As part of his commitment to create jobs and support economic growth, Governor Pat Quinn was joined today by community and business leaders to reopen a critical roadway to the Pullman Park development on Chicago's South Side. Funded by a $4.6 million investment through the federal "IKE" Disaster Recovery Program, construction of the new road created 300 construction jobs. An additional 400 construction and 1,000 permanent retail jobs are expected when the Pullman Park development is completed.
"Today is a great day for everyone who lives and works in Pullman Park," Governor Quinn said. "Infrastructure improvements like this support communities as they grow by putting people back to work and laying the foundation for economic development for years to come."
The state's award helped fund road and infrastructure improvements to Woodlawn/Doty Avenue between 103rd Street and 106th Street, parts of which have deteriorated since flooding in 2008. The project includes incorporate sewer and water main improvements that will help prevent damage from future flooding.
The retail phase of the project is currently underway and will be anchored by Wal-Mart, Ross Dress for Less and Planet Fitness. The new Wal-Mart store will provide grocery services to an area currently classified as a "food desert" for its inaccessibility to fresh foods. Other plans for the 180-acre, mixed use development include affordable housing and park and recreation space.
"The reconstruction of this section of Doty Avenue represents an important step forward in the recovery and transformation of Pullman," David Doig, president of Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives said. "Without the vital contribution made by the state of Illinois, this milestone would be extremely difficult to achieve in today's challenging economic environment. We thank Governor Quinn for his dedication to economic growth and job creation, particularly in underserved communities like Pullman."
The project's economic development assistance comes from the state's IKE-Disaster Recovery Program named for Hurricane Ike, the 2008 disaster that ranks among the costliest hurricanes to make landfall in the United States. Illinois received a total of $193.7 million in federal disaster funds under the program to aid communities in 41 Illinois counties.
"The investments we're making through the IKE program are providing much needed relief in communities throughout the state by helping address limitations to economic growth and future recovery," DCEO Acting Director Adam Pollet said.
The IKE-ED program is part of the governor's continuing commitment to providing essential resources for Illinois' small and mid-sized communities as they strengthen their economies. Projects approved for IKE-Economic Development assistance support both permanent and construction job creation through funding improvements to local infrastructure, company equipment costs and other assistance that will attract or support private companies in locating or remaining in an affected area.