LOGAN SQUARE — As Northwest Side aldermen push for a legislative solution to the gentrification-fueled displacement happening along The 606’s Bloomingdale Trail, a new study released Wednesday provides the numbers behind the urgency.
The Institute for Housing Studies at DePaul University updated its 2016 study and found that home prices along the western portion of the trail have skyrocketed since 2012: By 344 percent, to be exact.
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According to the study, median sale prices on western portion of the trail — primarily in Logan Square and Humboldt Park — jumped from $97,000 in 2012, an economic downturn, to $340,000 in 2016 and $462,000 in 2018. The trail opened in 2015.
The middle and eastern portions of the trail haven’t seen anywhere near the same spike, though prices were higher in the Wicker Park and Bucktown neighborhoods when the trail was built. Along the middle portion of the trail, median sales prices jumped from $407,000 to $605,500 during that same period. And along the eastern portion, prices jumped from $661,250 to $960,000.
For comparison, the median sales price in Chicago as a whole went from $136,000 in 2012 to $222,000 in 2018.
Also as part of the study, researchers determined that the western portion of the trail is where local leaders should focus their preservation efforts.
That’s because there are more two- and four-unit rental buildings along the western portion of the trail than the middle and the eastern portions of the trail, researchers found.
Yet “this inventory is shrinking and the window for this type of intervention is narrowing,” according to the study.
The updated study was released on the same day the city’s Committee on Housing and Real Estate and the full City Council approved an ordinance aimed at curbing gentrification along the trail.
The ordinance approved Wednesday calls for a six-month ban on teardowns along the western portion of the trail, specifically the area bounded by North, California, Armitage, and Kostner avenues, and Hirsch and Kedzie streets.
The approved ordinance is the scaled-back version. The original version of the plan crafted by Alds. Roberto Maldonado (26th) and Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th), which called for a full-on 14-month development freeze. Mayor Lori Lightfoot didn’t support the original version. She called it misguided and likely illegal.
The new, scaled-back version, though, has the support of Lightfoot: “Importantly, this latest version includes a shorter timeframe for a moratorium on demolitions only and narrower geography, while preventing a unilateral ban on zoning approvals in order to preserve the rights of existing property owners in the area,” the mayor said in a written statement.
The Tribune was first to report on the study.
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