Richard M. Daley, Parks Superintendent Timothy J. Mitchell, Alderman Mary Ann Smith, and members of the Edgewater community today celebrated the expansion of Bromann Playlot Park, 5406 N. Broadway Street
The 3,750 square foot playground expansion was funded largely in part by a TIF grant in the amount of $350,000. It now features play equipment with rubber surface for children ages 5-12, ornamental fencing, a new bench and a new addition to the existing swing set. It has soft surfacing and complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act to be accessible to children with disabilities. Construction on the playground was managed by the Public Building Commission.
“We are excited about this new playground because it offers amenities for an enjoyable visit to the park for families in the Edgewater community,” Mayor Daley said. “We recognize how important it is for Chicago residents to have recreational space in all areas of the city. By increasing open space throughout our neighborhoods we are continually improving this city’s quality of life.”
“We are happy to provide this playground to this very active community,” said Timothy J. Mitchell, Chicago Park District General Superintendent and CEO. “More than just a colorful play area, this playground will contribute to the growth and development of those who use it.”
The Chicago Park District purchased the property in 1974. At that time, the Edgewater community population was steadily increasing and the Park District wanted to help fulfill the neighborhood’s recreational needs with the addition of this new park. The park was named in 1978 after a life-long Edgewater resident named Charles H. Bromann.
The playlot dedication also represented another stop on the “Neighborhood Appreciation Tour” the Mayor will make in communities all over the city before he leaves office in May to thank Chicagoans for their collaboration in helping the City move forward.
“Today I want to thank the residents of the 48th ward for their hard work and dedication. Working together, we’ve brought Chicago into the 21st century, and given it a bright future,” he said.
The Mayor said the TIF money that helped build the playlot is just one of the tools the City has used to make North Side communities a better place.
He identified a number of those initiatives:
Last year, we opened The Edgewater Senior Center at the Broadway Armory. This Senior Center provides seniors of the Edgewater community with a safe, accessible place where they can enjoy meals with friends, express their talents, learn new skills and continue to stay active.
The City has committed $1.2 million in TIF funding for new Edgewater Branch Library whiich will be a two-story, 16,250 square-foot structure. The project will be designed to achieve “Silver” level certification under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards.
Both the Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Park District have carried out numerous projects in this community in recent years.
Since 1995, the Chicago Park District acquired three parks and expanded two in the 48th ward.
In addition to two new Campus parks , improvements or renovations have been carried at four schools in the 48th Ward, with the work ranging from new playlot to major upgrades at Senn High School to the renovation of George B. Swift Specialty School.
The PBC also built a new Beach House at Kathy Osterman Beach and did interior renovations to the Hull House Association Head Start facility.
$36 million in TIF-funded public-private redevelopment agreements, including:
Affordable housing improvements to the Bryn Mawr, Belle Shore, and Hollywood House apartment buildings.
990 creation of the Edgewater-Broadway Shopping Plaza
About 15 smaller, SBIF-funded projects involving small businesses
Through the Plan for Transformation, the Chicago Housing Authority has rehabilitated 201 units at the Castleman Apartments and 470 other units at locations around the ward.
The City Department of transportation marked almost 3 miles of bike routes in the ward.
$1.9 million was used to create the Bryn Mawr Streetscape from Lake Shore Drive to Broadway designed to boost neighborhood commercial district through infrastructure improvements, aesthetic improvements and community identifiers. The project included banners and signage reflecting the Bryn Mawr Historic District
The 48th Ward has also one of the city’s heaviest concentrations of traffic calming infrastructure, including traffic circles, speed humps and curb bumpouts.
In 2004, repairs to the concrete viaduct at Granville were made. Deteriorated concrete on the decking and abutments were replaced, the bridge deck was waterproofed and resealed, and the trackbed and trackwork over the bridge replaced.
“So I’m here today to thank every resident, every community organization, every business, every not-for-profit for their advice, support and cooperation on all these projects,” Daley said.
“Thank you for participating in the process. Thank you for your ideas, your input and your time. That’s what our system of government is based on – the people.
“It’s been a joy and an honor to be your Mayor,” he said.