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Former Cabrini-Green site and former suburban Navy base now among fastest-growing concentrations of wealth in the nation

Wednesday, Dec 19, 2018 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Bloomberg

One way to measure the economic fortunes of a place is by the concentration of households earning $200,000 or more, the highest threshold in the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. […]

Nationally, 6.9 percent of American households bring in that much. What follows are the areas (known to the Census Bureau as tracts) that have shown the biggest increases in concentration of $200,000-and-up households since 2000, according to calculations by consulting firm Webster Pacific. It used data released Dec. 6 and adjusted for inflation. (The ranking excludes recently created tracts, those defined as tracts of significant change and any tract with fewer than 100 households in either 2000 or 2017.)

Cook County, which includes the county seat of Chicago, is home to the No. 1 and No. 7 fastest-growing concentrations of $200,000-plus households. No. 1 is, ironically, the area around where the Cabrini-Green public housing projects once stood. Cabrini-Green was notorious for violent crime, poverty and de facto racial segregation until its demolition beginning in the 1990s at the behest of the Chicago Housing Authority. […]

The census tract in question includes the still-standing, albeit largely vacant row houses where Palmer grew up. But now there are luxury condominiums and apartments, too. They sport rooftop terraces and sparkling views of the city’s affluent Gold Coast and Lake Michigan beyond. A three-bedroom penthouse can cost around $2 million.

About 20 miles to the north, Cook County has another top 10 neighborhood: the Glen, in the suburb of Glenview. Converted from what used to be Naval Air Station Glenview, the planned community has hundreds of families living in condos, town houses and single-family homes that go for as much as $2.5 million each, according to realtor Margaret Ludemann.


  1. - DuPage Dave - Wednesday, Dec 19, 18 @ 3:16 pm:

    Once again, the tactic of helping the poor people by tearing down their housing is proven to be effective. At least in terms of replacing the poor people with high-income people.

  2. - anon2 - Wednesday, Dec 19, 18 @ 3:20 pm:

    === Cook County is home to the No. 1 and No. 7 fastest-growing concentrations of $200,000-plus households.===

    How could that be given decades of Democratic domination? Apparently something must go going well.

  3. - Montrose - Wednesday, Dec 19, 18 @ 3:31 pm:

    Remember how the City made people who said Daley/CHA were tearing down Cabrini-Green to clear the land so people with wealth could move in feel like conspiracy theorists?

  4. - City Zen - Wednesday, Dec 19, 18 @ 4:05 pm:

    ==How could that be given decades of Democratic domination? Apparently something must go going well.==

    Um, the article clearly points out the #1 area started at zero percent families over $200K, a clear result of exporting the existing African American population out of the neighborhood. Not exactly a bragging point for the Democrats.

    #7 is the Glen area of Glenview. That precinct nearly voted Rauner/Harold over JB/Raoul. Even Dodge scored 42%. Considering the huge gap statewide in those races, I’d hardly call this Democratic domination.

    But far be it for me to spoil your holiday tale of domination.

  5. - Precinct Captain - Wednesday, Dec 19, 18 @ 4:29 pm:

    Chris Kennedy was right.

  6. - illini - Wednesday, Dec 19, 18 @ 4:44 pm:

    Many years ago my Aunt bought several 2 family buildings in the Presidio area of San Francisco for less than $50K each. She still owns them and they are now worth probably $2 million apiece. My cousins will be the eventual beneficiaries and good for them. But to the post - is there anyone who can not be excited about this fantastic and rapid turn around for formerly rejected areas?

  7. - ShyBoy - Wednesday, Dec 19, 18 @ 4:59 pm:

    Hey Illini,

    This “formerly rejected area” known as Lincoln Park didn’t do anything to improve living conditions for the people who live there. Those people moved to suburbs which are PRESENTLY rejected areas. Congrats you improved the value of the soil in LP, was that the goal? Or was it to better serve the people who lived there?

