City should protect industrial firms near casino

By
North Branch Works
May 5, 2022

Today, the City of Chicago officially selected Bally’s Corporation’s proposal to build a casino at the former Chicago Tribune facility at Chicago Avenue and Halsted Street.

During Mayor Lightfoot’s press conference (pictured), she stressed the importance of working with the local manufacturing and industrial firms to ensure area supports all uses.

North Branch Works has called on the administration and City Council to commit to protecting and supporting existing employers. We are forming partnerships with all stakeholders to minimize disruption to area businesses and secure needed infrastructure improvements which foster continued growth.

Some of the protective measures we’d like the city to consider include freezing property tax assessments, enacting a moratorium on nuisance complaints, and committing to improving and maintaining public infrastructure such as the replacement of the Chicago Avenue and Division Street Bridges.

We’d also like to see increased public transportation options in the area such as the CTA's #8 Halsted Street and #66 Chicago Avenue Buses providing twenty-four-hour service.

Our letter to Ald. Tunney and Ald. Ervin, Co-Chairs of the Special Committee on the Chicago Casino makes these points and others.

Companies operating near the casino site include WaterSaver Faucets, Guardian Systems, Prairie Materials, Bigane Paving, Ogden Avenue Materials, mHUB, MxD, Waste Management, and the forthcoming Pilot Plant at Mars Wrigley.

These businesses have provided high-quality, family sustaining employment opportunities for thousands of Chicagoans.

Along with protective measures for employers, North Branch Works supports an amendment to PD 1426 that eliminates residential uses in the area. With the casino and hotel and other developments coming to the area, the elimination of additional residential usage is crucial for its future viability.

North Branch Works has closely monitored this casino proposal including meeting with all of the stakeholders in the area, attending the public forum on April 6th, and organizing a meeting for our industrial business members with senior representatives of Bally’s Corporation in early April.

We would like to thank Bally’s Corporation for meeting with us several times and taking input from our businesses.

North Branch Works is confident that we will be able to work in partnership with all stakeholders to ensure the project succeeds and minimizes its impacts on the surrounding neighborhoods and industrial firms.

With questions and comments, please contact Steve Simmons at 773-929-5552 x2226 or steve@northbranchworks.org.

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