Ep. 8-Village development is endlessly complex. Here’s how it works.

Some residents were aghast a few months back, when reports suggested
the village sweetened the deal — to the tune of $100,000 – to lure a
popular restaurant chain to a downtown development. The outcries
online often resembled:

“Why not pave the sidewalks?”

“This only benefits the developers.”

“The fix is in.”

Well, economic development doesn’t come easy in a place like Oak Park
– or cheap. That’s according to UIC Prof. Charles Hoch, an urban
planner who’s worked closely with the village during the past few
decades. What we’re seeing now, he says, is the result of a very
deliberate, intricate process to identify what the village needs to
evolve successfully for the next generation.

I sat down with him earlier this summer to discuss why we’re seeing
what we’re seeing in downtown Oak Park today, and the role economic
development plays in shaping our community. I hope you enjoy our
conversation.

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