Chicago’s Department of Planning & Development (DPD) has started work on a corridor study that will produce a series of recommendations to enhance Clark Street’s “vitality and walkability.” Called Clark Street Crossroads, the study will examine residential and commercial market conditions between Montrose and Foster and identify opportunities for new development, zoning enhancements, and public realm improvements.
According to DPD Commissioner Maurice Cox, “the study’s primary purpose will be to assess local market conditions and their impact on residential and commercial investment along the corridor.” A corresponding public engagement process will help identify key issues and potential solutions.
Characterized by low-rise retail buildings, new mixed-use structures, St. Boniface Cemetery, and Chase Park, the corridor has a Pedestrian Street zoning designation that is intended to promote walkability and local retail investment. Approximately 40,000 residents live within a half-mile of this stretch of Clark.
“Retail has been changing dramatically over the last few years, and we need a plan that will make the best use of this wonderful commercial and residential corridor,” said Ald. James Cappleman (46th), a steering committee member. “This study will help strategize the future of Clark Street for all of its neighbors and visitors.”
Advocating for Clark Street, A Corridor Connecting 3 Neighborhoods
Located in the Uptown Community Area, this mile-long corridor connects to Andersonville and Ravenswood. The corridor also falls across three ward boundaries. Business support comes from the local chambers, as well as Special Service Area #31 and Small Business Improvement Funds from the Clark/Montrose TIF District.
Over the last several years, the Greater Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce (GRCC), Uptown United, and the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce have advocated for resources and improvements for this stretch of Clark. During that time, GRCC and SSA #31 have added new bike racks, sculptures, and decorative planters to the corridor. Additionally, GRCC leadership worked with former 47th Ward Ald. Ameya Pawar to secure menu funds for planting dozens of new trees along the public way.
Financed by $250,000 in TIF funds, Clark Street Crossroads is led by DPD with support from the Uptown, Greater Ravenswood, and Andersonville chambers. Steering committee members also include Ald. Andre Vasquez (40th), Ald. James Cappleman (46th) and Ald. Matt Martin (47th), as well as representatives from a variety of neighborhood groups and block clubs.
Project First Steps
From surveys and interviews to polls and public workshops, our process will incorporate the many voices that shape Clark Street. Use the study’s website to monitor the planning process, sign up for updates, and submit thoughts on the corridor’s strengths/weaknesses. DPD will host the first Community Workshop for area residents, businesses and interested parties at 6pm on Tuesday, February 15, 2022. Click here for more info on the meeting.
DPD’s project team will publish a draft of their recommendations in 2022, prior to potential adoption by the Chicago Plan Commission. Find more details about the process, partners, and project timeline at clarkstreetcrossroads.com.