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  • Around Rogers Park - Municipal Elections include Alderman/Police District Council in Rogers Park

    Chicago will hold two rounds of municipal elections on February 28th and April 4th. In Rogers Park, all eyes will be on the Aldermanic race where incumbent Maria Hadden faces challenges from Belia Rodriguez (see the related article in this Newsletter) and Bill Morton who are both looking to unseat her. If no candidate wins a plurality of the vote (50% plus one) in round one, a run-off will be held between the two candidates with the highest vote count in round two.


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  • Around Rogers Park - Migrants Continue to Come to Rogers Park

    As has been widely reported, the migration crisis at the US-Mexico border is no longer confined to the southern tier of states. Beginning last year and continuing into 2023, bus-loads of asylum-seekers and other migrants have been arriving in Chicago in search of better lives and a safe haven from the poverty and violence endemic to the countries from which they flee.


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  • Around Rogers Park - Alderwoman Hadden Outlines Possible New Plans for Howard and Ashland Site

    In her January 14, 2023 Newsletter, Alderwoman Hadden outlined possible future plans for a “new construction limited-equity cooperative” with between 30 and 40 residential units that would be built at the long-vacant Howard and Ashland parcel that the city acquired under the previous Moore administration. Alderwoman Hadden says more details will be forthcoming later this year and that the development will “provide much needed housing that is big enough for families with children, is accessible, and designed to meet the affordability needs of 49th Ward residents, many of whom say it's increasing difficult to find housing they can afford to stay in our community.” We will follow this developing story as more information becomes available.


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  • Around Rogers Park - Gruesome Murder of Rogers Park Housing Provider

    This past October, West Ridge property owner and housing provider, Frances Walker, was brutally murdered and dismembered by one of her tenants. According to news reports, Ms. Walker was murdered after serving her tenant with an eviction notice and had had numerous previous disputes with this tenant prior to the crime. Other tenants in the building notified police when they heard screaming from within the building on Washtenaw Avenue. The tenant was subsequently arrested and charged for the crime and was last reported as being held in Cook County jail without bail.


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  • Around Rogers Park - Candyland House Changes Owners but Keeps its One-of-a-Kind Color Scheme

    Every neighborhood has its quirky landmarks and novelties – Rogers Park more than most. Longtime residents and visitors alike would have a hard time missing the amazing, multi-colored Victorian house at 1525 W. Pratt – popularly known as the “Candyland House.”


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  • Around Rogers Park - James Sneider Apartment Controversy

    This past May, during an early season heatwave, three elderly residents of the James Sneider Apartments died from heat-related causes when temperatures inside the building quickly rose. The building contains ten stories and 120 age-restricted units with a mix of market and restricted rents. The location is 7450 N. Rogers Avenue.


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  • Around Rogers Park - Old Performance Space Given New Life as Rhapsody Theater

    The old Morse Theater at 1328 West Morse has been through a lot of transformations in its more than 100 years of existence. The former vaudeville theater has been a performance venue, movie palace, special events space, and even a synagogue and shoe repair store.


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  • Around Rogers Park: RPBG’s Olympic Connection

    Anyone connected with RPBG is a lot closer than six degrees of separation to the just-concluded Olympic Games, held in Tokyo this August. We all know our high-energy and very personable President, Mike Glasser. Well, Mike is also the VERY proud dad of Mitch Glasser who just represented Israel in the 2020 Olympic baseball competition. While the team did not make the top three, they did much better than anyone expected, placing 5th overall and just missing a chance to medal by losing to the eventual bronze-medal winner – the Dominican Republic.


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  • Around Rogers Park: Refugee High, by Elly Fishman

    In 2017, Elly Fishman, a journalist with Chicago Magazine, spend a year at Sullivan High School to better understand the challenges, opportunities and dynamics of the city’s most diverse high school, and largest recipient of children of refugee families in Chicago. Her experience resulted in the publication of “Welcome to Refugee High” in June of that year.


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  • Around Rogers Park: A Walk Through Rogers Park, by Eric Kessler

    But that’s not all in the world of books and Rogers Park.


