46th Ward Economic Plan

Before Ald. Cappleman was halfway through his first term in office, he was able to secure two pivotal developments that will later prove to be the tipping point for creating a very strong economy for the Ward:

• $203 million to rebuild the Wilson L Station.

• An entertainment district that will foster economic growth in the area surrounding the Riviera Theatre, the Aragon Ballroom, and the Uptown Theatre.

These events have captured the interest of developers who are now expressing a desire to bring in more businesses and housing into the area. Marketing the Ward In order to make sound development decisions and to take advantage of the growing interest for new development opportunities in the Ward, there must be some guiding principles to foster sound growth.

New development should do the following:

• Promote a family-friendly experience in the residential sections of the 46th Ward

• Improve and promote public safety standards

• Adhere to the City of Chicago Sustainable Development Standards

• Vetted through the appropriate community process The area chambers of commerce and the Alderman are working together to make it known that the 46th Ward is “Open for Business.”

This active collaboration should attract potential new business development by:

• Making infrastructure improvements that would encourage more economic development

• Utilizing and expanding upon community development guidelines to ensure new development that is valuable and consistent with Ward goals, which includes prioritizing in the following areas:

1. Development along existing commercial corridors

2. Development that respects the Ward’s unique architectural and historic offerings

3. Development that supports designated “sub-district” uses, such as the Entertainment District

4. Consideration of investment in market analysis and community planning to further serve as tools for business attraction and development.

• Assisting in the identification of viable business to move in to the Ward and locations for them

• Identifying tax credits and other funding to help both new and existing businesses

• Navigating the process of zoning, permitting and licensing for new and existing businesses

• Highlighting attractive features of the ward to potential new businesses, i.e., ethnic and economic diversity, active and engaged citizens and community groups, excellent public transportation options and an ideal location near the lakefront with easy access to the Loop

• Focusing on family-friendly development initiatives, such as adding larger units to our housing stock and improving neighborhood schools • Promoting the 46th Ward as a destination by highlighting our entertainment options, beautiful lakefront and public spaces, historic architecture and rich history

• Making the 46th Ward a model for sustainability and environmental stewardship

• Making the 46th Ward pedestrian and bicycle friendly in targeted retail corridors

• Focusing on streetscaping and maintenance efforts that will promote foot traffic in targeted retail corridors

Economic Development Tools Available

There are many economic development tools that are available for businesses, community organizations and government. Below is a list of some of these programs. New or existing businesses that are interested in taking advantage of these programs or getting more information about these or other programs should contact Alderman Cappleman’s office or the local Chamber of Commerce.

• Entrepreneurship training, business workshops and assistance with City permitting processes provided by chambers of commerce and community development corporations

• Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) funds available in many sections of the 46th Ward for large projects through redevelopment agreements

• Small Business Improvement Funds (SBIF) available for reimbursement of expenditures on permanent improvements by small business owners or small property owners in most TIF districts

• New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC) available for projects in many sections of the Ward, especially in partnership with NMTC facilitating agencies such as the City of Chicago

• Tax credits are available in Historic Districts throughout the 46th Ward

• Aldermanic “menu” funds ($1.32 million) used for infrastructure improvements that will encourage retail growth, i.e. capital budget expenditures on items that will last a year or more (sidewalk repair, street & alley repaving, street & alley lights, and security enhancements)

• Occasional City façade rebate programs available for businesses not located in TIF Districts

• A potential for significant city investment in Uptown as one of three Neighborhood Entertainment Districts, as mentioned by Mayor Emanuel in his transition plan • Collaboration with “Local First” Chicago to promote locally owned businesses

• Listings of available retail spaces made available through Alderman Cappleman’s office or through the area chambers of commerce

• Special Service Area (SSA) Program, local tax districts that fund expanded services and programs through a localized property tax levy within contiguous areas (used for public way maintenance & beautification, district marketing & advertising, business retention/attraction, special events & promotional activities, auto and bike transit, security, façade improvements, Clean Slate Program, and other commercial and economic development initiatives

To see the rest of the plan, please download the document here.