Uptown United has engaged in many catalytic studies and neighborhood planning activities that have helped to support small business, facilitate development, and improve quality of life for Uptown residents. Below are links to current and past planning activities and studies.
In 2017, Uptown United worked with PLACE Consulting to develop a holistic system for mapping and tracking relevant economic and community development data in Uptown. This new system maps everything from zoning and business licenses to street tree and light pole locations in one place. In addition to this mapping system, we worked with the Lakota Group to assess and categorize first-floor use of properties within the Uptown Special Service Area (SSA) to better understand the neighborhood retail environment.
In 2016, the boards of Uptown United, Business Partners, and the Uptown Special Service Area commission discussed the need for unified branding that better reflected and promoted our diverse, unique neighborhood. The following year Uptown United hired the renowned Firebelly Design to lead this effort, which was guided by a volunteer committee of local marketing experts from all sectors of our community. Read more about this study and our new look. [Link to Our New Look page] The results of this new brand can be seen on street pole banners, public art, and this website!
In 2016 and 2017 Uptown United distilled neighborhood demographics, spending statistics, pedestrian and transit counts, and other important data in to handy one-page documents to assist entrepreneurs, developers, and organizations looking to open or invest in Uptown. These fliers highlight Uptown as a whole, and delve into specifics for each major sub-area of Uptown, including: Argyle, Uptown Square, Lakeside & Clarendon Park, Sheridan Park, and Buena Park. Learn more at exploreuptown.org/invest
IFF Study: Gerber Building
In 2016, Uptown United partnered with IFF, a nonprofit organization that assists and advises other nonprofit organizations on real estate matters. IFF studied the feasibility of potential uses and leasing arrangements for the CTA’s historic former Wilson Station building, dubbed the “Gerber Building” in recognition of Arthur Gerber, its architect.
In 2008, the Urban Land Institute performed a Technical Assistance Panel to advise on growing and supporting the Argyle district’s Asian marketplace. Uptown United and Aldermen Osterman and Cappleman continue to work to implement the recommendations set forth in the report.
This study took a comprehensive look at the Uptown community, and made recommendations on strategies for preserving historic architecture, enhancing our entertainment district, and incorporating an urban public market into the community.
This ULI Governors’ Advisory Panel report outlines a series of both physical improvements and programmatic suggestions to help CTA work through the myriad of development and neighborhood issues facing the Wilson Station area.
The Local Initiative Support Corporation’s (LISC) MetroEdge program creates annual market profiles of each of Chicago’s 77 Community Areas–Uptown’s can be found here.
From 2000-2005, Uptown United initiated and facilitated a long-range planning process designed to identify a comprehensive vision to revitalize Uptown’s primary commercial corridors.