Monday, September 7, 2009

Bringing Retail to Underserved Neighborhoods

In case you missed it, LISC/Chicago was featured in a September 1 WBEZ story about "retail leakage" on Chicago's South Side. YOu can check it out here. The lack of retail on the South Side is a well-known phenomenon; what isn't so well-known--and what LISC regularly points out--is that South Side and other city low-income communities have more spending power than suburbs full of retailers.

The piece also features the Greater Auburn Gresham Development Corporation's efforts to lure in retailers. One of their promotions, the annual 79th Street Renaissance Festival, is coming up next weekend. It's a great opportunity to check out a great neighborhood.

In a related story on the same issue, The Chicago Reporter takes a look at the West Haven neighborhood and how longtime efforts to lure in retail only took off when whites began to return to the area. Earnest Gates and the Near West Side Community Development Corporation are featured.