- Associated Press - Saturday, June 6, 2015

CHICAGO (AP) - Chicago’s answer to New York’s High Line elevated trail system opened Saturday to both excitement and concern.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel opened the 606 on the city’s northwest side. The $95 million trail and park system takes its name from Chicago’s ZIP code prefix and travels along a defunct rail line through four neighborhoods.

The 606 has been praised as a potential link between those sometimes disparate neighborhoods and an attraction that can be enjoyed by tens of thousands of Chicago residents.

But according to the Chicago Tribune (http://trib.in/1cDDp6v ), the opening of the 606 has some who live along it worried they’ll be priced out of their neighborhoods.

Emanuel has acknowledged that property values in those areas were already rising.

“For the people who have property there, that’s a good thing,” Emanuel said. “Increased housing values are not a bad thing.”

But he has also said his office is working on ways to help prevent rising property values from pushing people out. His office, however, has not offered specifics.

Alderman Roberto Maldonado says he’s been warning people in the area for years that the 606 might be nice but it could also drive up rents and home prices.

“The real estate people love (the 606) because they can build these multimillion-dollar developments nearby, but longtime residents have lots of fears that could turn out to be justified,” he said.

The centerpiece of the 606 is the 2.7-mile Bloomingdale Trail. It runs through the heavily gentrified Bucktown and Logan Square neighborhoods but also through working-class Humboldt Park, where property values are lower. The median single-family home price in Logan Square in May was $477,500, according to Midwest Real Estate Data. In Humboldt Park the price was $100,000.

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Information from: Chicago Tribune, http://www.chicagotribune.com

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