New Park to be Created in Chicago’s West Loop

CHICAGO, 1/23/2008: – New green space will enhance the rapidly growing near west side of Chicago with the creation of a park at the intersection of Monroe and Sangamon. The City of Chicago is working with The Trust for Public Land (TPL) to provide the new park to an area in need of outdoor recreational space.

In September 2007, The Trust for Public Land purchased a parcel of land at 901 W. Monroe Street. TPL held the property to protect it from development before selling it to the City of Chicago in a deal finalized yesterday. When combined with the property directly south already owned by the Chicago Park District, a park will be formed covering the entire city block. TPL is a national nonprofit organization that conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, gardens, and other natural places.

“The acquisition of this property will allow us to develop a park that will become the focal point of the surrounding neighborhood,” said Arnold Randall, commissioner of the City’s Department of Planning and Development.

The City’s Open Space Plan identifies the near west side neighborhood as lacking adequate park space. Through the acquisition of this property, the City is ensuring that neighborhood residents will have a place to enjoy their natural environment.

“Chicago is known worldwide for its incredible lakeshore parks,” said TPL Chicago Area Director Beth White, “but as Chicago’s neighborhoods grow and change, the need for new parks is obvious and pressing. Projects like the future park at Monroe and Sangamon provide much-needed open space and enrich our lives.”

The property is currently home to a building once occupied by the Illinois Department of Human Services, but it now sits vacant. Once the building is torn down, the land will be converted into a new park occupying a full city block located between Adams Street on the south, Monroe Street on the north, Peoria Street on the east and Sangamon Street on the west. The neighborhood is an old light industrial area that is rapidly being converted for residential and commercial use.

“This neighborhood is in great need of open space in easy walking distance where community members can enjoy the outdoors,” said Jeff Greenspan, TPL senior project manager. “Once this park is created, residents will have a place to take their children, walk their dogs and relax outside.”