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Matteson hosts CSEDC’s winter forum at Holiday Inn Conference Center

Benjamin Wilson discussed Matteson's economic development vision to a full house at the village's Holiday Inn Conference Center.

Benjamin Wilson presented Matteson’s economic development vision to a full house in the village’s Holiday Inn Conference Center where the CSEDC’s 1/22/16 quarterly forum was held.

Enterprise zones, a new Lincoln Highway Logistics Corridor Plan Study, Homewood transit-oriented development and Matteson’s vision for economic development were topics headlined at the Chicago Southland Economic Development Corporation’s winter quarterly forum.

The event was held Jan. 22, 2016 at the Matteson Holiday Inn, and attended by about 225 participants.

Highlights of the forum include:

  1. Matteson Economic Development Director Benjamin Wilson discussed the village’s newly appointed economic development commission. The group aims to support industrial development, commercial businesses and retail that will provide job opportunities, broaden the tax base, and improve the quality of life in the community. The group is also kicking-off an “I am Matteson” marketing campaign with new brand collateral materials as well as implementing a strategic marketing plan.  Primary economic development target areas include historic Matteson, the Lincoln Highway commercial corridor and Lincoln Mall. The village has partnered with Cook County and Ginko Planning and Design to highlight Lincoln Mall as part of a University of Illinois-Chicago Design Studio, or industrial design space for students to transform the area into a walkable, green mixed-use district. Click here for the presentation slides.

  2. Principal Business Analyst David Chandler of the Center for Neighborhood Technology has led the south suburban Enterprise Zone application process for more than two years. He discussed the meaning and benefits of enterprise zones, the application process, the applications’ status and zones facing expiration that will need to reapply. In summary, the Cal Sag and Will/Cook County Enterprise Zones have been certified and the Calumet Region Enterprise Zone application was submitted Dec. 31. Amendment applications to add communities to the Calumet Region and Lincoln & 394 Enterprise zones are under way. See the presentation slides here. Cook County Planning and Development Director Susan Campbell added details about SSMMA’s partnership with the Cook County Bureau of Economic Development in preparing these applications. Cook County has a renewed focus on the Southland, she said. They are looking for ways that projects can leverage each other. “Rather than strategic planning, we’re now looking for strategic doing,” she said.

  3. The upcoming Lincoln Highway Logistics Corridor Planning Study is just one example of positioning the region to leverage transportation logistics, manufacturing, workforce and other projects to spur economic development and create jobs. Lincoln Highway, or U.S. Route 30, needs to make better use of the parcels we have, including the smaller ones, said Cook County Deputy Chief Administrative Officer Maria Choca Urban, who was joined by Illinois Department of Transportation’s Division of Public and Intermodal Transportation Director Beth McCluskey for a brief presentation. See the slides here.

Background: The Cook County Department of Transportation and Highways applied for and received a $250,000 grant in federal and state funds from the Illinois Department of Transportation’s Division of Public and Intermodal Transportation to undertake an analysis of the rail and road infrastructure and site preparation obstacles to the redevelopment of rail-adjacent, industrially zoned sites. Lincoln Highway is well-suited for cargo oriented development in Chicago Heights, Ford Heights and Sauk Village, collectively known as the Lincoln Highway Logistics Corridor.

  1. Homewood Economic Development Director Tom Vander Woude contributed the forum’s final topic on a new strategy for transit-oriented development in the Village of Homewood. Claude Gendreau’s $5 million renovation project of turning the old Homewood State Bank into La Banque Hotel and La Voute Bistro has become a catalyst for substantial potential redevelopment in downtown Homewood. The boutique hotel and eatery are within walking distance of the busiest train station on the Metra Electric line, which also includes an Amtrak stop. The village is now seeking development partners to leverage this investment through the redevelopment of strategic sites in its downtown, such as the former Bogart’s, Savoia’s and Sugar sites, as well as the Matrix and Triumph buildings. See the presentation slides here.

More photos are here.

We thank the Village of Matteson for kindly hosting this event. The next quarterly forum is scheduled for April 22, 2016 at a location TBD.

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