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Mayor Richard M. Daley today dedicated the Women’s Treatment Center on the Near West Side, a facility that is a national model for providing treatment and support service to women and children and which has been rehabilitated with the support of $1 million in Tax Increment Financing from the City.
The dedication also represented the first of many stops on a “Neighborhood Appreciation Tour” the Mayor will make in communities all over the city before he leaves office in May to thank Chicagoans for their collaboration in helping the City move forward.
Daley said the rehabilitation of the Women’s Treatment Center Building – the former Mary Thompson Hospital at 140 N. Ashland Av. -- represents the continuation of the Chicago tradition of seeing a need and figuring out a way to meet it.
“The recession is challenging for everyone, but institutions such as the Treatment Center, which receive considerable support from government, have had a difficult time. That’s why I’m pleased that the City has been able to help Center pay for a number of improvements, including a new lobby area and waiting room and exterior improvements and repairs,” Daley said in a news conference held at Union Park, 1501 W. Randolph St., across from the Center.
The Center operates one of the few substance abuse programs in the nation that can accommodate children in residential treatment, which makes it an especially valuable resource in Chicago, Daley said. It serves as many as 1,500 women and 300 children every year.
Daley said the TIF support that helped rehabilitate the Women’s Treatment Center is just one of the initiatives that have helped to make the Near West Side a better place over the past 22 years.
He identified a number of those initiatives:
- He said the West Loop area has undergone a huge transformation, with old manufacturing facilities having been turned into loft and other apartments that have created an entirely new feeling in the neighborhood and brought much commercial development, including restaurants and clubs, to the Randolph Street corridor.
- $399 million in TIF money has been dedicated to projects in the 27th Ward, including:
- The Near North SRO, which addressed the isolation of homelessness and public housing in the community.
- Rehabilitation of the Halsted Street Bridge.
- Support for the Hellenic Museum.
- Rehabilitation of the Police Academy.
- Bringing a Jewel store to the corner of Kinzie and Desplaines.
- Bringing the Johnny’s Ice House facility -- a great neighborhood addition -- to Madison Street.
- Building a new job training center in West Town.
- Creation of the Goose Island Industrial District to rejuvenate that neighborhood, which is now home to – among others – the Wrigley Global Innovation Center and Kendall College.
- Redevelopment of the former Montgomery Ward catalogue house into 600 West Chicago Avenue, home to Groupon and other visionaries who have created thousands of new jobs and has helped shine a national spotlight on Chicago as a technology leader.
- The Chicago Public Schools have opened five new schools in this community and made improvements to 25 others.
- Through the CHA Plan for Transformation and working with many partners, we replaced the Cabrini-Green development and added more than 4,200 new or rehabbed units of public, affordable and market rate housing and brought new commercial development to the Division and Clybourn area.
- The Public Building Commission constructed nine new campus parks or playlots, the new West Humboldt library and the new 18th District police station.
The PBC also renovated the building at 445 North Sacramento into the City’s Center for Green Technology, the most comprehensive educational resource in the Midwest for green technology and design, and sustainable building and living practices.
- The CTA has undertaken a number of projects that have benefited the West Side communities over the past 20 years. For example:
- The total reconstruction of the Green Line, which included a new station at Ashland Avenue.
- Increased Pink Line Service at the Ashland station.
- Re-opening of the Blue Line station and Grand and Miwaukee.
- Re-construction of the Brown Line stations at Sedgwick and Chicago Avenues.
- And the construction that is still ongoing of a new Green Line Station at Morgan.
- The Park District has opened two new parks, expanded two and made improvements to five others on the Near West Side in recent years.
- And there are 35 green roofs in the 27th Ward that were either required through the City’s Sustainable Development Policy or supported by the Green Roof Grant program.
“So I’m here today to thank every resident, every community organization, every business, every not-for-profit for their advice, support and cooperation on all these projects,” Daley said. “Thank you for participating in the process. Thank you for your ideas, your input and your time. That’s what our system of government is based on – the people.”
The Mayor said it has been the honor of his life to work with and serve the people of Chicago.
“I love this City more than you can imagine, and working together we have brought Chicago into the 21st century, and perhaps beyond our greatest expectations,” he said.
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