CCAC eNews
December 2017
CCAC eNews is the monthly newsletter of the Chicago Central Area Committee. For more information about the CCAC or to inquire about membership, please contact Kelly O'Brien at (312) 602-5148 or
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CCAC Hears From Commissioner David Reifman
CCAC hosted its December meeting and holiday reception sponsored by CCAC Chairman Greg Hummel, Partner, Bryan Cave LLP, on December 14, 2017. Keynote remarks were provided by David Reifman, Commissioner, Department of Planning and Development for the City of Chicago.  
Commissioner Reifman’s remarks focused on the positive results being realized by the tens of billions of dollars going into investments, the hundreds of millions of dollars in new tax revenues, and the creation of tens of thousands of new jobs. He stated, “We are developing and pioneering innovative programs to fully leverage the City’s market strengths, maximize the impact of our public investments, and create equitable development opportunities for our underinvested and challenged neighborhoods such as Englewood, Garfield Park, Pullman, Humboldt Park, and other areas that are critical to Chicago’s legacy.”
(L:R) Brian Sher, Managing Partner, Bryan Cave LLP; Greg Hummel, Partner, Bryan Cave LLP and Chairman of CCAC addressing the December 14th Audience
Commissioner David Reifman addressing the CCAC Membership at the December 14th Meeting & Holiday Reception
Reifman’s remarks touched on several areas of interest and included:
Over 77 million people travel through O’Hare Airport each year.  Mayor Emanuel is committed to the “O’Hare Airport Modernization,” and recent progress includes two completed runways with a third one opening in 2020, 13 new gates, 9 of which contain international terminals, and a new ground transportation multimodal facility. Reifman explained that the Mayor launched a two-year effort in the spring of this year to pursue express train service between downtown and O’Hare. The RFQ has been released and this will help the City compete on a global level with cities like Toronto, London, Hong Kong and Tokyo. Reifman stated, “Coupled with Chicago’s second international airport, Midway, our transit gives us a unique competitive advantage in the global economy.”
Red Line:
During the Mayor’s first term, one of his priority projects was the Red Line South Reconstruction. Over $425 million dollars in investment was spent in refurbishing the Red Line in order to cut travel time up to 20 minutes and servicing the 9 districts running to Cermak. Reifman told the audience, “In 2016, we passed the first transit TIF in Chicago and Illinois for the CTA’s first phase of the Red and Purple Line Modernization. The red line is the backbone of the entire CTA system. We will be putting new tracks, signals, rehab stations in Lawrence, Argyle, Bourbon, and Bryn Mawr.” Continuing his remarks, Reifman detailed, “The transit TIF is a $600 million dollar match of a $1 billion dollar Federal core capacity grant which plans to expand the capacity of the Red Line and Brown Line, allowing more trains through the system and getting more people downtown more efficiently. Beyond that, we’re extending the Red Line south to 130th Street which is another $2.3 billion dollar project that we are in the process of undertaking.” 
Union Station:
Union Station has over 125,000 passengers per day. Stating that this project is key to the transit economy, Reifman mentioned CCAC member, Riverside Investment Development, was selected by Amtrak for a $1.5 billion dollar residential and commercial project. 
Bonus System:
Roughly 18 months ago, the City of Chicago revamped the downtown bonus system. Reifman stated, "The new system replaced the old system and it now requires a single financial payment, which is allocated into three separate funds: 80% of the payment goes to the Neighborhood Opportunity Fund, 10% of the payment goes into a City-wide adopted landmark fund and 10% goes into the local infrastructure fund.”
For the Neighborhood Opportunity Bonus, the City expanded the geography of downtown Chicago. Reifman explained, “Part of this was the natural evolution of the downtown roads, but as a planning department, we looked at the data and those areas where additional density made sense. Based on expanding the downtown zoning district geography by 22%, there is access to mixed use corridor development, multiple transit lines and proximity to tens of thousands of jobs.  To this point we have more than a dozen projects valued at $1.4 billion dollars.” 
