A revised planned development (PD) for the permanent casino at Chicago Avenue and Halsted Street will be reviewed by the Chicago Plan Commission on Dec. 12th.
We are pleased that Bally’s Corporation has agreed to reduce the maximum buildable area from 8.47 million to 6.65 million square feet. At the same time, the revised PD allows the company to add up to 4,799 residential units.
North Branch Works is concerned about the possibility of adding a high volume of residential units to an area where industrial businesses such as WaterSaver Faucet Company and Prairie Material have a long history.
A significant amount of residential development (over 10,000 units) is already coming to our service area. We'd also like to point out that luxury housing in the City of Chicago has a high vacancy rate.
North Branch Works’ letter to the Chicago Plan Commission highlights these and other key points.
Industrial businesses add great value to the City of Chicago by employing residents from all neighborhoods in high-quality, head-of-household jobs. These jobs are the foundation of equitable neighborhoods.
It’s important to keep this in mind as residential and retail development continue to put pressure on our industrial businesses.
In fact, we’d like to see the city take two important steps to protect industrial businesses near the casino.
First, the city should install a traffic light at Chicago Avenue and Peoria Street. Adding a traffic signal here would ensure that trucks from Prairie Material have safe and easy access to the street grid.
It would also have the added benefit of calming traffic so that people walking and biking can safely access commercial business destinations in the area such as Eggholic and Taco Pros.
Second, the city should keep the present design of Erie Street. Currently, WaterSaver Faucet Company can reliably plan semi-truck shipments during off-hours and the company’s vehicles have safe access to the highway.
North Branch Works has been closely monitoring the proposal for a Chicago casino. Earlier this year, we organized a meeting for industrial businesses with leadership from Bally’s Corporation. Our staff also serves on the Community Advisory Council for the Chicago casino.
Ultimately, North Branch Works would like the City of Chicago to develop a citywide industrial policy so that industrial and manufacturing businesses are protected when it considers major development proposals such as the Chicago casino.
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Image credit: Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune