Loyola gets vacated street to create 'more of a campus feel'
September 4, 2013 4:53PM
Updated: September 4, 2013 8:08PM
Loyola University’s plan to “re-invent” itself as a “residential” university got a boost from a City Council committee Wednesday.
The City Council’s Transportation Committee agreed to vacate a block-long stretch of Kenmore to help Loyola turn its expanding Rogers Park footprint into “more of a campus feel.”
Loyola owns nearly all of the real estate along both streets. The university recently built and opened two new dormitories for freshmen and sophomores.
“We’re taking a street and vacating it so they can connect the campus on both sides. It’s gonna be green space,” said Transportation Committee Chairman Anthony Beale (9th).
“Now, the kids will no longer have to walk across the street. They will walk across a green space and a walkway with a park which makes it more of a campus feel. That makes it more conducive to what they were trying to do.”
Beale said the added green space with be a boon to Loyola students living in the new dorms.
“For those kids, it will be more of a campus feel vs. almost like an apartment building. It gives it a different flavor,” he said.
Why give up a city street—even for $330,000 in compensation from Loyola?
“There was limited traffic going through there as it was,” Beale said.
“You’re looking at safety for the kids who no longer have to cross the street. And it’s gonna be more green space for the community and for the campus. It’s a win-win for everyone.”
Beale acknowledged that some Rogers Park resdents were opposed because vacating the street meant losing parking. But, he noted that they will have access to a garage less than a block away.