Yes, Cabrini-Green. You knew the gentrification train was rolling in when, in 2011, the demise of one of Chicago’s most notorious housing projects was turned into an art project. (Blinking LED lights installed in vacant apartments went out as the buildings came down.) Now the boom is officially underway with the development of glossy towers, with let’s-forget-the-past names such as Next and Parkside of Old Town, expected by 2017. (Public housing isn’t totally gone—pockets of low-rise Section 8 buildings mingle with the newcomers.)
“The neighborhood is like a well-kept secret that likely won’t stay that way for long,” says Matt Herlihy, a vice president at Pivot Design, who moved to the area two and a half years ago to be close to work. He loves that his commute to River North is a 20-minute stroll on the Riverwalk, yet his neighborhood still feels quiet. A little too quiet for some. Commercially, there’s not much happening. Brian Crowley, a brand strategist who moved there 10 years ago, enjoys walking to Old Town, Bucktown, or the Clybourn Corridor with his wife … but they also have to hoof it if they want to go out at night. “It can make you feel a bit isolated,” he says. That’s likely to change soon: The city is accepting development proposals through April 29 for shops and condos on three parcels of land spanning 17 acres in the heart of Cabrini-Green.
“A Cabrini-Green Omnibus” (March 2011): After the last high-rise of the Cabrini-Green public housing projects was demolished, Whet Moser rounded up the most touching and foretelling columns written about its passing—plus, videos worth revisiting.