CCAC eNews
June 2014
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CCAC Calendar
Download the CCAC calendar to learn the dates and locations for CCAC meetings through 2014.  Remaining hosting organizations this year include Perkins+Will, US Army Corps of Engineers, University of Illinois at Chicago, Sidley Austin LLP, and Bryan Cave LLP. 
Download the Revised Calendar (PDF)
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
DePaul Treasurer Jeff Bethke Discusses the University's Beneficial Impact on Chicago Neighborhoods at June 10 CCAC Lunch
The CCAC would like to thank DePaul University's Jeff Bethke, Treasurer, and Fran Casey, Community Affairs Director, for hosting the June 10 CCAC lunch meeting at University Center Chicago in the South Loop. Members enjoyed a detailed presentation by Bethke on DePaul’s century-long beneficial impact on Chicago neighborhoods, “The Urban University as a Catalyst for Economic Growth & Community Development.”
Founded in 1898 in Lincoln Park by the Congregation of the Mission (Vincentian) religious community, which follows the teachings of 17th century French priest St. Vincent de Paul, the university grew to become the largest Catholic university in the United States. Instrumental in its growth was a decision to remain in Lincoln Park in 1953 at a time when city leaders considered labeling the neighborhood for slum clearance. DePaul’s continued presence in the neighborhood served as a longstanding social and economic anchor. Today the Lincoln Park campus includes 48 buildings across 36 acres and is home to 3,000 on-campus residents.
The university’s presence in the South Loop includes an additional 8 buildings and 1.6 million square feet of space, and accounts for 14,000 of DePaul’s approximately 24,000 current students. On-campus housing downtown is concentrated at University Center, a major dormitory development shared by DePaul, Roosevelt University, and Columbia College to which DePaul has the rights to forty-percent of the beds.
The university considers itself well-situated in terms of academic and dormitory space and is not looking to expand or make acquisitions, beyond projects currently underway. In order to provide a better venue for its Big East basketball franchise, DePaul partnered with the City of Chicago to develop a major new arena adjacent to the McCormick Place convention center at Cermak Road and Indiana Avenue. The arena project benefited the city by helping it reach its goal of a 4,000-seat arena at McCormick Place and development on Cermak and in the Motor Row area. The arena will include no additional parking, and will be a direct ride from DePaul’s Lincoln Park campus via the Red Line. McPier will also build a major Headquarters hotel adjacent to the arena.
Designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli, the arena is designed to sit gently in the Prairie Avenue district area, with the court situated partially below grade and glass curtain walls allowing views of the arena scoreboard and lobby area from outside. In addition to basketball, the arena is also planned to house convocations, commencements, graduations, and concerts, with a projected concert seating total of 12,500. Construction will begin in the first quarter of 2015 with an expected opening for the 2016-2017 season.
CDOT Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld to Discuss Loop BRT Project at July 8 CCAC Meeting
Chicago Commissioner of Transportation Rebekah Scheinfeld will discuss the Loop Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Project at the July 8 CCAC meeting. The project will begin construction this summer, and will include dedicated bus lanes and BRT stations on Washington and Madison streets in the Chicago Loop, as well as a new intermodal facility adjacent to Union Station. 
PLEASE NOTE: The host and venue for the July 8 meeting has changed! See below for details and to RSVP.


Tuesday, July 8, 2014



Noon—1:30 p.m.



AMA Conference Center
330 North Wabash Avenue
Chicago, IL (map)



Gina Berndt
Managing Director

Gary Airport Charrette a Success with Assistance from CCAC and Alliance for Regional Development
On Friday, June 13 leaders organized by CCAC and the Alliance for Regional Development participated in a special planning charrette focusing on the Gary/Chicago International Airport and undeveloped land in the surrounding area.
In response to a special invitation from Gary, Indiana, Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson, CCAC Executive Director Kelly O’Brien worked closely with Gary Mayoral Advisor Bo Kemp and Steve Forrer, Executive Vice President of AFCO/AVPORTS, the City of Gary’s real estate development partner, to coordinate the participation by CCAC and the Alliance. 
The breakout teams focused on topics including airport development, off-airport development, transportation, and sustainability.  Final presentations by the charette working teams before a distinguished panel of local elected officials as well as community stakeholders and members of the public were a great success, and will be helpful to all partners as redevelopment efforts move forward.
CCAC would especially like to thank for their participation Erik Andersen and Tyler Meyr (Forum Studio), Luke Leung and Jason Stanley (Skidmore, Owings and Merrill), Chuck McCoy (LendLease), Tom Siwula (C&S Companies), and Steve Wilson (urban designer/architect). These participants will provide an overview at an upcoming CCAC lunch and a final report of the CCAC's efforts in support of the charrette will be produced this summer.
CCAC to Host Major Central Area Transportation Workshop on Wednesday, July 16 
Planning is well underway for CCAC's invitation-only Central Area Transportation Workshop on  Wednesday, July 16 at the offices of Magellan Development in downtown Chicago. The event will bring together government, nonprofit, and institutional leaders to discuss ways to improve access to downtown, and is the first in a planned series of CCAC workshops based upon the chapter-by-chapter recommendations of the 2009 Central Area Action Plan.
Key elements of Chicago’s rapid transit system have reached capacity and expansion is essential if the city is to continue to grow and prosper. The goal of the Transportation Workshop is to examine and build consensus around potential projects identified in the Central Area Action Plan and review the proposed “Central Area Connector,” an outgrowth of the 1990s Circulator.
The agenda begins with three morning panels with public, nonprofit, and institutional leaders. Some confirmed participants include: MarySue Barrett, President, Metropolitan Planning Council; Michelle Boone, Commissioner, Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events; Richard Lariviere, President and CEO, The Field Museum; and John Yonan, P.E., Director, Cook County Department of Transportation and Highways.
The panels will be followed by an afternoon planning charrette with CCAC members and leaders from the development community to determine if there is consensus on prioritizing transportation initiatives. Leaders and stakeholders will be welcomed back for a 4:00 p.m. final presentation to by the working team.
CCAC appreciates the leadership of Douglas Voigt, Director of Urban Design and Planning, Skidmore Owings and Merrill, Avi Lothan, Founding Principal and Design Director, Lothan Van Hook DeStefano Architecture, Jon DeVries, Director-Marshall Bennett Institute of Real Eastate, Roosevelt University, Ed Zotti, Urban Planning/Transit Consultant, and Greg Van Schaack, Senior Managing Director, Hines, ensuring this workshop will be a success.
If you are interested in serving on the planning charrette working team, please email Kelly O'Brien at
Thank You to Our Continuing Members!
Thank you to CCAC members who have sent their 2014 dues checks. Our impact on critical Chicago planning decisions is strengthened by the active engagement of all of our members. If you haven't yet sent in your  2014 dues, we ask that you do so as soon as possible.
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