CCAC eNews
May 2015
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 2015 CCAC Meeting Calendar!
The CCAC 2015 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 Hears from ComEd President & CEO Anne Pramaggiore at May Meeting Hosted by Jenner & Block
Anne Pramaggiore, President & CEO, ComEd
The Chicago Central Area Committee would like to thank Donald Resnick, Partner, Jenner & Block, for hosting CCAC's monthly luncheon on Tuesday, May 12, at Jenner & Block in downtown Chicago. At the meeting, members heard from Anne Pramaggiore, President & CEO, ComEd, regarding ComEd’s innovative efforts to modernize the Chicago region’s grid network, balance supply, enhance reliability, and improve responsiveness and recovery.   
ComEd and the electric industry were both born in the Chicago region in the 1800s. Ms Pramaggiore said that ComEd is defined by the region and takes a keen interest in its economic health. With no ability to expand geographically, ComEd grows only when the region does well. The company does not have a niche market and instead is concerned with serving all neighborhoods equally.
Unfortunately, the legacy distribution system is badly outdated, and many old power plants have been closed due to environmental concerns. As a result, over the past several years ComEd began research and development to begin implementing a clean, lean, resilient, and secure 21st-century "Smart Grid" system based upon modern digital connections with the potential to offer custom service options.
A Smart Grid system balances and conserves resources by allowing voltage tolerances to be tightened in real time, removing excess energy from the grid, and offers the possibility of predictive analytics. Smart Grid will also allow ComEd to potentially shift from volumetric charges to demand charges. Since over 90% of ComEd's costs are fixed, those costs need to be shared equally among all customers, including customers with solar panels who sell their excess energy back to ComEd.  
ComEd is innovating in three areas: the physical grid; the communications network; and the social network. The company is currently in year four of a seven year, $2.6 billion program to replace underground cable, install smart switches and LED streetlights, and refurbish manholes and poles. In addition, an engineering study in collaboration with the Department of Homeland Security is underway for a Superconductor technology project that would link substations in the Chicago Loop, increasing reliability. 
ComEd is also looking to pilot microgrid technologies, including utilizing a Department of Energy grant to create the world's first Multiple Microgrid Controller, to increase reliability at critical infrastructure locations. Further, ComEd has received FAA approval to use "unmanned aircraft systems" to investigate the grid from above after security or weather events. 
On the communications side, Smart Meters are in the process of being installed region-wide that will allow remote meter reading and inform ComEd about outages in real time.  As for the social network, ComEd helps customers better understand their electric usage in the context of their neighbors by offering a home energy report. The company has also developed and is piloting an app that can alert customers about their home electric usage down to the level of individual appliances. 
The growing presence of solar and wind power pose an industry challenge since both sources are intermittent and excess power cannot be easily stored for later use. Pramaggiore called storage the power industry's "Holy Grail." ComEd partner S&C Electric is developing a battery-based "community energy system" for small-scale use during outages, and Argonne is working with a $150 million Department of Energy grant to develop a scalable electric car-charging system. A UI Labs Smart Cities project may also help identify ways to better manage the system and develop additional retail markets, revenue streams, and uses for the new digital grid.
Hardening electric grid security is also a key issue. ComEd will spend $100 million over the next three to four years to implement multiple tiers of security at substations to defend against both physical and cyberterror attacks, and the company is connected with all major security and intelligence agencies.
Finally, all states must abide by a 2014 EPA rule to reduce their carbon footprints 30% by 2030, with proposed plans to be announced by 2016. In Illinois, the response will likely include taking older power plants offline, increasing reliance on existing nuclear generation, and potentially developing a regional carbon trading market. ComEd expects to embody its response to the 2014 rule with its continuing effort to become the "Utility of the Future" for the Chicago region.
CCAC members greatly enjoyed learning about ComEd’s innovative efforts to modernize the Chicago region’s grid network. CCAC looks forward with ComEd to the potential scaling of Smart Grid-related technology to develop new applications and forge new markets to benefit Chicago and the region.
Central Area Connector White Paper Update for May
Greg Van Schaack, Senior Managing Director, Hines
Steven Fifield, Chairman and CEO, Fifield Companies
Greg Van Schaack, Senior Managing Director, Hines, and The Irvine Company hosted a meeting of leading developers on Tuesday, May 5, to discuss the Central Area Connector project along with CCAC Vision Task Force chair Steven Fifield, Chairman and CEO, Fifield Companies. The meeting included presentations by Steve Schlickman, Executive Director, UIC Transportation Center, and CCAC transportation consultant Ed Zotti.