According to Reifman, to date, developers have committed more than $44 million dollars to the Neighborhood Opportunity Fund from various projects. Some of the key projects include McDonald’s Headquarters and the new project proposed at 110 N. Wacker. McDonald’s moving its headquarters from the suburbs to the City generated $4 million dollars in bonus money and $3.2 million of that money went into the bonus fund. The Riverside Investment Development project located at 110 N. Wacker will generate more than $20 million dollars to the Neighborhood Opportunity Fund. Reifman emphasized, “The Neighborhood Opportunity Fund is a critical way that we help level the playing fields for our underserved neighborhoods, specifically in terms of commercial resources.” 
Industrial Corridors:
One of the Mayor’s priorities for his second term was to update industrial corridors and implement a modernization plan. Reifman explained, “We wanted to be sure that we align our land use with our industrial policy and goals, specifically in terms of advancement in manufacturing, high-tech research and logistics. The key goals of this plan include potential boundary changes to ensure we’re positioned for mixed-use development in select corridors to accommodate central area expansion for 21st century jobs and to make sure that we create value for the parts of our city that are very strong, i.e. the southwest corridor and the northwest side.”
The City of Chicago anticipates this initiative will generate billions of dollars in investment, hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue, tens of millions of dollars in new revenue, city-wide economic development, tens of thousands of jobs as well as unprecedented open space and transit improvements. 
Reifman stated the planning department carefully thought about the North Branch area and how best to “accommodate the size of developments with plans that have short, medium and long-term improvements including vehicular bridges, pedestrian bridges, trail connections, a possible light rail corridor system, as well as 60 acres of open space including 10 acres of recreational fields.” He suggested that the poster child for this kind of redevelopment is the Finkl site. Finkl moved from Lincoln Park, a dense population center near downtown, to Burnside, a neighborhood more appropriate for their logistical needs.
Referencing the Kinzie Industrial Corridor, Reifman discussed the partial repeal of the planned manufacturing district (PMD) east of Ogden Avenue. “Owners and developers would have to pay a fee into the industrial corridor system that will allow us to create resources to support the other industrial corridors that are still viable. We are able to balance the industrial corridors throughout the city to attract additional development. We can see the increase in value of one area while supporting the other parts of the city — something we can’t do in traditional financing,” noted Reifman. 
As the City moves forward and creates this fee on the industrial corridor, it will provide support for projects in East Garfield Park, like the Hatchery, and in Pullman, like the Whole Foods Distribution Center and the Method Soap factory. Recent development in Pullman includes over $225 million dollars in public-private investment and the creation of 4,700 jobs in that area. 
Moving into the realm of affordable housing, Reifman shared, “The five-year plan to create $1.2 billion dollars of investment into affordable housing includes 40,000 units and the creation of tens of thousands of job opportunities. Reifman told CCAC, “The pilot is already seeing a lot of growth along the southern part of the industrial corridor near Cabrini-Green and it is rapidly picking up in investment areas such as Logan Square and the Milwaukee Corridor to capture additional affordable opportunities.”
Another one of the Mayor’s top priorities includes how to implement Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) projects as smartly and quickly as possible. Currently, there is $200 million worth of projects underway at the CHA. Of special note is the combination of CHA housing with Chicago Public Libraries. Commissioner Reifman gave a shout out to CCAC members, Perkins+Will and Skidmore Owings and Merrill, who were selected to design 2 out of the 3 libraries. 
Commissioner David Reifman addressing the CCAC Membership at the December 14th Meeting & Holiday Reception
There is a tremendous amount of development activity happening and a few large-scale projects were mentioned including:
The Wanda Vista Tower, which is a $1 billion dollar infrastructure project designed by Jeanne Gang, that will be 1200 feet tall with 95 stories. 
The Willis Tower, which is in the midst of receiving a $500 million-dollar makeover. An interesting fact is this makeover costs three times more than the original price tag to build the Sears Tower. This is the largest commercial upgrade in the City of Chicago in over 25 years.  
The Old Post Office building is receiving $600 million in upgrades. 
The Riverline project, led jointly by CMK and Lendlease, has a $1.5 billion investment. The site spans across 14 acres and will include 3,700 units with 6 acres of open space along the river.  
A 62-acre development site on Roosevelt and Clark is being spearheaded by Related Midwest. This phased approach could lead to 10 million square feet of development with a $5 billion dollar potential investment. 
The Michael Reese site will now include a logistics campus, tech campus, commercial and retail business.  Once finalized, it is expected to generate 30,000 permanent and temporary jobs over the next few years.
