CCAC eNews
October 2019
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 2019 Meeting Calendar (PDF)!
The CCAC 2019 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.)

Download the CCAC 2019 Meeting Calendar (PDF)
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One Central Developer Proves Case for Making No Small Plans

CCAC would like to thank Thomas McElroy, Principal & CEO of Level-1 Global Solutions, for hosting the membership at the October meeting at Mastro’s in downtown Chicago.  During his introductory remarks McElroy reminded the membership that Chicago needs to determine if it will either continue to grow or start to shrink, and the development community plays an important role in that decision.  He then introduced Bob Dunn, President and Managing Partner of Landmark Development, which has proposed the large-scale One Central development just west of Solider Field. 
Thomas McElroy, Principal & CEO, Level-1 Global Solutions; Kelly O'Brien, Executive Director, CCAC, and Bob Dunn, President & Managing Director, Landmark Development
Dunn encouraged the audience to embrace big development projects by showing two aerial photos of the downtown area from 1980 and 2010, and pointed out that this monumental change took place in just 30 years, absorbing considerably more land area than all of the large development currently planned in the Central Area.  Dunn said, “The success of any city in the future will be defined by its ability to support and accommodate growth.   Whether it is measured by transit, neighborhoods, fiscal, resident base, or employment base.  The pace of growth in our cities is approaching a pace we’ve not seen in our lifetime.”  He added, “Based on the data we use, Chicago is the most well positioned city to capitalize on this opportunity for the future.  This is the mindsight that interested us for this project.” 
In making his case for embracing large-scale development, Dunn showed the difference in Chicago's downtown between 1980 and 2010.
Dunn explained that the air rights above much of the formerly known Central Station planned development project are still available for use.  Acknowledging that moving the Metra railyard is unpractical, Landmark is looking to provide a much-needed improvement to the railyard, and then build a cap over the railroad tracks, similar to the way McCormick Place and Millennium Park were constructed, which would allow for development upwards.

To finance this large-scale effort, Landmark looked to a financing tool with the State of Illinois, and chose to pursue this opportunity first with the legislature, because without it, entering into a planning discussion with the local community would be unnecessary.  This financing tool is for the State to buy-back the public infrastructure on the site built by Landmark Development using a small portion of the new tax revenue that the State receives from the project.   Dunn explained, “It is a tool that gives the State a massive economic lift over time, but gives the burden of financing the asset to Landmark at the onset.  The State’s contribution only comes into play after the asset has been built, and its value to the State has been proven.”  Dunn explained that his approach is something used in other Landmark Development projects, and that experience was a powerful argument to policy makers. 

According to Dunn, the complexity of the site is also its biggest asset.  The close proximity to several civic institutions, downtown, and the lakefront, creates a “point of presence” for anyone visiting One Central.  However, all those institutions are missing a transportation linkage that One Central can finally provide with a transit hub.    Dunn explained that the opportunity to connect all the modes of transportation is because “in the early days of Chicago, all transit for the central U.S. came to this site, and most of that infrastructure backbone still exists.”  According to Dunn, a feasibility study is expected to be finalized and released soon that can be shared with the community and the transit agencies.  “This will improve transit for the entire City,” said Dunn.
Renderings of the proposed One Central, although no decisions have been made on tower specifics.
Before ending his remarks, Dunn commented on Landmark Development’s unique experience in developing high-profile projects by commenting on the shift in risk from the public sector to the private developer.  He said, “Since the economy went down, we have seen a more receptive viewpoint among public sector partners towards the notion of how measureable fiscal gains generate a return to the public sector without the burden of a new tax.  That is a common theme we have been able to use in other projects that has been able to carry the day.”

Dunn closed his remarks by joking about living in Wisconsin and his experience building Lambeau Field by saying, “I take a lot of heat for being a Packer fan, but that isn’t true.  We built the other three stadiums in the north division, and our renderings for One Central include some tie-ins with Solider Field, as well.”
Next CCAC Meeting SOLD OUT:
Tuesday, November 12, 2019 at 
For those that have already RSVP'd, join us at the Lamar Johnson Collaborative on Tuesday, November 12, 2019 for the November CCAC Luncheon hosted by Tyler Meyr, Managing Director, The Lamar Johnson Collaborative.  The guest speaker will be Bob Clark, Chairman and CEO of Clayco, who will provide his assessment of the Chicago real estate and construction market. He will highlight his commitment and investment in the city and the impact he is making in this market. Bob will explain how he is bringing best practices from projects around North America back to our city as well as hiring world-class talent.
Following Bob’s presentation, just before Q&A, he will introduce three new members of Clayco’s leadership team: Lori Healey, President at Clayco; David Reifman, Senior Vice President at CRG; and Lamar Johnson, CEO of Lamar Johnson Collaborative, all of whom are recognized leaders in Chicago.
Clayco is a full-service, turnkey real estate development, master planning, architecture, engineering and construction firm that delivers clients across North America with the highest quality solutions on time, on budget, and above and beyond expectations. With $2.6 billion in revenue last year, Clayco specializes in the "art and science of building," providing fast-track, efficient solutions for industrial, commercial, institutional and residential related building projects.
CCAC November Meeting 
Bob Clark, Chairman and CEO of Clayco
Tyler Meyr, Managing Director

