As the booming Logan Square neighborhood pushes into the new year, another big proposal is brewing for the popular northwest side community. Like many other projects proposed and built in the area in recent years, this one would certainly qualify as a transit-oriented development, but unlike the other tall, dense market rate developments that have largely dominated the new construction activity in the area, this one calls for 100% affordable housing. The plan comes from the United Neighbors of the 35th Ward—a so-called “neighbor-led independent political organization” that is chaired by Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th). The group has been canvassing in recent weeks to drum up support for the plan, which would plant a new development on the surface parking lot on Emmett Street near the Blue Line station. The site, along with the large plaza space along Milwaukee Avenue, were both discussed at a series of public meetings in 2014 that focused on the redevelopment of these publicly owned properties. During the meetings, hosted by then-alderman Rey Colon and the nonprofit organization Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC), community members were presented with a number of different scenarios for redevelopment.
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