CHICAGO EAST 39TH STREET COMMERCIAL CORRIDOR PLAN

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East 39th Street Commercial Corridor Plan
Neighborhood Retail District Feasibility



CREDITS
Author:
Christopher Devins, Master's Candidate
Instructor:
Rachel Weber, Professor
Department of Urban Planning and Policy
(c) 2011 Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
ii

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Project Description









4
Existing Conditions









5
East 39th Street Commercial Corridor






7
Neighborhood
Assets


8
Primary
Market
Area


9
Spending Potential In Primary and Secondary Market Areas


10
Supply & Demand Analysis For Half Mile Trade Area



11
Restaurant Potential








13
Competition Within Primary Market Area





15
Development Activity








16
Big
Box
Retail

17
Existing Land Use









18
Access
22
Transportation & Traffic Counts






23
Chicago White Sox Facts








24
Physical Condition









25
Safety











26
SWOT
Analysis

27
Vision
Statement
29
Recommendations









30
Retail Development Opportunities






33
Billboard Identity Campaign







34
Implementation









35
Addenda

37
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INTRODUCTION
Located in the heart of Bronzeville, East
occurring that bode well for its future.
also. A significant land use problem
39th Street is an approximately 1 mile
Some pluses on the corridor include
along 39th Street is the high number of
long commercial corridor that runs from
an Average Daily Traffic count at Illinois
vacant structures and lots. In addition,
Langley (600 East) on the East to Inter-
Interstate 90/94 of 232,800 cars per day
at the center of the corridor, from King
state 90/94 on the west (200 West).
and 119,700 per day on the east end
Drive to Langley are small, narrow lots
Historically East 39th Street served as a
at Lake Shore Drive. While population
that are zoned for higher quality uses
neighborhood shopping and restaurant
is expected to decline slightly by 2015,
than their size allows. These small lot
district for the residents of the 3500 unit
in Douglas (2010 population 27,022) on
sizes restrict the types and sizes of busi-
Ida B. Wells/Madden Park apartment
the north side of 39th, median income
nesses willing to locate on 39th street.
complex. As part of the Chicago Hous-
rose from $26,720 in 2000 to $31,526 in
The corridor is locked in on both sides
ing Authority's Plan of Transformation
2010. This trend is expected to continue
by dull, uninformative highway exits and
the residents of Wells/Madden Park
through 2015. Grand Boulevard (popula-
blocks of empty lots as you approach
were relocated and the complex was
tion 26,651) to the south has a median
from both the east and the west, mak-
torn down. The last units were demol-
income of $25,249, up from $19,723 in
ing what few stores that are present
ished in 2004, greatly reducing the
2000. These numbers are in inflation
there difficult to find. Someone exiting
population density of the neighborhood.
adjusted 2009 dollars. Fifteen percent
from the major arteries to both the east
This meant much less money was being
of Douglas residents have a Master's De-
and the west must drive two to three
spent on the 39th Street corridor and
gree or higher, 17% a Bachelor's degree.
blocks before coming upon the East Per-
conditions began to deteriorate. One
The numbers from the half and 1 mile
shing Commercial Corridor. In addition,
by one local businesses, the economic
trade areas are similar and improve as
Interstate 90/94 forms a barrier that
engines of the corridor, began to close.
the 3 mile trade area is approached. Ac-
effectively cuts East Pershing off from
Small businesses such as Sunrise Foods
cess to funds is another of the corridor's
neighborhoods to the west. Outside
and Grocery, The Blue Sea Drive-In,
strengths. East 39th street is within
threats to the corridor include 500,000
Cee's Gyros, Midway Barbershop, Doro-
both TIF 61 and Enterprise Zone 2, each
square feet of retail development in the
thy's Barbershop and Atlanta Liquors,
of which can supply development and
nearby Lake Meadows Shopping Mall
facing declining revenues ceased opera-
incentive funds that can be used to
and the oversaturation of retail develop-
tions. Businesses strong enough to re-
improve the corridor. 39th Street has
ment in the United States. Since 2000,
locate to other more lucrative areas did
political assets, as well. In Pat Dowell
developers have built 1 billion square
so and a cycle of decline and disinvest-
of the 3rd Ward and Will Burns of the
feet of new retail1. Economically, 39th
ment began which lead to the corridor's
4th, the area has two highly competent,
1 "R & G Annual Market Summaries from REIN RETAIL
current state.
dynamic aldermen to help lead future
REPORT." Rein & Grossoehme Commercial Real Estate)- Bro-
development.
kers- Shopping Centers, Office & Industrial Buildings, Mini
Warehouse/Self Storage and Land Investments (for Sale);
East 39th Street has some apparent
Retail, Office, Industrial Commercial Space Leasing; Tenant
strengths and there are positive changes
The corridor faces many challenges,
Representation. Web. 16 Nov. 2011. <http://www.high-yield.
com/scmarket.htm>.
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INTRODUCTION
INTRODUCTION
Street faces serious competition
development?
by the coming Metropolis Develop-
from 35th street to the north and
Out of this analysis came some rec-
ment at State Street which includes
from 43rd street, both within 39th
ommendations:
a 60,000 square ft. Roundy's Grocery
Street's half mile trade area. This
Store and residential, and could draw
left a question to be answered: with
1. Concentrate development efforts
from the high ADT along 90/94. The
viable commercial corridors on both
on the six blocks between Federal
west end of the corridor is already
sides of East 39th, what role should it
and King Drive. Development along
anchored by the new Dollar General
play in Bronzeville's overall economic
this stretch will thus be anchored
Store at 39th and Langley and retail/
service resurgence should occur
there as the 3200 units of Oakwood
Shores are completed. Completion
of the units will also solve the vacant
lot problem at that end.
2. Re-establish 39th as THE local
retail and services destination/neigh-
borhood center by encouraging de-
velopment of businesses that provide
the daily necessities of life such as a
dry cleaners, a barbershop, a nail sa-
lon, a coffee shop, a local bookstore
and others. A sustainable urban
form offers people a wide range of
land uses and businesses within a
reasonable walking distance2.
3. With a significant number of retail
options within its half-mile trade
area, 39th Street should mix in res-
taurants to attract visits to the cor-
2 Farr, Douglas. Sustainable Urbanism: Urban Design with
Figure 1 East 39th Street Commercial Corridor Source: Google Maps
Nature. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2008. Print.
2

INTRODUCTION
ridor. A MetroEdge retail scan3 by of
experience. Provide better marking
ate a local neighborhood commercial
the area shows that the most visited
on the corridor's available parking
strip that also draws people in from
establishments are by far the local
spaces and employ gateway sig-
further out.
restaurants and fast food places.
nage on the corridor itself and on

the 90/94 and Lake Shore Drive exits
4. Close and relocate the two liquor
to lead people to the corridor and
stores on the corridor. This will
increase corridor visits. Use infill
lessen noise, traffic, crime and con-
development to increase popula-
gestion in the cluster that is Vegas
tion and stabilize the community.
and Rothschild's liquor stores and
Provide culture within which to
improve safety in the area.
place the retail by creating an iden-

tity billboard and shops campaign
5. Replace the two liquor stores with
and other mechanisms cultural to
one sports bar to attract White Sox
reconnect residents and stakehold-
fans after games. Tapping into the
ers with Bronzeville's historic past,
fan base spilling out of the Chicago
bolster identity and drive retail sales.
White US Cellular Field parking lot at
Encourage Transit-Oriented Develop-
39th on the other side of 90/94 after
ment around the 40th and Indiana
games will bring new spending to the
CTA Green line stop. Break the 90/94
area.
barrier and lure people from West
Pershing Road over to the corridor
6. Enhance the corridor's streetscape
with amenities. Attract a "big box"
and improve its look and feel using
anchor retailer (with 90/94's cen-
TIF 61 and Enterprise Zone 2 funds.
tral location and high ADT's) to the
large, open tracts of land just east
There are other steps that can be
of 90/94 on 39th ,some of which are
taken, as well. Plant more trees along
owned by the Illinois Department of
the road and plants and benches to
Transportation. Such new businesses
separate the sidewalk from the street
could be attracted to the corridor
and make for a better pedestrian
given the high traffic counts along
3 http://www.metroedge.org/uploads/metroedge/docu-
Interstate 90/94. The idea is to cre-
ments/grand_boulevard.pdf
3

PROJECT DESCRIPTION
EXISTING CONDITIONS
This plan's purpose was to develop a commercial revitalization strategy for the East
39th Street commercial corridor in Chicago, IL. I collected data on the corridor then
analyzed the socio-economic trends likely to affect its future development. In a SWOT
analysis, I inventoried the corridors strengths and weaknesses, which are internal to
the corridor. I then looked at opportunities and threats, which are external. From
the relationship between internal strengths/weaknesses and external opportunities/
threats, I arrived at the corridor's "competitive advantage", its market position. Es-
pecially important was East 39th Street's position relative to other local commercial
activity centers. I analyzed the 2010 Bronzeville Alliance, Quad City Development Cor-
poration, Chicago Tax Increment Financing and Metropolitan Planning Council devel-
opment plans to make sure I was aware of their goals for the area. I then used this
information to make recommendations to guide 39th Street's future development.
These recommendations will help Bronzeville's leaders develop the corridor in a way
that takes advantage of its strengths and opportunities, mitigate its weaknesses and
threats and reassert its position as a neighborhood district serving the immediate area
but one that also draws White Sox Fans and commuters from Interstate 90/94.
4