Business expansions, affordable rentals among September proposals

September 9, 2009

United, A & D Candy would add Chicago jobs

Molly Sullivan    312.744.2976,

Mayor Richard M. Daley today introduced six ordinances supporting new businesses, the creation and preservation of affordable rental housing and community anchors.

“These ordinances will help provide affordable housing for seniors and families and contribute to the well-being of our communities by providing jobs, reinvestment in property and needed services for residents,” Daley said.

A & D Candy Inc.
The first ordinance helps support the rehabilitation and expansion of A & D Candy, Inc. at 4545 W. Armitage Ave. in the City’s 31st Ward.

A & D Candy will use a Cook County Class 6(b) incentive to rehabilitate the existing 50,000 square foot building, providing parking, roof upgrades and interior improvements to accommodate expanding staff.

The $1.2 million renovation will help retain 16 current and create up to 10 new full-time and five part-time jobs.

The Cook County Class 6(b) classification is designed to encourage industrial development by offering a reduced property tax assessment rate for 12 years for the development or revitalization of manufacturing or industrial facilities. The projected tax savings will be approximately $363,000 over that period. The family-owned business opened in 1988 and has grown to become one of the largest wholesale candy distributors in the U.S., serving small grocery and convenience stores.

Kenmore Senior Housing
The next ordinance approves the transfer of up to $20 million in tax-exempt bond financing to the Chicago Housing Authority, providing funds for the rehabilitation of a vacant building in the City’s Uptown community.

The CHA will use the allocation to generate private investment capital and tax credit equity for the renovation of the eight-story building at 5040 N. Kenmore Ave. in the City’s 48th Ward, furthering the CHA’s redevelopment mission.

When the rehabilitation is completed, the project-based Section 8 development will have 100 one-bedroom apartments for low- to moderate-income seniors.

United Air Lines
Also introduced was an ordinance authorizing a redevelopment agreement with United Air Lines for the relocation of its operations center to the recently renamed Willis Tower in downtown Chicago from Elk Grove Township.

The company plans to lease up to 450,000 square feet of office space in the building at 233 S. Wacker Dr. in the 2nd Ward. The move will bring 2,500 full-time jobs to the City. United will make improvements to and sign a 15-year lease for the space.

The City will provide $25 million from the LaSalle Central TIF and $10 million in grants to assist with relocation costs. Job training assistance will be funded by $1.5 million of the TIF funds.

The agreement will help generate additional tax revenue and help spur spending downtown and investment in housing within the City.

The relocation will take place in two phases with 1,000 employees occupying the new offices by the end of 2010 and the remainder by the summer of 2011.

Mercy Preservation Project
Mayor Daley also introduced an ordinance declaring the intent to issue up to $33 million in housing revenue bonds for the rehabilitation of 300 units of affordable rental housing in the City’s Uptown community.

Mercy Housing Lakefront will renovate the units in two buildings, located at 850 W. Eastwood Ave. and at 4946 N. Sheridan Road, in the 46th Ward.

The units will be made affordable to households earning within 60 percent of area median income. Plans call for the rehabilitation which will begin in early 2010.

Archer Advisors, LLC/5829 Archer Development
The next ordinance authorizes a TIF redevelopment agreement for the renovation of a former grocery store at 5829 S. Archer Ave. in the City’s Garfield Ridge community.

The developer, Archer Advisors LLC/5829 Archer Development LLC, will rehabilitate the former Dominick’s food store on the six acre site into a full service supermarket that will also sell a range of Eastern European products.

The 62,000 square foot store will receive a new roof, heating and air conditioning systems, windows, refrigeration equipment and a 2,000 square foot entranceway. The development will create 100 new jobs in the 23rd Ward.

The City will provide up to $3 million in TIF assistance from the Archer/Central TIF district.

By the Hand Club for Kids
An ordinance was also introduced for the negotiated sale of two City-owned parcels in the Austin community to provide parking and help facilitate the construction of a new after-school care facility.

By the Hands Club for Kids, an after-school program that emphasizes academics, plans to construct a new 24,000 square foot building with expanded classroom and dining space to help serve more students in the area. The organization will acquire additional parcels adjacent to the two City lots at 402 N. Laramie and 410 N. Leamington Ave. to build the $4 million center.

By the Hand provides homework help, reading skills enrichment, mentoring and other activities to help at-risk children realize their full potential. Kids who meet the required criteria are recommended by their principals to participate in the program.

The organization currently operates out of leased space at 500 N. Laramie Ave. and serves over 150 children in the 28th Ward.

The Peace Corner
Another ordinance authorizes the sale of one City-owned parcel at 5022 W. Madison St. to The Peace Corner Inc. for the construction of a new youth center in the Austin community.

The Peace Corner Inc. plans to construct a 7,900 square foot facility with computer labs, classrooms and a gymnasium adjacent to their current location at 5014 W. Madison St. in the 28th Ward. The $1.8 million center will be open to all community residents and provide a refuge from gangs and violence.

The Peace Corner provides a safe haven for after-school programs, including GED classes, computer instruction and job training. The organization serves up to 90 youths daily.