Some time ago I read an article (“Who can afford to live in Oak Park?”) talking about if Oak Park, Il was still going to be affordable for those middle and lower income families and how the village is less worried about the “racial re-segregation” that is happening now in Oak Park, IL. The fact of the matter is that those old liberal residents in Oak Park, Il can state that they are open to everyone and as they sign kumbaya to our faces they cannot wait to sell the so called “heritage” of Oak Park, IL so that the affluent move in and raise property values once again.
Honestly in hopes to move out the less desirables in their minds but being true hypocrites they would not tell say it out aloud, the funny thing is that this raises their property values AND taxes as well, sort of a double edged sword. So as long as they keep those poor people and minorities out who cares right? Oak Park, IL becomes that exclusive suburb once again affluent, pushing out the thoughts of being inclusive as they all put out their Hillary signs preaching that they are for everyone, so as long as that everyone is really them.
If the next generation cannot buy the homes or rent the apartments in Oak park, Il what happens to that area? It is not like Oak Park, Il is bustling with activity like Chicago’s Lakeview or Wrigleyville, it is more like Hyde Park than anything else and you see how that is!
Now after reading that article in July you think the writer may be an alarmist but actually he has a point as the Tasty dog was torn down on Lake street it was not bulldozed to make way for a restaurant or an additional building for commercial use to expand the Hemingway district’s theme. Per the article (“Tasty Dog flattened District House moves forward”) it was actually torn down for a mixed use condo that will probably have store front business space, but it will also have condos ranging from 650,000 to $900,000. Oh yeah, the people in the Chicago area obviously have the money because a third of the units sold. However, can they sell all the units? When these tenants move in what type of resources will they demand of the area? Will they be okay with the Oak Park Apartments or the Oak Park River Forest High School just a little bit down the street or would those areas need to be refitted for the new class of residents that are moving in?
Truthfully if I bought a condo for nearly a million dollars it would not be in that area unless I was told that the area was soon about to change. Which brings us back to the first article in which the writer was disturbed about one high rise, and how one high rise could damage Oak Park, IL’s commitment to racial and income desegregation you compare it to this article and you will realize he was not pissing in the wind.
There are other condos going up on Lake Street from Oak Park, IL to River Forest, Il, in the article “River Forest advances Lake and Lathrop project” we see that both villages are basically saying FUCK YOU to affordable housing and pushing such undesirables who cannot spend the cash to go elsewhere. Even though there are people who can pay this type of money, of course, there is no doubt there are people who can, but it is not enough to fill either village when properties like these raise the property values and them the property taxes in the area.
Of course Oak Park, IL is not being ran by the brightest crayons in the box, look at their operating budget, and the idiotic development and further construction of expensive condos all up and down Lake Street merely illustrates that fact. The selling point of Oak Park is its quaintness harking back to Wilbur Wright designed houses and the home of Hemingway, now that illusion is overshadowed by the condos popping up killing the illusion that Oak Park, Il is still that place that safeguards its old time traditions and values.
This is the article that is superbly written about the housing inequality in Oak Park, Il:
The article about Tasty Dog’s removal and more condos building in the area:
River Forest is getting into the act for condo building: