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Gold Rush Coast

By Matt Wood in Arts & Entertainment on Sep 23, 2005 3:18PM

Gino's PizzeriaAs possibly the last act of gentrification in the Gold Coast, on Thursday the city moved to vacate residents from an apartment building at 930 N. Rush St. above the old Gino's Pizzeria (no, not this one). Building inspectors found 57 code violations in the "eyesore," all of which constitute safety risks to the tenants. The owners of the building say they want to rehab it, but now they face fines of up to $28,500 a day until they do. In the meantime, the building's tenants are on their way out.

The natural reaction here is to feel bad for the tenants, who in an apparent deal with Satan, have been paying just $940 a month for rent. Why can't the city just leave them alone? Chicagoist sees this as a civil rights case too, but not on behalf of the tenants. What we're forgetting about here is the God-given right of real estate developers to displace poor, old, undesirable people from trendy neighborhoods and build luxury condos. Those bums have been stinking up half a block near the Barney's for God's sake. Can you imagine the gold mine they're sitting on in that building? The condo investors of this city demand the right to buy undersized, cookie-cutter apartments with shoddy construction sight unseen at inflated prices and sell them three months later at even higher prices as an "in-town" for some retired lawyer's trophy wife. If we allow the stubbornness of a few harmless apartment dwellers to get in the way of the inexorable march of capitalism, then what kind of country is this?

Photo courtesty of