BeyondChron: San Francisco's Alternative Online Daily News - Paradise Lost: A Recipe for Gentrification in Chicago, San Francisco, and Beyond Newsom is not the first public official to be seduced by this appealing picture. After visiting downtown Chicago in 1996, Pittsburgh Mayor Tom Murphy decided to use the power of eminent domain to demolish 60 buildings and condemn 125 mostly locally owned businesses occupying several blocks along the Fifth and Forbes corridor in downtown Pittsburgh in order to build a multi-level retail mall containing many of the same upscale shops as the Magnificent Mile. Murphy even pegged Chicago-based Urban Retail Properties to manage the area’s redevelopment.Navy Pier in Chicago.
Through local organizing efforts, a coalition of small business owners, historical preservationists, and supporters of immigrant and African American rights eventually forced Murphy to abandon this project. Their concerns were buttressed by research compiled by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance which showed that roughly two-thirds of the revenue generated by chain stores and franchise operations like McDonald’s routinely leaves the local economy and the metropolitan area altogether. In fact, a 2004 report entitled The Andersonville Study of Retail Economics demonstrated that, contrary to conventional wisdom, locally owned, independent businesses generate 70 percent more revenue for the local economy per square foot than national chains.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
BeyondChron: San Francisco's Alternative Online Daily News - Paradise Lost: A Recipe for Gentrification in Chicago, San Francisco, and Beyond
Talking about our struggles and defeating Mayor Murphy's half-baked plans.