT is getting a charging station for electric cars on their lot. Permit issued Oct. 28. I hope it's for public use and not exclusive to i-go cars only.

  • Bronze1 Bronzeville Futurist
  • Erica in Bronzeville 12 yrs in Bronzeville; Ready for a Brighter Day

    Thanks! Can't wait to buy groceries there.... :)

  • How can you buy groceries there? I thought it was just a souvenir shop?:)

  • GRD GRD

    What will this place do to businesses like Grandstand in the area. I guess some independents are going to be put out.

  • Erica in Bronzeville 12 yrs in Bronzeville; Ready for a Brighter Day

    JRMD, I was joking around. :) Unfortunately, a souvenir shop at Sox Park doesn't really address our food desert issue in B'ville or help to make way for other businesses to come to the area that truly meet the consumer needs of the residents. Sicne I am Cardinals fan, a new Sox souvenir shop doesn't get my blood pumping all that much. :)

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