Friday, January 18, 2013

comings and goings

On a December morning, as I was walking to the 95th St. Metra station, I noticed an empty storefront where Markland Hubbard used to be.  There was a sign on door giving a new address of 1739 W. 99th St. Now there's competition for morning coffee sales on 99th again.

Iona's has stepped in to offer morning coffee and breakfast on 95th St., across the street from the station. They're open at 7 a.m. on weekdays except Tuesday.

Congrats to Home Run Inn on opening their new location on Western.  I look forward to the return of Franconello's and to trying out Horse Thief Hollow when they open.

So now we have one more vacant storefront on 95th St., which leaves me wondering when there will be a serious effort to make 95th St. more attractive to the kinds of businesses that will really attract customers and be assets to the community.  The streetscape project is appreciated, but it seems like an expensive bandage on a mostly untreated wound.

How about a serious look at more of the reasons why so many storefronts are vacant, aside from the economy?  What is the condition of the long-vacant buildings?  Are there any significant issues like leaking roofs?  Many building facades are worn and unattractive.  In some wards, I've seen facade rebate programs (from TIF money) used as a redevelopment tool.

For businesses whose customers are parking on the street, wouldn't it be nice if those parking across the street, and folks walking or riding bikes from the neighborhood, could get to those businesses more easily and safely?  I'd love to see a few boldly repainted crosswalks on 95th at non-stoplight intersections such as Hoyne, along with new pedestrian signage.

Wouldn't it be great to see something other than a day care business open in the vacant space at 99th & Walden - a cafe, perhaps?

Yes, it's a "what if" kind of day.  TGIF!

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