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Regional leaders urge Pritzker to support South Suburban Airport & more at CSEDC forum

Chicago Southland Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Reggie Greenwood with US Rep. Robin Kelly at the May 3 CSEDC Quarterly Forum at Gaelic Park in Oak Forest

Regional leaders on Friday unveiled their largest, most-unified call to date for Gov. J.B. Pritzker and state lawmakers to support the proposed South Suburban Airport.

The airport near Monee would stimulate economic growth throughout the region, U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly, D-Matteson, said during a Chicago Southland Economic Development Corporation forum at Gaelic Park in Oak Forest.

“The airport is a once-in-a-lifetime game-changer,” Kelly told an audience of more than 150 people. “It has the potential and promise to be the safest, greenest and most innovative and most customer-focused airport in North America.”

State Rep. Anthony DeLuca, D-Chicago Heights, indicated he and other south suburban state legislators might withhold support for Pritzker’s quest for a statewide referendum in 2020 to amend the constitution to allow a graduated income tax unless the governor voiced support for the airport…Please click here to read Ted Slowik’s column in the Tribune/Daily Southtown. Related stories include South Suburban Lawmakers Urge Pritzker To Fund Peotone Airport in the Patch, and Pols to Pritzker: Clear third airport for takeoff in the Sun-Times, South suburban politicians ask for millions more for long stalled Chicago airport on WGN-9 News,  Politicians Sign Letter To Gain Governor’s Support On South Suburban Airport on WBBM News Radio, Speaker Madigan signs on to letter seeking $150 million for third Chicago airport in the Capitol Fax, Elected officials urge Gov. Pritzker to take action on the South Suburban Airport in the Homewood-Flossmoor Chronicle, Proposed Peotone Airport back in business? in Crain’s,  South Suburban airport push is on again in the Rockford Register, and State Lawmakers Press Gov. Pritzker to Support South Suburban Airport on WTTW News. A press release from the office of Congresswoman Kelly’s office is here.

Additional CSEDC Quarterly Forum discussions included:

Oak Forest The City of Oak Forest has strategically focused its economic development efforts towards quality placemaking, transit-oriented development around one of the busiest Metra stations on the Rock Island line, and by strategically acquiring dormant properties. Numerous projects are underway with the largest being Cook County releasing an RFP to begin redevelopment plans for the 129-acre Oak Forest Health Center. Click here to see the PowerPoint.

Logistics park in Country Club Hills Logistics Property Co, LLC recently acquired 102 acres of land in Country Club Hills. Located at the convergence of I-57 and I-80, the project provides excellent access to two highly trafficked thoroughfares serving Chicago and the Midwest. The project, which has been named LogiPark 57-80, is the latest logistics park in LPC’s growing portfolio across North America. Upon full buildout, the project will be 1.4 million square feet across four buildings. Construction is expected to commence in the Spring of 2019. Click here to see the Power Point.

Four Enterprise Zones are a Key Incentive in the Southland The Chicago Southland region has within its boundaries four state-designated enterprise zones, covering 36 Southland Communities, and unincorporated areas of Cook & Will Counties that lie within the zone boundaries. The Cal-Sag, Calumet Region, Lincoln-394 & Will-Cook Enterprise Zones were created to spur development in these communities by offering tax savings to those zone business owners who remodel, rehab, or build new in the zones. Mary Schmidt, of Alsip, has been doing zone work for the last 20 years, and currently assists the projects in two of these zones, processing their paperwork and implementing the incentives. Successful projects include multi-million dollar industrial and commercial projects, multi-family housing , restaurants, and service businesses. Click here to see the Power Point.

Strategy to Drive New Ridership in the Metra Electric District The South Cook Mobility Study was undertaken by the Cook County Department of Transportation and Highways to determine how to put the region’s existing transit assets into more effective use. The SCMS produced a head-to-head evaluation of eight proposed public transportation scenarios using the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Simplified Trips on Project Software (STOPS) model as defined by the Regional Transportation Authority and Cook County’s consultant. The study examines whether changes to fare structure, service, and transit capital improvements may boost ridership and better serve the residents of southern Cook County. Click here to see the Power Point. Click here to read an article on new legislation implementing this strategy

South Suburban Economic Growth Initiative The South Suburban Economic Growth Initiative (SSEGI) brings together community, government, and industry to reestablish the South Suburbs as an economic powerhouse. It is a wide-reaching and ambitious convening of leading partners and resources whose goal is to achieve transformative economic development, from underutilized industrial land, to small businesses, housing finance, workforce development and more. The Initiative operates by giving partners who are leaders in their field the infrastructure and resources to lead overall management, strategy development, program design and implementation. Click here to see the Power Point.

More photos from the forum are here.

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