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  • Around Rogers Park: $50K Donation from Chicago Wolves to A Just Harvest

    As the famously difficult year 2020 was about to close out, the Chicago Wolves hockey team chose the Rogers Park-based food insecurity and social justice organization, A Just Harvest, for a grant of $50,000 – one of five organizations around the city to receive gifts from the team. As reported by Block Club Chicago, the funds will be used to expand the organization’s food pantry, help with coronavirus relief efforts, and possibly open a drop-in community wellness center that will include mental health services.


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  • Around Rogers Park: Pothole Art Project

    There’s a terrific article in Block Club Chicago by journalist Joe Ward, called Rogers Park Artists Fill Neighborhood Potholes With Used Bike Parts, Tile: ‘Functional Art Is Cool.’ If you missed it, take a look. True to Rogers Park’s reputation as a haven for artists and eccentrics of all stripes, several local artists banded together to do something about the pothole problem that plagues all of Chicago in the winter months, but in a very original and unorthodox way. With a $7,500 grant by the AARP, whose motivation was making the city more accessible to people with accessibility difficulties, these local artists took old bike parts, tiles and other found objects and imbedded them in pothole repairs, turning a routine maintenance function into a work of art.


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  • Around Rogers Park: Proposed Expansion of 1415 West Morse Avenue

    Mark Falanga, CEO and founder of VentureMark, Inc., is the owner of a four-story, vintage building at 1415 West Morse. The property occupies a large site on Morse, including a large surface parking area to the rear of the existing building. Mr. Falanga is asking for a zoning change from B3-2 to B3-3 that would allow him to build a new, 5-story addition on part of what is now the parking lot. The zoning change would trigger the Affordable Requirements Ordinance which currently requires a 10% set-aside of units affordable to households earning no more than 60% of area median income.


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  • Around Rogers Park: RPBG Holds 18th Annual, and First-Ever Virtual, Trends Workshop

    To anyone who thought that a little thing like a global pandemic could keep us from hosting our popular, Annual Trends Workshop, you have now been proven wrong. It took considerably more effort, and it felt very different than in past years, but the annual event took place, as planned, on January 26th and was a great success. This is a good thing, given all the challenges of bringing nearly 100 participants together using just our computers and Zoom technology.


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  • Around Rogers Park: Elevation Lofts Leasing Up

    RPBG Director and developer, Jay Johnson, reports that his Elevation Lofts building at 1531 West Howard Street is now complete and well on its way to achieving full occupancy. As last reported, the building has leased 27 of 38 units (71%) and continues to generate traffic and interest.


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  • Around Rogers Park: The Challenges of Running a Business during the Pandemic - Sol Café

    Simone Freeman opened Sol Café in the Howard Theater building in the winter of 2012. The building is owned by Jay Johnson, founding member of RPBG. Like all restaurants and bars, Sol Café had to shut its doors in late March, due to Governor Pritzker’s “shelter in place” order.


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  • Around Rogers Park: Cuetzala Gro Restaurant Reopens

    Block Club Chicago reports the heartwarming story of the tragedy that befell Saul Moreno – owner of Cuetzala Gro restaurant at 7360 North Clark Street – and what happened to his restaurant after his death. According to Block Club, Mr. Moreno died of the COVID-19 virus on April 15, devastating his family and seemingly putting to an end the fifteen-year run of his restaurant on North Clark Street.


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  • Around Rogers Park: Gun Violence Increases in 2020

    Since the beginning of the year, and especially since the start of the pandemic, Chicago has experiencied a significant increase in gun violence and homicides. According to an article in the New York Times, Chicago has had 336 murders through July 2 compared to 492 murders in all of 2019.


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  • Greg Jones, New RPBG Director

    For anyone who has been a regular participant in the Rogers Park Builders Group monthly meetings (you might have to strain your brain to recall those much-missed, actual gatherings of our members), then you may very well have chatted with Greg Jones who recently became a Director. In a group with a lot of extroverts, Greg stands out as being especially outgoing, friendly and always up for a good conversation with other members.


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  • Around Rogers Park: The New Normal

    Life in Rogers Park is very different today than it was just a short time ago. In many ways, what Rogers Park is currently experiencing is similar to what the rest of Chicago and, for that matter, the world are all experiencing – a radical shift away from whatever previously constituted our “normal lives” as the economy falls to ruins all around us while we shelter in place to slow the virus’ spread.


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  • PO BOX 608492, Chicago, IL 60660
  • (773) 491-1235