Commissioner Reifman explained that the City has been bringing these and other development projects together for 21st century connectivity.  In regard to the bid for the Amazon Headquarters, he shared the list of sites submitted for the Amazon expansion which include the River District, Fulton Market, City Center Campus, the Downtown Gateway District, the Illinois Medical District, The 78, and the Burnham Lakefront. Although he said that he does not yet have any information from Amazon on its pending decision, he did say, “Everything we did in this bid was to show not only Amazon, but all companies that will potentially come to Chicago, the tremendous opportunities in downtown Chicago. We have development opportunities around the State of Illinois building, Union Station, and the Post Office, to name a few, and we are creating the opportunity for 13 million square feet of development for Amazon.”
Last but not least, Reifman discussed the $500 million-dollar investment on the South Side for the Obama Presidential Center. Designed by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects, the Obama Presidential Center is expected to bring 7 million visitors over a 10-year period and over $3 billion dollars in economic activity to the City. He said, “To help maximize the impact of the Center, we’ve been working along with numerous community partners such as the Washington Park Consortium, Network of Woodlawn, Chicago Community Trust, University of Chicago, and the Mayor’s Office. The goal is to harness and direct the economic activity and economic development opportunities that will come out of this Center for in the neighborhoods of Woodlawn, Washington Park and South Shore.” 
In closing Reifman told the CCAC members, “My remarks were a whirlwind tour of what’s going on in the City. There’s so much more and I’ve barely skimmed the surface. We should all as Chicagoans be very encouraged about how our city is positioned for the 21st century economy. There is a lot of opportunity for our City and it will benefit every single one of our neighborhoods.”
CLICK HERE to view the powerpoint presentation of the Commissioner's remarks.
CCAC Audience at the December 14th CCAC Meeting & Holiday Reception
Next CCAC Meeting:                                       
Tuesday, January 9, 2018 at Lendlease
Join us at Lendlease on Tuesday, January 9, 2018 for the next CCAC meeting hosted by Peter Ousley, Vice President and Erin Miller, Business Development Manager, Construction, both of Lendlease.
All CCAC Members and Young Leaders are invited to attend this meeting and holiday reception. 
Toni Preckwinkle
Board President
Cook County Government
City of Chicago
Tuesday, January 9, 2018
12:00 - 1:30 p.m.
30 S. Wacker Drive
24th Floor
Chicago, IL 60606 
Peter Ousley

Erin Miller
Kelly O'Brien at 

"Making Cook County Work"
Investing in communities while strategically planning regional economic growth can help optimize Cook County’s economic potential. Cook County is stronger when no community is left behind. And it’s stronger when we consider the County as part of a larger region with size and intermodal infrastructure that can be leveraged to our competitive advantage.
President Preckwinkle addressed CCAC in 2015. She is returning to kick off the 2018 speaker series with insight on how to make Cook County flourish.
CCAC Young Leader Executive Committee Meets to Plan 2018
(L:R) Aaron Spiering, JGMA Architecture; Katie Martin, Forum Studio; Andrew Broderick, Perkins+Will; Will Press, The John Buck Company; Penelope Campbell, Jenner & Block LLP;  Brandon Hummel, The Law Offices of Brandon G. Hummel; Brandon Biederman, PORT Urbanism; Malek Abdulsamad, Related Midwest and Shalora Jasper, CCAC.
Building on a very successful year, the Young Leader Executive  Committee met to finalize programming for 2018. Identifying areas of interest, the group is organizing quarterly events including exclusive tours, a roundtable discussion and a charrette.
The Young Leader tier is an active part of the Chicago Central Area Committee. Having the City's next generation of leaders participating in programs and projects that will impact the future is meaningful for both the city and our members. 
2018 will kick off with a behind the scenes look into the exciting development happening at Willis Tower.  More details about this February event will be forthcoming.
If you are interested in joining the Young Leaders, please contact Kelly O'Brien, 312-602-5148,
2018 Monthly Meeting Calendar in Development
CCAC members meet on the 2nd Tuesday of each month.   Please consider being a host.  This is a unique opportunity to showcase your firm and allow members to see your office. If you are interested in hosting a monthly lunch meeting or have suggestions for programming, please contact Kelly O'Brien, 312-602-5148,
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