  8. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Dec 19, 18 @ 5:21 pm:

    Cabrini Green was not “their” housing.

  9. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Dec 19, 18 @ 5:30 pm:

    Cabrini Green is not in Lincoln Park. It’s souh of North Ave.

  10. - Huh? - Wednesday, Dec 19, 18 @ 6:08 pm:

    I remember going into Cabrini Green in 1971 to deliver christmas trees to families selected by a social services group as part of my BSA Eagle service project. It was a rough place. The agency with which I was working would not allow me to deliver the trees alone. We had to have a social worker go with me as well as a guard staying with the car.

    The 60’s and 70’s were not kind to the area and the desperate families living there. There were regular stories of sniper shootings from the upper floors. At night, even the cops wouldn’t go into the area.

    Even now when I go south on Halsted from North Ave I remember the shades of Cabrini Green. The area has changed in the last 50 years.

  11. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Dec 19, 18 @ 6:12 pm:

    ===At night, even the cops wouldn’t go into the area===

    And yet, that’s where Jesse White recruited his Tumblers.

  12. - Huh? - Wednesday, Dec 19, 18 @ 6:25 pm:

    “And yet, that’s where Jesse White recruited his Tumblers.”

    Jesse had credibility and a relationship with the African American community that the Chicago PD could only dream about.

    The Jesse White Tumblers were a way out of the horror of Cabrini Green. They gave the young men structure and support that they needed to escape the grinding poverty and desperation.

  13. - Huh? - Wednesday, Dec 19, 18 @ 6:43 pm:

    I would be willing to posit, as a completely unsubstantiated opinion, that the families touched by the Jesse White Tumblers are a significant factor to his overwhelming support and popularity as Secretary of State.

  14. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Dec 19, 18 @ 8:54 pm:

    Yeah, no kidding.

    You tear down CHA towers, move out many thousands of poor black people, and let a few rich white people build on the real estate.

    And then you pretend to be confused about the decrease of poor black people in Chicago?

    It’s what Chris Kennedy called “strategic gentrification.” And he got his tukkus beat for being honest.

    To Katrina, Kass and those who whine about the loss of population in the city — you’re willfully missing the point, the effort that’s been going on for decades.

    Get rid of poor black people, bring in wealthier white people.

    A blind man can see that.

  15. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Dec 19, 18 @ 9:35 pm:

    As far as Glenview goes, Dixon sure knew what he was doing after Reagan put him in charge of that base-closing commission.

    That real estate was a sweet score.

  16. - MinorityWhiteMan - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 1:07 am:

    Public housing was not for people to live there for life it was low rent so you could work save your money to get you own home Then let someone else get the place and do the same Some people think it’s there right to free housing

  17. - Anonymous - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 6:58 am:

    “Cabrini Green was not “their” housing.”
    What are you talking about? If a person lives somewhere with the agreement of the landlord, whether it is a handshake or a lease, it is legally that person’s home.

  18. - Anonymous - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 7:09 am:

    “Public housing was not for people to live there for life”

    Most public housing is used by seniors and disabled people, so yes it is.

    For able bodied people down on their luck, it can be temporary, but there is a catch 22. If you make enough money to save up for first month’s rent and a deposit you make too much to qualify for that unit. I hope the CHA has resolved this problem. The New York Times had a story about people being evicted while trying to save enough to move out.

  19. - lake county democrat - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 8:31 am:

    I think it’s incorrect to attribute the exodus of African-Americans from Chicago to the closing of Cabrini Green. I’ve heard Isabella Wilkerson, the author of the Great Migration and somewhat of an expert on the subject, talk about a broad reverse-migration back to both the Southeast and to Sun Belt states, saying the former has become more welcoming to African-Americans (relatively speaking) and as part of a general American migration to the sun belt. Given how awful conditions and schools are in many African-American neighborhoods, I suspect Chicago’s numbers would be pretty close to the same even if some of those housing projects remained.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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