CCAC eNews
April 2014
CCAC Calendar
Download the CCAC calendar to learn the dates and locations for CCAC meetings through 2014.  Remaining hosting organizations this year include Cushman & Wakefield, DePaul University, The Field Museum, US Army Corps of Engineers, University of Illinois at Chicago, Sidley Austin LLP, and Bryan Cave LLP. 
Download Calendar (PDF)
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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
Members Review 2009 Central Area Action Plan at April Meeting
(Left to right:) Jon DeVries, Lori Healey, Robert McKenna.
On April 8, members were led through an informative review of the 2009 Central Area Action Plan by Lori Healey, CEO, Tur Partners LLC,Jon DeVries, Director, Roosevelt University Marshall Bennett Institute of Real Estate, and Robert McKenna, Assistant Commissioner, Chicago Department of Planning & Development. The meeting was hosted by Donald Resnick, Partner, Jenner & Block at the firm's 353 North Dearborn Street office.
Healey noted that the Central Area Action Plan was created during the time of Chicago’s mid-2000s Olympic bid, and demonstrated that Chicago doesn’t just create plans, we create action plans.
DeVries led members through a Powerpoint presentation summarizing Chicago’s major Central Area planning efforts since the time of the CCAC’s founding in 1956. CCAC had an involvement in all such efforts, including the 2003 Central Area Plan, which concluded that a lack of intra-city transit capacity was the main limiting factor to Central Area development. The subsequent Central Area Action Plan represented the implementation phase, and made key recommendations in the areas of Economic Development and Land Use, Transportation, and Urban Design and Waterfront. However, the implementation phase stalled due to economic and political factors.
McKenna reviewed several major planning projects that did manage to move forward, including the rebuilding of Wacker Drive, Congress Parkway, and the Wells Street Bridge, the completion of Ping Tom Park in Chinatown, the renovation of CTA stations in the Central Area and the building of new stations, and the roll-out of the Divvy bike system, as well as in-progress plans such as the Loop BRT project, the “Elevate Chicago” expansion of McCormick Place, the westward extension of the Chicago Riverwalk, the Navy Pier Lakefront Trail flyover, the Wells-Wentworth connector/Wentworth Avenue realignment in Chinatown, and Union Station intermodal upgrades.
The meeting ended with a discussion of potential projects for the CCAC to consider supporting. Chief among these were the possibility for CCAC to assist the Department of Planning and Development in updating demographic figures for the Central Area planning sector (in conjunction with the Chicago Community Trust), and the potential endorsement of a newly launched effort by the Center for Neighborhood Technology, the Active Transportation Alliance, and Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle to create a dedicated revenue stream for transportation improvement projects.
Developers Panel Confirmed for May 13 CCAC Meeting
On May 13, join us for a lunch panel discussion on commercial, residential, and retail development trends and challenges in the Central Area with:
  • John Bucksbaum, Founder, Bucksbaum Retail Properties LLC;
  • Patrick Kearney, Managing Director & Regional Director--Chicago, Tishman Speyer; and
  • Daniel Levin, Founder and Chairman, The Habitat Company.
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Noon to 1:30 p.m.
Cushman and Wakefield
200 South Wacke Drive, Suite 2800 (map)
Adair Schwartz
Director of Strategic & Retail Solutions
Cushman and Wakefield
RSVP to Michael Benami Doyle at mdoyle@ccac,org
City of Gary Asks CCAC to Help Organize Airport Planning Charrette
On April 3, CCAC received a letter from Gary, Indiana, Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson formally requesting assistance in organizing a daylong planning charrette focusing on the Gary/Chicago International Airport public-private redevelopment area. Allthough Gary is beyond the Central Area, Mayor Freeman-Wilson noted in her letter how impressed she was with the work CCAC provided to the Illinois Medical District Commission at last year’s IMD planning charrette. Recently, CCAC Executive Director Kelly O’Brien met with Steve Forrer, Executive Vice President of AFCO/AVPORTS, the City of Gary’s real estate development partner, to move the request forward. Such regional requests raise the standing of the organization, and all members are encouraged to participate. If you would like be part of the Gary Airport planning charrette, please contact Kelly O'Brien at (312) 602-5148 or
Transportation Workshop Planned for July 
A transportation workshop to examine ways to improve access to the Central Area is currently under development for a date to be determined in July independent of the regular monthly CCAC meeting. The workshop will include high-level leaders and experts in all aspects of transportation, with the aim to inform members about Central Area transportation opportunities and challenges, and to identifiy issues and projects on which the CCAC may wish to focus. Additional information will be provided in the coming weeks. 
Your Participation Strengthens Our Impact
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. 
Staff Completes Inventory of CCAC Records
Staff has completed an inventory of CCAC records going back to the organization's founding in 1956. The records are currently stored in more than two dozen storage boxes at the offices of Bryan Cave, our office space sponsor. They include almost six decades of minutes, reports, newsletters, news clips, and slides chronicling the history of CCAC and the Central Area. The most important of these items will be archived by DePaul University in the coming months. If you would like to make an appointment to review or access the records, please contact Kelly O'Brien at (312) 602-5148 or
(312) 602-5148
161 North Clark Street, Suite 4300 | Chicago, IL 60601 US
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