South Side District Summary of Assets

Community assets are those built, natural, cultural and institutional elements that most define a neighborhood. They are anchor institutions, identity markers and community stabilizers. As such, they help guide local capital investment decisions.

Shaped by nearby transportation and industrial job centers, the South Side planning area once had the second-largest shopping district in the city at 63rd Street and Halsted Avenue, where the new Kennedy-King College now attracts a different kind of traffic.

Strong historic assets are in place throughout the South Side area, offering opportunities for further development and new investment. As elsewhere in the city, the retail sector is no longer able to fill available spaces along the many arterial streets, but there are strong nodes of activity on 63rd, 69th, 79th, 87th, and 95th Streets, as well as the north-south Halsted Street, Racine Avenue and Ashland Avenue.

About 700 acres of Englewood and West Englewood are vacant today after years of housing loss and economic decline, but the larger area is still defined by hundreds of blocks lined with brick bungalows, wood-frame houses, two-flats, and small apartment buildings. The housing stock in Washington Heights is 60 percent owner-occupied and in generally good condition; in Auburn Gresham, about 40 percent of homes are owner-occupied and a series of “Model blocks” include rehabbed bungalows, two-flats, and other housing styles. [Excerpted from Summary of Assets]