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Will This Hotel Proposal Disrupt Old Town's Neighborhood Feel?

Will This Hotel Proposal Disrupt Old Town's Neighborhood Feel?

New developments in Chicago's neighborhoods bring a range of reactions from residents from cheers that their neighborhoods are being recognized as worth investing in, to healthy skepticism toward developers, to "not in my backyard" backlash and cries of rampant gentrification. Old Town residents are viewing the many projects in the pipeline in their neighborhood with concern.

The reason: residents feel these developments will disrupt the quaint, low-rise character of Old Town. There are seven projects announced or in progress in Old Town, DNA Info reports, including a seven-story mixed-use building on 307-313 W North Ave and a seven-story apartment building at 1325 N Sedgwick. The biggest criticisms are levied on a JV led by Chicago Development Partners, which wants to build an 18-story boutique hotel (rendering shown) at 1528 N Wells, where O'Brien's Restaurant & Bar now operates.

Karl Hjerpe, who chairs the Old Town Triangle Association's planning and zoning committee, says the designs of the new projects would not complement the architecture of Old Town's vintage buildings. Residents contend these projects are moving forward despite their concerns and wonder when the tipping point will be. [DNA]