This blog post arises from a recent discussion on Crib Chatter website regarding the area near the Edgewater Beach Apartments. The commenters of this website consist mainly of real estate agents or investors who for the most part believe that anything outside of the accepted "green zone" of Chicago (Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Wicker Park, Near North Side, South Loop, Lincoln Square, possibly Logan Square) is a bad buy and will never improve or if it will, it will take a very very long time (risk averse).
On Crib Chatter neighborhoods like Uptown, Edgewater and Rogers Park are "marginal neighborhoods" and that's coming from the proponents. Ms Laura Louzader a frequent commenter and fellow Rogers Park booster questions the competency of our alderman to the south Mr. Harry Osterman. What do you guys think? Is Harry Osterman doing a good job as Alderman?
Please continue reading for more pictures and words
He (the alderman Harry Osterman) has been actively tweeting and holding block by block meetings and discussions especially around the troubled Winthrop & Kenmore corridors. These meetings kicked off in March, went through April and the next and last meeting is coming up May 12th. We know that loitering around the Thorndale Redline "L" has been a chronic problem, but positive loitering and increased police presence has been making inroads into ending this dangerous tradition.
Let me say more about the neighborhood.I love this area, and I mostly feel pretty safe and good walking around, even late at night. But “marginal” neighborhoods like Uptown, Edgewater, and Rogers Park are fragile, and a couple of badly managed buildings with criminal tenants can undo decades of improvement, if left to fester. Edgewater still has some “issues”, such as a bad corridor building in the 5700 block of N Winthrop, that the ward office really needs to go after, and which has been the locus of crime and quality-of-life offenses.
Now, when Mary Ann Smith was alderman, she was very, very aggressive about enforcing neighborhood standards and riding herd on bad landlords, to the point of maintaining a web page of “bad” buildings. Landlords who did not clean up their buildings were subject to court-ordered vacates and sales. However, the new alderman, Harry Osterman, seems rather complacent and residents need to spur him a bit. Crime has risen in the area, and the cause is badly-run, cash-cow corridor apartment buildings stuffed with low-quality tenants. I’m concerned that now that Uptown has a very competent and pro-active alderman, Cappelman, who is doing such a good job of cleaning out cess- pit buildings, that many of the worst people from them will end up drifting further north.