CHICAGO — Mayor Lori Lightfoot has spent most of her first term touting efforts to bring investments to Chicago’s South and West Sides.
But in her latest efforts, her attention has shifted to the LaSalle Street business corridor downtown.
The corridor has more than 5 million square feet of vacant commercial space — the most of any downtown sub-district — according to the Department of Planning and Development commissioner Maurice Cox.
To lift up the corridor, Lightfoot and the City’s planning department are looking toward housing and storefront proposals.
“We must do everything we can to bring the corridor back,” Lightfoot said.
In addition to trying to attract businesses back to the corridor, Lightfoot’s plan will also offer an array of tax incentives to developers who partner with the city to create affordable housing.
“Look at the Google announcement, Look at Kellogg, look at Abbott coming downtown,” Lightfoot said. “Look at the tenants that are flocking to the old post office. The list is long and we have had a hand in every single one of those announcements.”
Lightfoot insisted her renewed focus on the central business community has nothing to do with the 2023 mayoral election that is now roughly five months away.
Over the weekend, reports surfaced that retiring Alderman Tom Tunney is circulating petitions to get on the ballot and the Chicago Teachers Union transferred funds to Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson, who is also considering a run.
“I’m very confident in my re-election and I’m very confident is — what you will see is — a range of support from across the city that we needed. We’re getting support from every single neighborhood.”
Requests for business development proposals in the LaSalle Street corridor are due Dec. 23.
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