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Flossmoor hosts CSEDC quarterly forum

Image courtesy of the Village of Flossmoor

Industrial development in the south suburbs, Flossmoor updates and solar energy opportunities were topics presented at Chicago Southland Economic Development Corporation’s summer quarterly forum. CSEDC is the economic development arm/sister organization of the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association. The forum was hosted by Mayor Paul Braun and held at Flossmoor’s Village Hall on July 28.

Snapshots of the presentations include:

Flossmoor Updates – Meijer store director Becky Beketic announced that the super store has had such a successful first year that they were able to make $90,000 in charitable donations to two schools and other organizations. They have also recently begun providing customized-to-the-region products as well as online shopping. Dan Abdo of Glazier Corporation discussed plans for outlot development around Meijer, including a sit-down dining establishment, a Starbucks and an AT&T store.  Click here to view a rendering. Tim Haague of Keystone Ventures added information on a Buena Beef restaurant on the lot. Click here for the site plans.

Not all Flossmoor’s updates were about the Meijer site. Ingalls Hospital Vice President Scott Strausser discussed the Ingalls/University of Chicago Hospitals merger. The University of Chicago Hospitals has a long history of providing healthcare to residents in the south side of Chicago and south suburbs, and is clearly invested in the region. Additionally, healthcare delivery at hospitals and clinics is only as good as the quality of physicians, he said. And the U of C merger helps creates a steady pipeline of the finest and best trained doctors for Ingalls to draw from.

Industrial Development – Jones Lang LaSalle’s Industrial Services Group’s Senior Vice President Scott Duerkop discussed industrial real estate projects in the Chicago South Suburbs including a 140-acre industrial redevelopment project at the interchange of 159th Street and Interstate 294 in Markham, a 450,000-square foot leasing assignment in Alsip and disposition of a 190,000-square foot food distribution in University Park. His presentation slides are here.

Solar Energy – Illinois Community Choice Aggregation Network Principal Mark Pruitt discussed the Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA) and potential opportunities and brownfield solutions for municipalities via the newly created CSEDC Solar Development LLC. CSEDC Solar can assist Southland communities attract and capitalize on community and utility scale solar installation opportunities that are to be funded through FEJA.

FEJA expands energy efficiency programs; commits up to $750 million for low-income communities to save money and help them benefit from clean energy; protects 4,200 jobs; strengthens and expands the Renewable Portfolio Standard to ensure stable, predictable funding for renewable development including new wind power, large-scale solar power, and rooftop and community solar. In addition FEJA provides job training and creates thousands of clean energy jobs in energy efficiency, energy innovation, and renewable power industries; and preserves competitive consumer energy rates.

Opportunities for the Southland include increased revenues, jobs, energy rate competiveness and improved image via FEJA-related  Utility Scale Solar, Community Solar, Illinois Solar for All and brownfield programs. CSEDC Solar LLC will provide the engineering, finance, and policy resources at a cost to be paid by solar developers. Municipalities can enter into agreement with selected developers, and CSEDC Solar will serve as the municipality’s representative for the project. Click here for more information in Mark’s slides.

Tag-teaming Mark was Cook County Department of Environmental Control Chief Sustainability Officer Deborah Stone, who emphasized FEJA’s Community Solar opportunities for Cook County and the Southland. Community Solar is a solar-electric system that, through a voluntary program, provides power and/or financial benefit to, or is owned by, multiple community members, which can include municipalities, churches, residents or businesses. Developers are going to look for the largest, cheapest, less complicated sites available, she said. And there’s a very short time to act because the program starts next year. Deborah invited all to attend a Sept. 18th half-day Community Solar conference by sending their contact info to  Click here for her presentation slides.

We wish to thank all who presented and attended the forum, as well as CSEDC Chairman Michael Scholefield for emceeing it. In addition, we gratefully acknowledge the Village of Flossmoor for hosting it. More photos are here.

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