May 5, 2011

Mayor Daley Visits City-Assisted Small Business In City's North Side As Part Of Neighborhood Appreciation Tour

J.K. Kabab House Received Assistance From SBIF Program
"This business is a perfect example of how the Small Business Improvement Fund, which is funded by TIFs, helps small businesses grow and prosper in Chicago. This restaurant is proof that the dreams of small business owners can be helped with the right support from city government," Daley said. 
J.K. Kabob received grants to help rehabilitate and modernize, and the funds helped partially finance the cost of a new walk-in cooler, new lights, heating and cooling systems and masonry repair.   The grants also helped with interior renovations and a new storefront. 
"Essentially, TIF funds helped finance a needed renovation that allows the owner and employees to continue to work and keeps this space from becoming an empty storefront in what is a difficult economy," Daley said. "One of the keys to keeping our city moving forward is the use of TIF funds."
Chicago is one of the few cities that has been investing in communities and infrastructure.
In the 50th Ward, the City dedicated more than $71 million in TIF funds to infrastructure, public facilities and private redevelopments, including:
  • The new Devon/Rockwell parking garage
  • Construction of the new West Ridge Elementary School
  • The Lincoln Village Shopping Center
  • Ongoing modernization of major employment centers like S&C Electric, one of the North Side's largest employers
The City has also invested more than $2.1 million on the Lincoln Avenue Median Project. This project included the removal of the deteriorated raised concrete median divider and replacing it with a new raised irrigated median that included plantings of trees, shrubs and other native plantings. 
"We have also marked 1.9 miles of on street bike ways in this community, providing a safer riding experience for residents who choose to be green and bike around the city," Daley said. 
The City has made significant investments in parks in the area:
  • To help keep residents fit and give families a place to gather and children a place to play, the City completed 20improvement projects at 12 parks, and new playgrounds, including 10 ADA accessible playgrounds.
  • The City created Thillen’s Stadium in 2007 and despite the difficulty in identifying available land for park use, the Park District acquired more than nine acres of land in this ward.
  • Additionally, Indian Boundary Park, which included a rehab of the lagoon, zoo and field house, and installation of a new playground. In 2005 Indian Boundary field house was designated a Historical Landmark by the City of Chicago and is also listed in the National Register of Historical Places. The landmark designations will ensure the ward's past will be an important part of its future.
  • The City also built the North Branch Channel Riverwalk and Canoe Launch behind Lincoln Village Shopping Center. The Lincoln Village riverwalk and canoe launch projects was one of the first large scale riverwalk projects along the North Branch of the Chicago River. It is also one marks a return of a great natural asset as a place for people to enjoy.

"As the Chicago river shows, protecting the environment is very important. One step that people and businesses can take is installing green roofs. I'm proud of the fact that there are four green roofs in this ward," Daley said.

The arts play a critical role in making Chicago a great city. Just last year, Chicago provided $25,000 in grants in the 50th ward and also assisted with four neighborhood festivals and events.
The City partnered with the Greater Chicago Food Depository to provide fresh produce and shelf stable products to residents in low income areas and areas with limited access to mainstream grocery stores. In 2010, the Mobile Food Pantry helped more than 500 residents in this ward.
To improve publid education in these wards, the Chicago Public Schools have opened one new school, and made additions to two others. CPS also added play lots and campus parks to four others. 
And for senior residents, developments like Lincoln Village Senior Apartments and West Ridge Senior Apartments have added 200 units of senior housing, allowing longtime residents to remain in their communities with access to full services and programs at affordable rents.
As part of CHA's Plan for Transformation, the Daniel Hudson Burnham Apartments in Rogers Park has been rehabilitated and and brought back 181 units of quality, affordable housing for Chicago’s elderly population.  Today, the 50th Ward contains 43 units of scattered site, public housing.
There are nine CTA Bus Routes serving the 50thWard and the CTA extended service on the 82 Kimball/Homan to Lincolnwood Town Center and also extended service on the 93 California/Dodge to downtown Evanston.
Another tool used by the police and residents is the CAPS program.
Since the inception of the CAPS program in the early 1990s, there has been significant involvement of Residents, Schools, Youth, Businesses, Faith-Based Institutions, and Community Based Organizations in the 50th Ward. This involvement has led to a strong partnership between the Police, the Community and the City, which has resulted in a decrease in crime and disorder. The result of this partnership is greater quality of life for the residents in these wards. 
"These projects represent only the highlights of what we have accomplished in the 50th Ward,” Mayor Daley said. “And it is easy to identify the reason for improvements: cooperation.”
Mayor Daley concluded by saying, “thank you for participating in the process. Thank you for your ideas, your input and your time,” he said. “Working together we’ve brought Chicago into the 21st century, and given it a bright future. It’s been a joy and an honor to be your Mayor.”