Question over lots

Herald Intern

After Woodlawn residents voiced their concerns over vacant lots in their neighborhood, the U. of C. has reaffirmed its desire to “be a good neighbor,” but isn’t making specific promises in every case.

At a Civic Engagement community meeting held at the School of Social Service Administration, 969 E. 60th St., two residents raised their concerns about university-owned vacant lots in their neighborhoods. One asked about the lot on the corner of 60th Street and Cottage Grove Avenue and another about a gravel-covered piece of property at 60th Street and Woodlawn Avenue.

Assistant Vice President for Neighborhood Initiatives William Towns, who led the meeting, told the Herald in an e-mail that the lot on Woodlawn Avenue was slated to become an athletic field. After the meeting, Towns told the Herald he would go to investigate the site.

Towns mentioned no specific plans for the Cottage Grove location, but did say that the university “strives to be a good neighbor and has worked for many years with community members on efforts toward neighborhood safety, beauty, and usefulness.” Although he said in the meeting that partnerships with community organizations in beautifying the spot might be possible, he did not respond to a request late Friday to specify any plans the university might move forward with.

In response to a request for a full list of university-owned vacant properties south of 60th Street, Civic Engagement also listed a parcel with a greenhouse at 61st Street and Dorchester Avenue.