CCAC eNews
December 2016
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

Download the 2017 Meeting Calendar!
The CCAC 2017 Meeting Calendar is ready to download in PDF format. The Calendar lists this year's dates and locations for our popular luncheon speaker series, hosted each month by a different CCAC member organization. (NOTE: Locations subject to change--see website for newest calendar. Meetings open to paid members and guests, only.)
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CCAC Members Hear from Jim Schultz, Intersect Illinois
CCAC hosted its end of the year meeting and holiday reception sponsored by CCAC Chairman Greg Hummel, Partner, Bryan Cave LLP on December 13, 2016. Keynote remarks were provided by Jim Schultz, Chairman & CEO, Intersect Illinois and included points on what he is trying to help Governor Rauner accomplish, his interest in regionalism and the positives and challenges for the State of Illinois.
Schultz began with remarks by commenting, “Illinois is such a great state. There are so many great things about it. I try to get out and promote Illinois. And when I’m competing against other states, it’s pretty easy.”  He summarized, “Illinois has the 5 “R’s”: Rail, Road, River, Runway and Router. If you need access to any of those, you better be in Illinois.” 
Jim Schultz, Chairman and CEO, Intersect Illinois addressing the CCAC audience.
Regarding rail, Schultz mentioned that all class 1 rails converge in Illinois and that only happens in two places in the United States- Illinois and Louisiana. Chairman Schultz indicated the State is working on river transportation opportunities. “We have three navigable rivers that pass through or are adjacent to our state. And the Panama Canal expansion could bring great benefits for future generations.”
Discussing roads in Illinois, Schultz expressed, “We have the 3rd largest interstate system in the country. This ties into intermodal and freight and moving it from one point to another.” He continued and said, “It also relates to runways. O’Hare and Midway Airports give us hub opportunities with the number of flights that leave from both of those airports to destinations everywhere on the globe.”
Routers are used primarily for the data centers and moving data. Schultz expressed, “All of the New York Stock Exchange trades are backed up here in the City of Chicago. That’s a pretty big deal.”
Chairman Schultz highlighted examples of wins for the state of Illinois. Businesses are locating here in Illinois. In his first example, he discussed Amazon. Earlier this year, Amazon disclosed plans for expanding its Joliet facility. Schultz shared how he was able to expand that opportunity by asking Amazon officials about how rivers, rail, air cargo ties into the future of the company. That conversation led to 6 new facilities being built in the state of Illinois, creating roughly 7500 new jobs, and a $400 million investment. Another example of a win included the company Vetter. Schultz stated that Illinois was the only State that took the extra step of visiting offices in their hometown throughout the bidding process. In the meetings, Schultz provided three main positives for Illinois: 3rd lowest energy cost state in the county, great workforce, and the Midwest being the heartbeat of North America.
Challenges were also acknowledged.  Schultz said, “At least 50% of the time, if you don’t have the “right to work” process, you’re eliminated from the 1st cut of even being considered for the job.” Schultz is working with Governor Bruce Rauner on workman comp reform and property tax freeze. “Illinois is a great state, and has a lot of great assets; but we can do a lot better,” said Schultz.
Following up on the November Summit for Regional Competitiveness keynote, Schultz reinforced the importance of regionalism and cross jurisdictional collaboration. Schultz divulged his plan of meeting with his counterparts in the mega-region to discuss how best to co-brand and co-market. “We need to work together and not compete”, Schultz expressed. Using the Big10 Football Conference as an analogy, he mentioned there were 4 teams in the top 8 of the football rankings that were from the Midwest. “We ought to be winning all the time. The Midwest is a great part of the country.” 
Questions were asked regarding the perception of the City of Chicago.  Schultz responded “The City has a crime problem.  That issue and its perception around the world must be addressed.” He elaborated and said he spent time with the Chicago Police Department Superintendent, Eddie Johnson to learn about the crime issue. “It’s pretty compartmentalized and for the people living in high crime neighborhoods, we must find a solution. That’s the most pressing issue”, explained Schultz. Continuing his presentation, Schultz noted the second biggest issue Chicago faces are the fiscal challenges on both the city and state level. Despite these problems, Schultz reminded the audience that there is a lot to be proud of and that we can celebrate being in the heartbeat of the Midwest…the greatest place in this great country.
Closing his remarks, Schultz explained the motivations behind the creation Intersect Illinois. Intersect Illinois is a 501c3--all privately funded. To date, Schultz indicated they have raised approximately  $6.5 million dollars. “We’re not going to use any public money—it’s not fair to the taxpayers”, Schultz said. Intersect Illinois works very closely with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) on grants and tax incentives.  Under Schultz’s leadership, a structure is now in place for future Governors to use Intersect Illinois as a tool to benefit our state.
