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Some good economic news for a change

Tuesday, Sep 26, 2017

* Press release…

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Department of Buildings today announced the 53rd tower crane to operate in Chicago in 2017, breaking the record of 52 tower cranes operating set last year. The latest tower crane to dot the sky is located at 2345 N. Lincoln Avenue, a six- acre mixed-use development on the former site of Children’s Memorial Hospital.

“People are optimistic about the future of Chicago. They want to move here, they want to invest here and they want to build here,” said Mayor Emanuel. “As Chicago’s economy continues to get stronger, we will continue to partner with businesses, big and small, to keep this progress going.”

With this new tower crane, there are 53 tower cranes in operation this year, 31 are still on construction sites in Chicago and seven new tower cranes are pending installation. This marks the largest number of operating cranes in a year since the Great Recession, when the City dropped to as low as 12 operating tower cranes in 2010.

The new tower crane is the second to be installed at this development, called The Lincoln Common. The transit-oriented development features 94,000 square feet of retail space, 538 apartment units, 40 luxury condominiums, a 47,000 square foot boutique office building, a parking garage with 850 spaces, a 149-room senior living facility and more than an acre of open space. New buildings will be mixed with restored and revitalized structures to integrate into the existing neighborhood fabric with ready access to the Fullerton train stop (red/brown/purple CTA lines), buses and bike lanes.

“The Hines McCaffery partnership is very proud to share in this historic moment,” said Dan McCaffery, Chief Executive Officer of McCaffery Interests. “We love this city and the opportunities it offers for so many. Congratulations Chicago!”

Cranes typically operate on construction sites for over a year and can operate for as long as two years, depending on the size of the development.

In addition to tower crane records, Chicago last week reported a dramatic uptick in permits issued for single-family home renovations. In 2015, the average number of permits issued per month was 169, and through the first half of this year, we have averaged 202 permits per month. Following a commitment to homeowners last fall to issue single-family home renovation permits without special zoning approvals in 30 days or less, the average time to get this permit in 2017 is 25 days (a decrease of 10 days from 2016).

“The Department of Buildings is committed to being a partner, not an obstacle, for building projects,” said Building Commissioner Judy Frydland. “We have laid the groundwork in the last two years with reforms that make it more cost-effective to build and easier to obtain building permits.”

Recent reforms implemented under Mayor Emanuel and Department of Buildings Commissioner Judith Frydland include a new Electrical Code approved by City Council in early September, the elimination of multiple dwelling registration, and additional code relief for plumbing, energy, and natural light and ventilation requirements.

Might wanna get rid of that cloud services tax, Mr. Mayor. Amazon awaits.

* Meanwhile, Crain’s has an interesting story about how manufacturing is doing very well in Lake and Will counties

A strong market for the wares of those [medical] device-makers is why, when statewide manufacturing employment clocks in at 16 percent lower than its prerecession high, Lake has recovered to within 1 percent of the 51,700 workers the industry employed there in 2008. Will County, busting at the seams, has done even better: Last year manufacturing employment surpassed the high it hit in 2008 by 3 percent. The industry employed almost 22,000 in the county in 2017’s first quarter, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. […]

Lake County, on the other hand, is not solely medical equipment, but that’s one of the largest clusters, says Kevin Considine, CEO of economic development firm Lake County Partners. The largest is pharmaceuticals. Drugmakers Abbott, AbbVie and Baxter are headquartered there, with AbbVie operating a factory in North Chicago while Baxter has one in Round Lake making products “from penicillin to pre-filled IV bags.” Though the recession certainly touched the county, he says, “we’re very fortunate to be deep in sectors that weathered that well.” […]

In Will County, economic development specialists say there’s no single factor driving the rise in manufacturing employment. Certainly, the county has taken its lumps. Caterpillar has shrunk the workforce at its Joliet plant from 770 in 2015 to 475 now, with the plant scheduled to close in 2018. But small and midsize companies are relocating from elsewhere in the region, attracted by the county’s low taxes and thriving distribution and logistics industry, says John Greuling, CEO of the Will County Center for Economic Development.

Magenta, a plastics injection molding company, has added at least 70 jobs, distiller Diageo North America added 100 in Plainfield in 2013, and Julian Electric moved 300 employees in May from Westmont into a new corporate headquarters in Lockport.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

19 Comments
  1. - blue dog dem - Tuesday, Sep 26, 17 @ 1:45 pm:

    Donald Trump, I believe, is taking credit.


  2. - Iggy - Tuesday, Sep 26, 17 @ 1:52 pm:

    Will County is the future, Lower property taxes, and no cook county pop tax, what else could you ask for?


  3. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Sep 26, 17 @ 1:56 pm:

    The money backing those towers could have gone anywhere in the world in pursuit of profit.

    I’m guessing they have to buy workers comp insurance on those undertaking the dangerous construction work. And when the towers are complete, the owners will have to pay property taxes.

    The Rauner/IPI/tronc-edit-board doom-and-gloom propaganda machine has never been accurate or even about economics. It’s always been about cherry-picking and amplifying half-truths in pursuit of a partisan political agenda.

    In other words, they’re dishonest.


  4. - blue dog dem - Tuesday, Sep 26, 17 @ 1:59 pm:

    Intetsect Illinois, I believe is taking credit.


  5. - Peorgie Tirebiter - Tuesday, Sep 26, 17 @ 2:02 pm:

    Nice to get some good economic news about Illinois. I had almost forgotten what it looks like.


  6. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Sep 26, 17 @ 2:10 pm:

    “Donald Trump, I believe, is taking credit.”

    Donald Trump as president did jack squat for Chicago. Chicagoans and those with whom they do business deserve the credit.

    Chicago tourism is up or at a record level, per Crain’s this weekend–despite the violence and other troubles.

    We don’t need union-busting and term limits to grow our economy. That’s just selling out to super-rich conservative corporate and other interests. These donor types I’m sure are not too happy that Graham-Cassidy officially failed today. Bad news for them is great news for millions of others.


  7. - blue dog dem - Tuesday, Sep 26, 17 @ 2:16 pm:

    Can any of my Chicago friends tell me if any of these projects are in TIF(blighted) zones?


  8. - Ron - Tuesday, Sep 26, 17 @ 2:30 pm:

    blue dog dem, pretty sure none of these projects are in blighted areas. These are all market driven projects without subsidy.

    The market has indeed spoken and it loves Chicago.


  9. - blue dog dem - Tuesday, Sep 26, 17 @ 2:32 pm:

    Ron. Thanks. I am glad to hear that. It only proves my point about TIF. Not necessary. Thanks.


  10. - Fairness and Fairness Only - Tuesday, Sep 26, 17 @ 2:57 pm:

    It is refreshing - and surprising - to read the news about tower cranes and industrial growth. I was also happily surprised to recently read that summer tourism remains very high in Chicago. