We have a vibrant Downtown on the West Side of the River. In a 198 acre section from the River back to 6th Ave., there are more than 12,000 jobs and $2.9 billion in real estate value. More than 25% of these jobs are high-paying jobs. We want to create a similar bonanza on the East Side. On the East Side, however, the freeway and the railroad tracks present significant barriers to developing housing and a real urban neighborhood of integrated mixed uses -- commercial, industrial, retail and residential. Today the land value of a similar 198 acres on the East Side is less than 1/5th of the West Side, and the total assessed valuation is about l/9th of the West Side.
A new kind of neighborhood would blossom on the East Side if the freeway and dozens of ramps did not separate the neighborhood from the River. We believe that in the 43 acres of land the freeway and ramps occupy today, we could build 6,000 to 10,000 units of workforce housing. This kind of neighborhood would attract creative, dynamic, entrepreneurial people who would incubate all sorts of new knowledge economy businesses in the inner East Side back to 7th Ave. These new residents will be "urban", and will want to work near where they live. We believe the industrial sanctuary should be maintained in the area from 7th Avenue to 12th Ave., where most of the jobs, including many high-paying manufacturing jobs, are today.