April 30, 2010

Howard Street - Progressivism in 2010

New business Howard/Paulina – cell phones and other electronics – We now have how many similar stores? Remember it used to be a greasy spoon that was closed down by the neighborhood.

Corner Howard/Paulina New Business - Electronics/Cells

Howard facing East -
Howard/Paulina looking East Can't Hit The Trash Can

From Dunkin Donuts to an African Restaurant to a Pizza Joint to a Fast Food Joint, this corner has had more than its share of loitering problems.

Howard/Marshfield Hangout

Old Lerner Building site – what next, who owns it, what’s the plan?
Old Lerner Site

Graffiti – Wisdom Bridge building – now owned by Rich Aronson who has another plan to present next week…….exterior modifications that is – no economic business plan to provide real businesses or economic growth.


We’ll see if Aronson is still pushing for a Boys and Girls Club across the street from the new Willye White Park District facility. How many times will he mention that they tried to put it in a public building at the upcoming meeting? Any wagers?


AT LAST!!! A business that is not selling cell phones, shoes, grease or dollar items. A real live business that we hope will thrive.


The new façade on the Caribbean American Bakery is crisp and clean. A good business with tasty meat pies and pastries.

New Caribbean American Bakery

On the other corner at Bosworth/Howard – the Broadmoor East has undergone a dramatic transformation. These storefronts are new and could be the home to more progressive businesses to spur the economic growth of Howard – with the right plan and support.

Rehabbed Broadmoor East

While we are happy for our neighbors on Morse – many of us feel that Howard has been totally abandoned save for ‘let’s build on the Wisdom Bridge' site a nice commercial strip that will be home to the myriad of Not For Profits we have here. Not much economic growth in that. These damned detour signs keep popping up as symbolic reminders it seems.

How True - Our Money went south to Morse

Because at the end of the day, we have very little to look forward to when we watch Howard Street continually decline into an abyss of grease, shoes, cell phone stores, dollar stores, sprinkled with vacant storefronts and the occasional promising business.

Why? Well, like it not, we have been sold to the lowest bidders who hide under the mantle of saviors of the poor. They put a roof over the heads of the poor while mismanagement runs rampant. Repairs are postponed and there are far too many improperly or unscreened subsidized tenants running rampant on Howard and other side streets.

This sight greeted the rush hour pedestrian traffic Monday morning. 1625 W. Howard, subsidized apartments in the Howard Theatre building where dubious people hang out. Either someone lost the key or – there was a brawl. Does it matter? This is Howard Street in 2010. Our streetscape money was funneled to Morse Avenue a few years ago with the rationale being the rehab of the Howard El, the Willye White Center would ruin it. The reasoning was finish the projects before the streetscape begins. OK, they’ve been completed for nearly two years now….will we ever get our turn? Will we ever feel proud to walk down a thriving street with real businesses?

1625 W Howard - Howard Theatre Building

Or have we been tossed to the birds?


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