A community group is protesting a developer’s plan to convert an old marble manufacturing plant along the Logan Square/Hermosa border, saying that a so-called “hipster concert venue” will lead to displacement and gentrification.
A trio of partners led by Mark Falanga of VentureMark, Inc. purchased the industrial building at 2537 North Pulaski Road in April for $725,000, according to Block Club. They want to transform it into a 1,000-person-capacity music venue called Present Company.
The Logan Square Neighborhood Association says the venue will drive up rents and property taxes, pushing out longtime residents. The team behind the proposal says it’s meant to bring people together through live music and food.
“There’s really no empirical evidence, no clear studies that we’ve found that provides a linkage between a live music venue and residential displacement,” Falanga told Block Club Chicago.
The Logan Square Neighborhood Association is planning a youth-led protest at the site on Tuesday night.
One of the group’s youth leaders, 17-year-old Traolach O’Sullivan, calls the proposal “textbook gentrification.”
“You take an old building and you turn it into a fancy business for rich residents,” he said.
Falanga and his partners, Scott Miles and Evan Meister, say the venue would have a positive impact on the neighborhood because it will create about 150 jobs for residents and draw customers to surrounding restaurants and retailers.
City officials still haven’t signed off on a zoning change or given other necessary approval for the project.
Ald. Felix Cardona Jr. (31st) has not yet made a decision on the proposal. [Block Club] — Brianna Kelly