East 39th Street Commercial Corridor Plan by Chris Devins


Street Commercial Corridor Plan is a comprehensive commercial real estate development plan that envisions the future of the East 39th Street Commercial
Corridor and the surrounding 2 mile trade area in Chicago, based on current demographic, real estate market, zoning, land use, political and commercial business data. For more visit Chris Devins Creative on the web. https;//chrisdevinscreative.com


Development of a commercial district

corridor must take into account land

use, access management and aesthetic


Land Use –At the corridor level, good

land use includes localized actions for

indi¬vidual parcels based on site-specific

strengths and weaknesses. This

helps guide the type and quantity

of development that should occur

based on existing and future capacities.

Access Management – Competent

access management improves traffic

flow, enhances driver and pedestrian

safety, and establishes an image for

the corridor. East 39th street overall

is a sound roadway, with good width,

low traffic speeds and parking along

the strip, but it goes unnoticed to

the hundreds thousands of motorists

traveling down Interstate 90/94 to

the west and to drivers on Lake Shore

Drive, as well.

Aesthetic Standards – Aspects of

39th streets physical appearance

such as landscape features, lighting,

pedestrian amenities and sig¬nage

are addressed in Chicago’s zoning ordinance,

and for a time it seemed as

if the corridor was being ignored. Recently

though, lighting improvements

were made from 39th and Federal to

Indiana Streets.

Aesthetic standards and a comprehensive

corridor plan, along with a

reconnection to history are all important

elements in a re-establishment

of its identity. Identity, though not

often discussed in plans, is very important

to the success of any commercial

corridor. There must be a

“culture” within which to develop the

retail. In retail this concept is called

“adjacency”. Adjacency takes advantage

of a space’s history to help create

a cultural sense of place. Like on

Maxwell Street, real former culture

creators of the space are replaced by

statues, original edifices are kept and

restored, and the space’s ambience is

used to sell goods and services. Profit

pursuit needs a milieu within which

to immerse and soften itself, and to

appear interesting. This culture is

one thing that separates retail spaces

that have a generic, Disney feel to

them from those that have a sense

of place like Pikes Place in Seattle,

WA or Fisherman’s Wharf in New

York City. Strong leadership will be

required to organize and encourage

this effort. The leadership can come

from the owner of a major business,

from an elected official or from a

community based organization that

wants to pursue the beautification of

the corridor so that 39th Street can

become known as a clean place to

visit and shop. Taking all of these issues

into consideration, the following

recommendations are made:

Phase One: 1- 3 years

Beautify the streetscape with gateways

and plazas, attractive landscaping,

lighting for both cars and pedestrians,

public art, murals, enhanced

paving, and branded signage. Sidewalks

should be rebuilt. Street trees,

banners and transit shelters should

be installed.

Improve the appearance of properties

and store facades along the

corridor with planned corridor development

standards, and establish

visual continuity along the corridor.

Vacant lots and green space should

be adopted by neighboring schools