JEFFERSON PARK — Ald. John Arena (45th) will detail the state of Jefferson Park at the meeting of Jefferson Park Forward set for Thursday.
Arena will discuss developments proposed for the area centered at Lawrence and Milwaukee avenues, upcoming events and local news, organizers said.
The meeting is scheduled to take place at 7 p.m. Thursday at Fischman's Liquors, 4780 N. Milwaukee Ave., organizers said.
The meeting will also include updates from the newly formed group's committees, which had their first meetings last month.
The group will also hold its first social event from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Feb. 28 with a brunch at Fannie's Cafe, 5040 W. Montrose Ave. The cost is $15 for adults and $8 for children, organizers said.
Jefferson Park Forward launched this fall after a hotly contested election for the board of the Jefferson Park Neighborhood Association. The group was co-founded by Ryan Richter, who unsuccessfully ran for president of the neighborhood association.
The neighborhood association's elections turned into a proxy war between supporters and opponents of Arena, who favors dense residential housing developments near transit hubs and business districts to create economic vitality.
Since Arena's election to the City Council, the debate over whether Jefferson Park should remain a suburban-like haven or allow denser developments near transit hubs and business districts has roiled the area.
For the last several years, the association has been a thorn in Arena's side, opposing proposals to turn a long-empty concrete company storage lot into a five-story, 48-unit apartment complex that is in limbo as well as Arena's successful effort to ban strip malls for fear that it would reduce the number of parking spaces.
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