Jackson  Pk 0123

Aerial view of Jackson Park

Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th) said that the controversial Amazon lockers causing a citywide stir will not be installed in 5th Ward parks at an Aug. 24 community meeting. 

The delivery lockers became a citywide flashpoint after Avondale residents complained two weeks ago about one partially blocking a path in Brands Park, 3259 N. Elston Ave. 

“To go to a place that is a public good, a place of recreation, and then see the branding of one of the most anti-worker companies in the world … it’s so disturbing,” Ald. Rossana Rodriguez-Sanchez (33rd) told Block Club.

Block Club found that the city's contract with Amazon would net the Chicago Park District at most $137,600 during its first year of operation. 

The lockers were slated to be installed in five 5th Ward parks, said Hairston: 

  • Jackson Park, 6401 S. Stony Island Ave. 

  • Midway Plaisance, 5950 S. Woodlawn Ave. 

  • Bixler (Ray) Park, 5641 S. Kenwood Ave. 

  • Chestnut, 7001 S. Dante Ave. 

  • South Shore Cultural Center, 7059 S. Shore Dr. 

Hairston said that is no longer happening. 

“There were a lot of park groups, advocacy groups that did not want these boxes in our parks,” she said. “They were told to cease, and I have received information that they have agreed to take our parks off the list for installations.

“Myself and others in my office were not consulted by the Park District. And so that meant that I didn't even have an opportunity to bring it to you all to see. But from the comments that we have been getting in the calls, this is not something that people want to see. 

“You know if that's changed we can always be put back on the list. So there you have it.” 

Prentice Butler, chief of staff to Ald. Sophia King (4th), told the Herald that the lockers had already been installed in Kennicott Park 4434 S. Lake Park Ave., and that the 4th Ward office is gathering more information. The lockers were also set to be put in Gwendolyn Brooks Park, 4542 S. Greenwood Ave. 

New tattoo parlor could open on 55th Street 

A new tattoo parlor could open near the corner of 55th Street and South Cornell Avenue. Malcolm Brown, founder of the Tattoo Lounge, said he was looking to open a physical storefront at 1613 E. 55th St. at the Aug. 24 ward meeting. 

Brown, a Hyde Park resident for the past seven years, wants to be a “pioneer” in the tattoo industry. “When you think about tattoos, most people’s minds go toward the status quo — grungy biker bars and cluttered space,” he said. “We want to create a more modernized customer service experience …. We really want to bring the heart and spirit of service back to our industry.” 

Brown said that, in his time living in Hyde Park, he had been inspired by the sense of community. “The community is one really like no other — it’s so special, so diverse, as far as the residents that live here,” he said. “It was a place that I wanted to call home and where I really want to plant my flag.” 

He did not share a timetable. The architect on the project is Ann Lui of the Bridgeport-based Future Firm. 

More rental assistance to come this year 

Chicago Department of Housing Director of Policy Daniel Kay Hertz said at the ward meeting that another round of rental assistance will come from the city later this year using federal money. The DOH is currently in the middle of distributing its third round of funds, which will total $80 million and 10,000 grants of money given to landlords and renters. 

Hertz said he is not exactly sure when applications will reopen later this year. In the meantime, renters and landlords in need can visit chicago.gov/eviction for a list of resources. 

In the meantime, both the state and federal eviction moratoriums have been extended. Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) said today that the statewide ban on evictions would continue until mid-September, but Hertz said the city expects that will go until at least Oct. 3, matching the Aug. 4 federal order from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The United States Supreme Court is set to rule on the constitutionality of that extension in the near future.

Update: This article has been updated with comment from the 4th Ward office. 

(2) comments

Ross Petersen

Am I alone, in wondering what was the Park district thinking, in renting out our Parks - to commercial enterprises? What's next? How about open air barber chairs, or a car wash? Why are these opportunities only offered to Amazon? They put in hundreds of these 'vending machines', and all the Park district gets is a measly $100 k? Time for a change in administration at the Park district. Do a story on the widespread sexual exploitation of lifeguards, which the Park district has been trying to conceal.

It goes all the way to the top.

HPdecades

Although tattoos aren't my thing, I was very moved by Malcolm Brown's description of Hyde Park.

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