CCAC in partnership with the UIC Urban Transportation Center secured federal funding and private sponsorships and engaged a planning consultant to move forward a White Paper examining mode, route, and funding possibilities for the proposed Connector, a new transit line of an as-yet undetermined mode to improve travel within and access to the Central Area. The project would connect the West Loop with North Michigan Avenue and potentially other areas including Museum Campus, the south Loop, and the Goose Island “Research Triangle”, making connections with Metra at Union and Ogilvie Stations, and the CTA Brown, Purple, and Red lines.
The Connector is based upon the never-built Circulator proposal from the 1990s, and is needed because ‘L’ ridership from the north will reach capacity in the next 10 to 15 years, at the same time that central-area development and demographic inversion brings thousands of new residents and jobs to downtown Chicago and immediately adjacent areas. Study corridors currently are under examination that encompass the Loop, the West Loop, the South Loop, Museum Campus, River North, Streeterville, and the Clybourn corridor, in a study area that stretches from Ashland Avenue east to Lake Michigan, and from North Avenue south to the Stevenson Expressway. The outcome of the White Paper research will help determine the project’s initial alignment and mode (either light rail or Bus Rapid Transit—BRT).
Identifying a core initial system, or Minimum Operable Segment (M.O.S.) in federal terms, is required in order to access federal New Starts dollars for construction. The Connector’s M.O.S. could extend from Union Station north to Kinzie/Lower Carroll, then east to North Michigan Avenue. A Museum Campus connection could also satisfy future priorities for improving access to the incoming Lucas Museum and may help solidify support in seeking federal funding.
Steve Schlickman, Executive Director, UIC Urban Transportation Center
Ed Zotti, Transportation Consultant
In order to ensure the Connector White Paper remains aligned with existing priorities and builds support, CCAC has convened a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) comprised of key stakeholder agencies. Additional committees include a Steering Committee, chaired by Greg Hummel (Bryan Cave), a Communications and I.T. Committee, chaired by Andrew Moddrell (PORT Urbanism), a Planning and Design Committee, chaired by Avi Lothan (LVD Architecture), a Routes and Technologies Committee, chaired by Mark Walbrun (Hatch Mott MacDonald), and a Vision Task Force, chaired by Steven Fifield (Fifield Companies) and Greg Van Schaack (Hines.)
All in attendance applauded the Connector vision and expressed support for the project, many noting that Chicago is years behind other world cities in terms of investment in public transportation and that this lack of modern transit infrastructure makes it difficult to attract tenants and is a significant liability in terms of Chicago’s global economic competitiveness.
The CCAC would like to thank the following organizations which each have committed resources to the White Paper: Active Transportation Alliance; Bryan Cave; Chicago Loop Alliance; East Bank Club; Fifield Companies; Friedman Properties; Greater South Loop Association; The Habitat Company; Hines; The Irvine Company; LVD Architecture; Magnificent Mile Association; McCaffery Interests; Merchandise Mart Properties; Northwestern Memorial Hospital; O'Donnell Investment Company; PORT Architecture; SB Friedman Development Advisors; Skidmore Owings & Merrill; Solomon, Cordwell, Buenz; Streeterville Organization of Active Residents (SOAR); The John Buck Company; and others.
Next Meeting:
  • A Connector Steering Committee meeting is scheduled for Thursday, May 28, from 4 to 6 p.m. at Bryan Cave, 161 North Clark Street, in Chicago.
For more information, please contact Executive Director Kelly O’Brien at or 312.602.5148.
CCAC to Hold Evening Reception for Young Leaders on June 23 at Forum Studio with Special Guests Zoe Ryan and Ty Tabing
Zoe Ryan, Chair and John H. Bryan Curator of Architecture and Design, Art Institute of Chicago
Ty Tabing, Executive Director, Chicago Architecture Biennial
CCAC will hold a special evening reception for Chicago business community young leaders on Tuesday, June 23, from 5:30 to 9 p.m., at Forum Studio, 35 East Wacker Drive, in downtown Chicago to celebrate the upcoming inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial.
NOTE: CCAC members are encouraged to provide staff with three names of Chicago young professionals who should be added to the invitation list! Please send your names to
Attendees at this exclusive event will hear honored guests Zoe Ryan, Chair and John H. Bryan Curator of Architecture and Design, Art Institute of Chicago, and Ty Tabing, Executive Director, Chicago Architecture Biennial, discuss Chicago’s global impact on world-class architecture, meet and greet with other Chicago-based young professionals including CCAC host-committee members Andrew Moddrell, Managing Director, PORT Urbanism, Tyler Meyr, Associate Principal, Forum Studio, and Will Press, Analyst—Capital Markets Group, The John Buck Company, and enjoy complimentary hors d'oeuvres and refreshments.
Individuals who choose to join CCAC at this special event will be eligible for a drawing to receive VIP tickets to the Chicago Architecture Biennial opening reception in October.
An email invitation will be sent by the host committee to select young leaders. You may also RSVP via email to Please include your name, title, and organizational affiliation in your RSVP. 
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact CCAC Executive Director Kelly O’Brien at 312-602-5148 or
Next CCAC Meeting: Tuesday, June 9, at Chicago Yacht Club, with Guest Speaker Howard Tullman

