Over 200 people attended the ULI Chicago and MPC Roundtable – Cook County Land Bank: Returning Vacant Land to Productive Use. Discussion focused on the challenges and potential rewards that are anticipated with the emergence of the Cook County Land Bank.
Before the panel discussion, ULI Chicago posed a few questions to speakers on a 1-on-1 basis to get a more specific perspective on ULI’s current and continued role in the formation of the land bank.
Q & A with Scott Goldstein, Principal, Teska Associates, Inc., and Chairman of the ULI Chicago Technical Assistance Panel
Will ULI Chicago continue to be involved with the Land Bank? How?
Absolutely ULI is going to stay involved. Several of the board members connected to ULI or involved with the organization want to work with those members to inform the board. We also are very interested in ongoing follow-up with staff. There are a lot of issues here and ULI clearly brings the perspective of both non-profit and for-profit developers to really make sure that development projects come out of this and that we see continued revitalization.
Q & A with Bridget Gainer, Cook County Commissioner
How was the ULI Chicago Technical Assistance Panel helpful in getting Cook County Board approval for the Land Bank?
The ULI Panel was incredibly important to us to establish the Land Bank. The Land Bank is a concept that most people are not familiar with. It’s new to Illinois and it’s new to this region, so having the Urban Land Institute was really important both as subject matter experts and as a third-party validator that said, `We have reviewed this, we think it’s useful, we think it’s productive and it’s something that we really need in our real estate market.’ They brought a lot of deep expertise and they validated to a larger market that the Land Bank is something worth looking at.
Q & A with MarySue Barrett, President, Metropolitan Planning Council
How will you involve developers and the larger real estate community in the Land Bank project?
The Land Bank moved from the report to the actual ordinance and now President Preckwinkle is considering appointments to the board, so it’s moving very quickly. And members of the real estate community can be involved every step of the way. There will be that expertise reflected on the board—the ordinance explicitly calls that out. There will also be ad hoc teams, helping with the start-up phase of this Land Bank. Expertise has already been volunteered and accepted. And then as partners, once this is operational, we envision this Land Bank as being very strategic, targeting parcels that, with the right assembly, could be ripe for development.
Read more from our 1-on-1 interviews
Read full Cook County Land Bank Roundtable meeting summary
Review additional coverage of the land bank discussion and panel process
View MPC’s Cook County Land Bank Roundtable video recording