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From Extinguishing Fires to Igniting Hope

Welcome to Chicago, where Logan Square and Kells Park are two of the many sections of the City currently experiencing a revitalization period. One of these communities has already started feeling the surge of economic benefits, while the humanitarian potential of the other will soon be realized. Let's explore how both of these neighborhoods are now on the up-swing, showing promise that the valiant progress of each has only just begun.


Restoring Pride in Logan Square

10392275_813151798755731_3715966384322479537_nFriday night, as a friend and I sat tasting wine, we reminisced about her 11 years living in Logan Square. When she first moved to the community on the Northwest side of Chicago, the notoriety was of a much different form than it is today. Logan Square was run down, and had the highest homicide rate in Chicago. 10+ years may seem like torturous slow motion, but making progress never gets stale, as many people watched the city metamorphosize into a clean, safe, cultural hub for music lovers and foodies. For example, this summer The Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival will have reciprocating benefits from the ever blossoming community of Logan Square when it returns to its neighborhood of origin and changes its name to The Logan Square Arts Festival.

Developers have also played a role in revitalization by transforming a historic 1930's building into a community hub. As a result, The Hairpin Lofts, which would have otherwise ended in a rubble of disrepair, are now housing a community center, low-income rental housing, and the Hairpin Arts Center. Additionally, multi-use rehabs within Logan Square are in the brainstorming stages. Listen how.


Kells Park: From Extinguishing Fires to Igniting Hope

A coalition of Humboldt Park neighborhood groups are focused on repurposing a historic building to empower a community and provide a centralized outlet for children. An abandoned fire station that has been vacant on the southeast edge of the park since 1981 lends an incredible legacy to the promise of a community on the rise.

extralargeRestoring and repurposing the old firehouse will serve to provide an inspiring center, giving outlet to the children who hold our future in their often precarious grasp. The opportunity in Kells Park is vast within a lively community supportive of change. Helping to lead the march are Alderman Walter Burnett Jr. of the 27th Ward, The West Humboldt Park Development Council, and the Kells Park Advisory Council. These Government and community programs have contributed many funds, however, the remaining capital necessary for redevelopment still needs to be procured. A portion of the $500,000 (early restoration estimate) is most likely to be cost prohibitive for the existing financial structures, leaving a void to be filled. Still, the Community center's importance is of high priority for this revitalization movement, as it will provide a healthy distraction for children, and a centralized gathering place for all. Here are some interesting ways to get involved.

Related: Shaq Attacks the Community Revitalization of Newark


Crowdfunding Lends Progress Without Limits

There is hope in utilizing, but not being limited to government funding. Peer-to-peer lending is one of the ways society can reinvest in their own communities around the world. This new alternative way of raising capital may prove to be a logical answer to community revitalization conundrums. Real estate crowdfunding is already being used as a means of redevelopment, as Patch of Land has already fully funded 8 projects in the Chicagoland area, and the efforts that have already reaped success have only just begun.

Tell us where you stand. If you were constructing a 3,000 square foot building with the purpose of providing value to community members, what would you create? Leave a comment and let us know your thoughts.

If you want to learn more, take a look at some of the most commonly asked questions we receive about real estate crowdfunding on a daily basis and find out why so many people are crowdfunding real estate projects across the country with Patch of Land.
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2 thoughts on “From Extinguishing Fires to Igniting Hope”

  • Community Collaboration On The Table - The Patch commented March 11, 2015

    […] Related article: From Extinguishing Fires to Igniting Hope […]

  • Real Estate Investing for $1? Introducing the Large Lots Program! - The Patch commented March 25, 2015

    […] When measuring the program’s success, we focus regularly on Englewood as it has an interesting economic history. In the 1960's, Englewood was the #1 neighborhood retail center in the nation. After a series of devastating events in the late 1960’s, the housing market crashed, the crime rate rose, and flight out of the community ensued. Homes and businesses were boarded up and remaining people became fragments of communities entrapped by disinvestment and accustomed to a lack of real estate investing in their neighborhoods. As a result, Englewood eventually fell into the highest rate of unemployment with the largest number of vacant lots in Chicago. Related: From Extinguishing Fires to Igniting Hope […]

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