The 1.7-mile corridor includes significant social, economic, and natural assets, including the following :
- Public spaces – Major gathering places include Lindblom Park, Hermitage Park, Moran Playground Park, and the West Englewood Branch of the Chicago Public Library.
- Schools – Students of all ages are served by nearby Henderson, Langford, and Nicholson elementary schools, Lindblom Math and Science Academy High School, and Kennedy King College.
- Jobs and economic development – Nearby business development includes the shopping center at 59th and Ashland (CVS, Dunkin Donuts, Subway), industrial companies, auto-related businesses, organic produce wholesaler Goodness Greeness, and two organic farms operated as job training centers by Growing Home, Inc.
- Faith communities – More than 15 churches are in the corridor, several immediately adjacent to the rail viaduct. These communities represent potential users of the trail as well as possible partners in trail development and maintenance.
- Natural areas – Nearly 100 mature trees (with trunks of eight inches or more) have grown along the viaduct, including box elder, maple, and elm trees. Native and non-native species have propagated on the sloping embankments and nearby lots, creating a starting point for habitat restoration.
- Transportation – The corridor is well served by CTA bus routes on 59th Street, Halsted, Racine, Ashland, and Damen. The CTA Green Line has stations just south of 63rd Street at Halsted and Ashland. Bike routes and lanes cross the trail on Halsted, Racine, Loomis, and Damen.
There are also underutilized assets in the corridor, including the vacant Bontemps school building, several vacant commercial buildings, and many vacant lots. In the 122-acre corridor, there are more than 54 acres of vacant land.
Englewood Square, on the northwest corner of 63rd and Halsted, is a five-acre shopping
center that will be anchored by a Whole Foods grocery store and include a Starbucks and Chipotle restaurant. It will open in August 2016.
The area has seen significant development over the past 10 years including construction of the 40-acre, six-building Kennedy King College campus; the 73-unit Hope Manor II housing for veterans, at 63rd and Halsted; the 99 supportive housing units at Mercy Englewood Apartments, 901 W. 63rd St.; and the 24-unit Sangamon Terrace Apartments at 62nd and Sangamon.
The shopping district along 63rd Street near Kennedy King College includes a Walgreen store, Aldi, Subway, Dunkin Donuts, Shark’s Fish and Chicken, and other stores.