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Keeping Lincoln Park Cool

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Keeping Lincoln Park Cool
Space Architects' Jean Dufresne, JAB Real Estate's Frank Campise,  JMB Financial's John Prascal
To channel our inner curmudgeon: Why are all these young people in Lincoln Park? Panelists at a  Lincoln Park Builders Council event last week said diversification and quality rental is key. Space Architects & Planners' Jean Dufresne says more young adults are looking for apartments with home-office type spaces, as well as tech, like wifi, built-in. JAB Real Estate Opprotunity Fund's Frank Campise says retail is able to grow more solidly in the neighborhood because the community is mostly made up of college-educated young adults, who have a much lower unemployment rate than non-college educated adults—just 3.7% in some areas, and those are people who tend to look for good retail. JMB Financial Advisors'John Pascal is confident that the neighborhood will see leverage near  2007 levels for deals done on apartments in the next year.
Jameson's Harry Huzenis, Lord Co.'s Keith Lord, Alderman Tom Tunney
Jameson's Harry Huzenis first saw a downturn in the neighborhood in 2006 when an apartment he was converting into condos had trouble selling. But he says the 15 years of  positive growth from 1993 to 2008 had to end sometime. The Lord Cos.' Keith Lord says that toxic assets, such as some of the non-performing buildings in Lincoln Park, could be the medication for CRE when CRE pros buy them up to improve. Alderman Tom Tunney says the neighborhood still needs some help from government to come out of the recession—an infusion to the CTA and some decisions on outsourcing services like garbage pick-up and libraries might be in order to keep the neighborhood livable and taxes down.