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Chicago North Side

New Business Owner: “Boystown Renaissance” Underway

David Sikora, the owner of upcoming “Progress Bar”, which will take over the new vacant space that once housed “Cocktail” bar, was quoted by Lakeview Patch this week as saying that the Boystown area is about to go through a “renaissance”.

Said Sikora, “Let me put it this way: Boystown is about to go through a renaissance”.

For a resident of Lakeview and a frequent visitor of the Boystown area, I can see the change coming. With apartment development Halsted Flats, as well as a collection of bars, and the newly proposed LGBT friendly hotel in the heart of Boystown all in the works, it is obvious that the stretch of Halsted between Belmont and Grace is undergoing a serious facelift.

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Design draft of “Halsted Flats” mixed apartment and retail space at the corner of Halsted and Brompton”. Photo courtesy of DNA Info.

I hope to concentrate on both the “Halsted Flats” development, as well as the new hotel that I referenced in my last blog post (In Boystown, Urban Planning Abounds). Because I am involved with volunteering in the area, I know many business owners that I hope to interview about the upcoming changes to Boystown. I would like to also get the perspective of area residents, both those for and against, in order to turn this news bit into a substantial news story that reflects the gentrification process that is going on not only in Lakeview, but also in other areas of Chicago on the whole. I am also interested in the planning and zoning laws for the area- since I know that there area high restrictions for the area (I believe that the proposed LGBT hotel had to cut some stories off of their initial development plan).

So, for next week, I will hope to talk to various business owners- as well as get the minutes from a meeting that the proposed hotel owner had with area residents in order to flesh out this story into a piece that adequately explains the climate of a changing LGBT neighborhood. I think this can develop into a interesting piece- and one that many reporters writing for area local news websites will not find the time to fully report on.

 

 

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