It will take some time and a good amount of money, but city planners hope the historic Motor Row stretch of South Michigan Avenue will one day become a living showcase for the city's blues and jazz legacies.
To help make that happen, a City Council committee on Thursday recommended a zoning change on Michigan between Cermak Road and the Stevenson Expressway. Although a couple of speakers questioned the need for new zoning, the full council is expected to sign off on it next week.
It's hoped the change — which would prevent future approval of new residences to promote business uses — would bring new restaurants, cafes, shops and smaller music venues to the three-block stretch.
"Chicago is the home of jazz and blues, and we've forgotten about that, and we need to bring back that culture," Fioretti said. "We are going to restore that age of glory."
The neighborhood's residences and hotels make the area ripe for commercial development, Fioretti said.
“We need the district to bridge the South Loop and Bronzeville and
Another advantage is that money to develop the area, where wider sidewalks and slower traffic are envisioned, could come from three different special taxing districts, Fioretti said.
Some music venue developers, including one involving the rock band