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Oakwood Shores Plan Expected In Six Months, Some Construction Next Year

By Sam Cholke | March 30, 2017 6:24am | Updated on March 31, 2017 11:20am
 Planning is starting again for Oakwood Shores with the first of four community meetings Wednesday.
Planning is starting again for Oakwood Shores with the first of four community meetings Wednesday.
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DNAinfo/Sam Cholke

OAKLAND — Planning to restart the development of Oakwood Shores kicked off its public phase Wednesday night.

Urban planners from Gensler met with neighbors in Bronzeville Wednesday at West Point Missionary Baptist Church, 3572 S. Cottage Grove Ave., for the first of four community meetings to figure out how 40 acres of CHA land will be redeveloped.

“We are not starting over,” said Andre Brumfield, director of planning and urban design for Gensler. “We want to build on what’s been done and what we’ve heard in the community over the past several months.”

Oakwood Shores has progressed over nearly 10 phases over the last decade to replace 3,232 public housing units with a new mixed-income community, but has stalled since 2013.

The CHA has brought in Gensler to update the overall community plan, which hasn’t seen a major overhaul since it was created 17 years ago.

The meeting was a chance for planners to collect some basic information from people in the neighborhood about the basic qualities that defined a healthy and cohesive neighborhood.

Angela Brooks, a development manager for the CHA, said Gensler is expected to come back with a completed plan in six months, and then it will be a matter of identifying developers and financing that can put it into action.

There will be some new development at Oakwood Shores early next year though.

The Community Builders are planning to build 54 apartments scattered across nine buildings between 37th Street and Pershing Road and Cottage Grove and Rhodes avenues.

Christopher Johnson, project manager with The Community Builders, said the final sites are not yet set and have not yet secured financing.

He said the buildings are planned to be an equal split between public housing, market-rate and affordable units.

Oakwood Shores is the former site of the CHA’s Ida B. Wells, Clarence Darrow and Madden Park homes.

Dates for the remaining community meetings have not yet been set.