Washington Park: Olympic-sized hope

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On the afternoon our town was selected as the country's choice for the 2016 Olympic Games, reporter Dave Newbart caught up with a woman and her son at a tiny playground in Washington Park. She talked of how a stadium will "bring jobs to the people who live down here."

Are the Olympic Games just the thing this South Side neighborhood needs to spur long-awaited revival? If Chicago is bested by Rio de Janeiro, Madrid or Tokyo, will the South Side's big chance at a come back be slowed?
Tell us what you think? What are your predictions, concerns, prophecies? What's the streetside chatter in surrounding neighborhoods? Oh, and do you worry about losing your favorite picnic spot?

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The Olympics would be tremendous for Chicago, especially the long-neglected and underserved South Side and specifically Washington Park. And if anyone wants to get in the surrounding neighborhood before property values skyrocket, I have a 3 BR condo in Hyde Park and a 3 BR in South Shore available for purchase.
But seriously, though, the Olympics have so much economic potential it's staggering. Hopefully, a lot of that potential is captured by those who already live in Washington Park and nearby impoverished neighborhoods like Englewood, Woodlawn, etc.

Now that Chicago has beaten LA, there is no doubt in my mind that the US will easily win the 2016 Olymics. Kudos to the Mayor. It would be great to see the less developed areas of Chicago getting some attention. Unfortunately, most of the low-income residents will have been pushed out of the city by then.

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Mark Konkol

Mark Konkol covers city neighborhoods for the Chicago Sun-Times. You can e-mail him or call (312) 321-2146.

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This page contains a single entry by Mark Konkol published on April 16, 2007 12:30 PM.

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