Join us at the Chicago Yacht Club at Monroe Station on Tuesday, June 9, for the next CCAC lunch meeting, hosted by Adair Schwartz, President, Power Realty Partners, with guest speaker Howard Tullman, CEO, 1871.
TOPIC: "You Don't Want to Be At The Airport When Your Ship Comes In"
A rapid fire review of the six major trends at the intersection of social media and technology which are radically changing the ground rules and the ways in which every business will reach and engage its customer from now on.
Please Note: As per the Executive Committee, CCAC lunch meetings are limited to paid members, their guests, and specially invited individuals only. To inquire about CCAC membership, please contact Kelly O'Brien at

Howard Tullman


Tuesday, June 9, 2015



Noon—1:30 p.m.



Chicago Yacht Club at Monroe Station
400 East Monroe Street
Chicago, IL (map)



Adair Schwartz
Power Realty Partners

RSVP TODAY for CCAC Members Strategy Retreat Retreat on Friday, June 12, at Microsoft in Downtown Chicago
The Chicago Central Area Committee (CCAC) will host a half-day strategy retreat for members to discuss potential next steps and projects for the organization moving into the future on Friday, June 12, at the offices of Microsoft in downtown Chicago. Members will participate in brainstorming, breakouts, and discussion around key topics, including Where We Stand Now, Growing Our Base, and Widening Our Influence. Light morning refreshment and lunch will be provided. 
Members have received a calendar invitation via email. If you did not receive your invitation, or for additional information, please contact Executive Director Kelly O'Brien at
Supply Chain Innovation Network of Chicago to Hold Off-Peak Delivery Seminary & Reception June 3 at University Club of Chicago
The Supply Chain Innovation Network of Chicago (SINC) will hold an Off-Peak Delivery Seminary & Reception on Wednesday, June 3, from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., at the University Club of Chicago, 76 East Monroe Street, in downtown Chicago.
Jim LaBelle, Senior Research Specialist, and Sheena Frève, Research Transportation Planner/Analyst, UIC Urban Transportation Center, will discuss Off-Peak Delivery (OPD), a type of traffic demand management that incentivizes businesses to accept deliveries during times of lessened congestion. The benefits of OPD range from increased productivity for carriers to better reliability for receivers, improved air quality, faster travel times and reduced cost of goods. A successful OPD pilot program will balance the benefits and costs for all stakeholders. To RSVP or for more information, contact Adam Lomasney at or 248.495.7875.
SINC is Chicago’s first supply chain leadership council, seeking to improve the efficient movement of goods to stimulate regional economic and business growth through improving infrastructure, developing people, advancing technology, and attracting capital. For more information, visit
(312) 602-5148
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