ULI Chicago News

ULI Chicago in 2015: Removing Barriers, Building Partnerships, Engaging Community

ULI Chicago is advancing its mission of creating healthy, sustainable communities with the generous time of our members, and with the support and commitment of our sponsors.  Here are some of the 2015 highlights…

ULI Chicago is partnering with the National Trust for Historic Preservation to make it easier to reuse older buildings that are an essential component of the rich and diverse urban fabric of Chicago. Engaging industry and community leaders from around the City has provided the Partnership with a strong understanding of the most significant barriers to building reuse as well as potential solutions to overcome them. Combining this knowledge with a data driven analysis to identify neighborhoods with the most significant reuse opportunities, the Partnership is preparing a robust framework for increasing building reuse in Chicago. Stay tuned for the Partnership’s report scheduled to be released in Spring 2016.

“It has been wonderful to see neighborhood leaders, industry veterans and public officials engage in passionate discussions at the Partnership’s stakeholder convenings. I am excited about our next step where, with the support of our stakeholders and the City, we’ll work to implement key recommendations.”
Alicia M. Berg, Chair, Building Reuse Partnership, ULI Chicago
Assistant Vice President, Campus Planning + Sustainability, The University of Chicago

ULI Chicago has successfully engaged elected officials from neighboring suburban communities in Retail Cluster discussions to build cooperative, sustainable retail in the Chicago region. Even though their retail market areas cross borders, most suburban communities never collaborate.  Instead, driven by the need to capture retail sales tax dollars, they compete against each other to attract the same retailers. ULI member experts, through insightful and frank discussions with groups of suburban mayors, have sparked a greater understanding and growing interest in inter-governmental cooperation amongst communities, many of whom are coming together for the first time as a result of ULI Chicago’s Retail Initiative and cluster meetings. The second phase of the Initiative will focus on urban retail challenges.  Watch for more information in the coming months.

“The retail discussion with ULI panelists reinforced that many of our economic development challenges transcend our municipal borders and we have a much better chance of success by working together with neighboring communities. ULI helped jump-start the conversation regarding a new branding plan for our sub-region, and we hope to keep that momentum going forward.”
Mayor Don A. De Graff, Village of South Holland, IL

2015 marked the launch of the Chicago Product Council Program with two broadly based Urban Development and Mixed-Use Councils.  70 ULI members applied for, and were asked to join the two Councils based on their professional background and interest level.  Unique to the local program, all member categories were encouraged to apply in order to enhance discussion and expand member involvement.  Like other ULI Chicago programming, the CPC harnesses member expertise to address the major issues and challenges facing the development field today.  By providing a smaller, more intimate forum to share best practices, discuss trending issues, blend ideas, and find solutions, the program will help strengthen ULI’s position and impact in the land use arena.  The 2016 program has already begun with a successful Kick-Off in early January.

“The response to the first year of the local Product Councils exceeded our expectations. The Councils have been very successful in engaging members not previously involved at the local level and combining a variety of sectors and experience for some really exciting dialogue.”
David Galowich, Principal, Madison Realty Group, Inc.
Terra Firma Leadership LLC
Chair, CPC Green Flight, ULI Chicago

The New Year has begun and ULI Chicago is looking forward to pursuing these Initiatives and others as we continue moving the mission of ULI forward in the Chicago region.

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