The Lamar Johnson Collaborative 
Tuesday, November 12, 2019
12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
The Lamar Johnson Collaborative

35 E Wacker Drive

Suite 1300

Chicago, IL 60601
Kelly O'Brien at  
Journey to Dubai for World Expo 
January 27 - February 2, 2021
Sign Up Now
During the February CCAC meeting, it was announced that a CCAC delegation would be traveling to Dubai in 2021 to attend the World Expo, and experience Dubai and its many highlights stemming from this global event.  The delegation will attend from January 27 to February 2, 2021 (yes, 2021).  CCAC member Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture was selected to design the Al Wasl Plaza for the World Expo in Dubai and is organizing this special opportunity for our members and their guests.

A preliminary agenda and expected costs can be found by clicking this link. 
Spots are limited, add your name to the confirmed list by emailing
Central City Strategy for All of Chicago Update
Since the release of CCAC's Central City Strategy in May, CCAC leadership has been briefing elected officials and opinion leaders on ways that success in the City's core can leverage success in the City's neighborhoods.  CCAC members are invited to share the briefing documents with their network, and contact Kelly O'Brien at if you would like to schedule a detailed briefing.
City of Chicago Looking for Task Force and Working Group Participants to study Affordable Housing 
The CHicago Department of Housing is now accepting applications for its ARO Task Force and Focus Groups.

All Chicago residents, civic organizations, community advocates, unions, and housing developers are invited to apply. The application can be downloaded here.Please submit your answers to
Please return your application by 5 p.m. Monday, October 28, 2019. Selected members will be announced in early November.  More information about the ARO Task Force can be found here.
"Managing the Great Lakes" to be held at Jenner & Block on October 29
Jenner and Block and ELI cordially invites CCAC Members to attend a seminar titled “Managing the Great Lakes” on October 29, 2019 from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Jenner and Block’s office (353 N. Clark Street) in Chicago and by webinar.
The seminar includes two panel presentations moderated by Jenner & Block Partners Gay Sigel and Steve Siros.
The first presentation focuses on the Great Lakes Compact and water rights in the Great Lakes Basin. Panel participants include Cameron Davis (former Great Lakes Czar) and Victoria Pebbles (Program Director for the Great Lakes Commission).
The second presentation focuses on managing algae blooms in the Great Lakes. Panel participants include Todd Nettesheim (Deputy Director of EPA’s Great Lakes National Program) and Todd Brennan (Senior Policy Manager for Alliance for the Great Lakes).
A reception sponsored by Exponent and Brown and Caldwell will immediately follow the seminar.
The Burnham Council Update
Leadership Elections
The Burnham Council is convening on Thursday, November 7 for leadership elections from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the offices of Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner at 161 N. Clark St., #4300.  The offices are President, Vice President for Internal Affairs, Vice President for External Affairs, Vice President for Programming, and Vice President for Membership.    
CCAC Issues in the News
The CHICAGO SUN TIMES is running a series of guest columns written by Ed Zotti, CCAC Consultant, that directly speaks to strengthenig the City's competitive edge.  In his October 4th column Zotti discusses the loss of black middle class workers in Chicago. 
This column perfectly shows the need for policy makers to embrace the CCAC Central City Strategy for All Chicago plan to provide more employment opportunities to minorities. 
Below are some highlights from the column.
"Chicago is Losing its Black Middle Class.  Can it Get it Back?"
"Those leaving are largely families with children, census numbers suggest. Black population losses in the city are almost entirely confined to two age ranges — 35 to 54 and 19 and under. The decline in the number of school-age children already has led to one round of school closings, mostly on the West Side and South Side. Another seems unavoidable."
“'Then, the nation was hit with the recession and foreclosure crisis, opening up many more bank-owned properties for vouchers. That one-two punch hit South and West Side neighborhoods really hard,' [Pete Saunders, an African American urban planner with a master’s from the University of Illinois at Chicago] says, with rising crime and poverty destabilizing once-solid communities."
Yet there are signs of a turnaround. As with the city as a whole, college graduates are the key. Between 2010 and 2017, Saunders points out, the number of black college grads in the city rose by more than 14,000 — at a time when Chicago’s total black population was dropping by close to 100,000."
Burnham Council Leadership Elections
The Burnham Council is convening on Thursday, November 7 for leadership elections from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the offices of Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner at 161 N. Clark St., #4300.  The offices are President, Vice President for Internal Affairs, Vice President for External Affairs, Vice President for Programming, and Vice President for Membership.    
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