ULI Chicago, in partnership with the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) and the West Suburban Chamber of Commerce and Industry (WSCII), convened a “Development Dialogue” for WSCII member communities in Countryside, IL on January 21, 2016.
Municipal leaders from Brookfield, Countryside, Hodgkins, Indian Head Park, La Grange, La Grange Park, McCook, Western Springs and Willow Springs were in attendance. ULI Chicago panelists, Matt Milich, Vice President, Pearlmark, Matthew Otto, Division Manager, Apex Companies LLC, and Jerry Szatan, Principal, Szatan & Associates presented the findings from the ULI Chicago Technical Assistance Workshop on Opportunities for Cargo Oriented Development in Willow Springs, IL completed in September 2015. The presentation was followed by an engaging discussion on best development practices, what communities can do to increase their competitive advantage, and how they can best leverage their often limited staff and financial resources to attract desirable development.
ULI Chicago panelists highlighted the importance of municipalities working together as a sub-region through forums such as WSCII to enhance their overall competitive edge. Frequently, before choosing a specific development site, companies and/or developers will assess location suitability at a larger, sub-regional scale on a variety of criteria including transportation, infrastructure and workforce availability. Additionally, panelists encouraged municipalities to take the lead in facilitating discussions among stakeholders that could include a variety of public agencies and private entities, especially in sites with unique development conditions, such as the study area for the Willow Springs workshop.