CCAC Members networking and enjoing the 2016 Holiday Reception hosted by Bryan Cave LLP
In the News!
"The $100 Million Dream: MacArthur May Fund Better Loop, Obama Library Transit"
Crain's Chicago Business
Lured by a $100 million carrot, a Chicago civic group is ramping up its effort to revive plans for expanded transit service in the bustling and increasingly congested Loop area with a new element: better transit to the Barack Obama library site, too, combined with new investment in housing and jobs on the South Side.
The new proposal comes from the Chicago Central Area Committee, a 60-year-old organization focused on growing and making downtown work better. It's being disclosed now because CCAC is bidding for an innovative $100 million grant that Chicago-based MacArthur Foundation is offering for the best big idea worldwide. Those applications were due early this month, and the foundation is expected to release its short list of finalists soon.
Though CCAC's plan is expansive, even wild in its ambition, it puts together in one spot two obvious concerns: downtown's need for added capacity on Chicago Transit Authority lines from the north and west, which now are near capacity in peak hours, and the South Side's need for both new service and massive redevelopment help.
The catalyst is the Obama library, which would be at the east end of the Hyde Park neighborhood in Jackson Park, roughly between 60th and 63rd streets. Right now, the location has only occasional service nearby on Metra's lakefront Electric Line.
"Chicago today is two cities," says a CCAC video submitted as part of the MacArthur application. "One buzzing with life and attracting the world's best and brightest. . . .The other is in need of investment.”
CLICK HERE to read the full article.
In the News!
"To push Chicago Ahead, Make it Easier to Get Around"
Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago today faces extraordinary challenges. But we’ve been here before.
The Chicago Central Area Committee has been an advocate of long-term strategic planning for more than 60 years. We sponsored the initiative that created Dearborn Park in the South Loop. We believe the time has come for equally bold action now.
The challenge today is to secure Chicago’s future in an era of reduced public resources. We propose spurring private investment through what we would call the Chicago Transit Redevelopment Trust. Last month, we entered this proposal in the MacArthur Foundation’s “100&Change” competition, which will award $100 million to one grantee to solve a significant problem.
The Trust would provide an integrated approach to two quite different sets of problems. They arise from the fact that, as a recent headline in Crain’s Chicago Business put it, “Chicago is flourishing and dying at the same time.”
Continue reading the full article by clicking HERE .
In The News!
"Trump's Infrastructure Plan Could Benefit Chicago-- But We Must Act" 
Crain's Chicago Business
The Chicago Central Area Committee (“CCAC”) and the Alliance for Regional Development (“ARD”) believe that, due to an unusual set of circumstances, President-Elect Donald Trump’s trillion-dollar infrastructure plan offers the Milwaukee-Chicago-Northwest Indiana mega region, the transportation hub for North America, a unique opportunity to grow its transit and commuter rail systems – and in so doing, catalyze large-scale private investment.
What’s more, we think the transit and rail expansion plan proposed by CCAC and described in a recent column in Crain’s Chicago Business by Greg Hinz is ideally suited to take advantage of President-Elect Trump’s plan. But doing so will take a coordinated effort by the region’s leaders. 
CCAC’s proposal calls for a new central area rail line – we call it the Connector – plus transit-oriented development along the Metra Electric commuter line on the South Side. The Crain’s article says the plan embodies “a level of big-think city planning that has almost disappeared in the past couple of decades.”
These transit improvements connect on the south to Indiana’s planned double track project from Gary to Michigan Cityand on the north to Amtrak’s improved Hiawatha service from downtown Chicago to downtown Milwaukee. The map on the preceding page shows these and other related transportation projects. 
The question is how to pay for these improvements. Here we get to the unusual circumstances that make the President-Elect’s plan a possible answer.
CLICK HERE to read the full article.
Next CCAC Meeting:                                       
Tuesday, January 10, 2017 at Forum Studio
Join us at Forum Studio on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 for the next CCAC meeting hosted by Tyler Meyr, Principal, Forum Studio.


Rick Mattoon

Senior Economist and Economic Advisor

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago



Tuesday, January 10, 2017



12:00 -- 1:30 p.m.



Forum Studio

35 East Upper Wacker Drive

Suite 1300 

Chicago, IL 60601 



Tyler Meyr

Forum Studio

Kelly O'Brien at

CCAC wishes our members a Happy Holiday Season!
Thank you for your continued support.
We are looking forward to a great 2017!
(312) 602-5148
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