March 2022 Newsletter
SLN Events
Easter Egg Hunt
Sun., Apr. 10 
10 am
Cotton Tail Park

CTA Crime Presentation
Wed., Apr. 13
Grace Place

Grant Park Cleanup
Sat., Apr. 16
10 am–noon 
Buckingham Fountain

Night at
Jazz Showcase
806 S. Plymouth
Easter Egg Hunt
Sunday April 10
10 am

Join SLN for our first Easter egg hunt, in Cotton Tail Park. Children should bring a basket and be prepared to scoop up plastic eggs with a candy or prize inside. Portions of the park will be designated for different age groups: 4 and under, ages 5-8, and ages 9-12.

After all the eggs are found, stay a while and socialize with your neighbors. 

This event is free for all attendees. RSVP here.

CTA and Crime - Presentation
April 13
7:00 pm (doors open at 6:30 pm)
Grace Place
637 S. Dearborn

South Loop Neighbors, in partnership with Neighborhood Watch Police Beat 123 and the 4th Ward Community Advisory Council. The meeting will be centered on crime as it specifically relates to CTA stops as well as routes (rail and bus) within the South Loop. The meeting will start with a brief overview of crime statistics. That will be followed by presentations by the Commander Joseph Bird for the Chicago PD Mass Transit Unit and Kevin Ryan, the VP of Security for the CTA, providing information as to what is being done to address the issue of crime on the CTA as well as increasing the feeling of safety by riders on the mass transit system. There will be a short question and answer period following. For those not able to attend in person, the meeting will be live-streamed (details to come). Although attendance is freeall participants must register. Register for meeting here!

Earth Day Clean-Up at Grant Park
April 16, 10 am
Buckingham Fountain

On April 16, the South Loop Neighbors is one of several partner organizations who have joined in the Rotary Earth Day Clean-Up Event at Grant Park. Last year, the inaugural event in which SLN was also a partner organization, saw a record breaking number of volunteers come out and help clean what is known by some as the front yard of the City of Chicago! The event starts at 10 am with volunteers coming together at Buckingham Fountain and then dispersing to various assigned areas in the park. Register in advance here!
Planning & Development
Residents Express Opposition to Casino at The 78
More than 100 South Loop and Chinatown residents attended a virtual meeting March 1 on a casino proposal at The 78, with most expressing opposition. In a separate unscientific poll, 74% of those who took the online survey said they were “highly unsupportive” of the casino proposal. The meeting was hosted by The 78 Community Advisory Council, a group set up in 2019 “as a conduit for community input as construction moves forward” on the megaproject. Council member Josh Ellis told participants on the Zoom call that initially, “a casino was not part of the original proposal. It wasn’t part of anybody’s proposal in Chicago” — until in 2019, when the General Assembly substantially expanded gaming throughout the state. Ellis noted that four of the five casino proposals the city has received are for sites in or near the South Loop.

The 78 council’s survey results showed that while a minority of respondents were optimistic about new jobs and increased revenue for the city and state, the majority of residents are opposed to the casino coming to The 78. Those surveyed said they are concerned about increased crime and traffic, gambling addiction among low-income residents, a potential exodus of families and negative impacts on young children who attend nearby schools.

Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez, whose 25th Ward includes The 78 site, said he is “listening very carefully” to the feedback from residents, and questioned whether the original proposal for The 78, which included public financing in the form of TIFs, should be revisited “if this is going to change completely into a casino proposal.”

A community group called South Loop Community Against a Casino is also collecting signatures for its petition opposing a casino in the community. 

Meanwhile, Friends of the Parks has endorsed the casino proposal that would reuse Lakeside Center, McCormick Place’s oldest and least-used building. In a letter to supporters and contributors, Executive Director Juanita Irizarry argued that the “Rivers Chicago McCormick” proposal was the best in terms of reclaiming park space and improving public access. She noted the scheme calls for installing a green roof atop Lakeside Center, enhancing the McCormick Bird Sanctuary and creating nearly five more acres of public plaza surrounding the building “without expanding” the existing footprint. “Such access is the idea that we envisioned back in the early ’90’s when we advocated for anew public entrance that makes it possible to enter the building from the lakefront path,” Irizarry wrote. “This access for visitors, including those who are not using the casino, would activate this space that has blocked east-west access to the lakefront for decades, instead inviting all Chicagoans to enjoy the glory of Lake Michigan from a perch above the parkland.”

The proposed rebirth of Lakeside Center could be the quickest casino to open, perhaps in only 12 months. But it removes space McCormick Place officials contend is needed for conventions and trade shows.

The support by Friends of the Parks is rather surprising, given the group’s fierce 2016 opposition to the Lucas Museum on a site just north of Lakeside Center, based on the Public Trust Doctrine legal restrictions that cover land recovered from Lake Michigan—a lawsuit any citizen of Illinois could have brought. A 1958 court decision allowed the Public Trust land under McCormick Place to be used for "fair and exposition" purposes. Particularly after the dramatic expansion of that doctrine in the 1970s, legal observers think it unlikely a court would approve the lease or license of the property to a private gambling casino.
Development update
A roundup of what's proposed and underway for the South Loop was the program at our annual meeting in January. You can watch it on YouTube.

The latest information on planning and development in our area can always be found at our website
Briefly noted . . .

  • Chicago's best neighborhood? Printers Row, according to Niche.
  • Community Safety Townhalls hosted by the mayor's office. You can register here.
  • April 2 at 10 am Youth Town Hall. Harold Washington Library.
  • April 2 at 2 pm South Loop Safety Town Hall. Harold Washington Library.
  • April 16 noon-2 pm PDNA Easter Egg Hunt
  • April 23 Chicago's Citywide Clean and Green.
  • Women's Park Indoor playground is now reopened.
  • Chicago Police 1st District and Community Beat Meetings schedule can be found here!
  • Effective March 14, Chicago Public Schools moved to mask-optional model
  • Join the South Loop Advisory Council
  • Chicago Loop Alliance advisories
  • Info on free days at Chicago museums here!
  • Chicago Restaurant Week runs from March 25-April 10. Many South Loop restaurants are sure to be featured
  • Car jacking prevention tips
  • Community Alert Robberies: January 20- February 23
  • AT&T will be doing Construction in the Public Way for a proposed construction project in the 4th Ward at the following locations: 601 S Clark St. The exact dates of the proposed construction are to be determined.
  • RCN provided notification for a proposed construction project. RCN has a planned fiber optic conduit installation, including the installation of 1 communications manhole at 525 S State St (RCN-ST-569, OUC 114171). This build is scheduled for Q2 2022 construction.
  • Parking restrictions are in place for the South Loop from Roosevelt Road to Cermak Rd. from Lake Shore Drive to Clark St. during all Chicago Bears football games and many other Soldier Field events. Wintrust Arena events have been removed from the parking restrictions. Vehicles parked in the South Loop without a valid South Loop Event Parking Pass, South Loop Event Guest Pass or Residential Permit Parking pass (for Residential Permit Parking Streets ONLY) are subject to ticketing or towing. Complete list of Soldier Field events.
  • Dearborn Express: March 10 & February 15
Recent Past SLN Event
Speaker's Series: Author Night
March 2, 2022
Missed it? You can view the entire presentation here!
St. Patrick's Day Meet Up
March 17, 2022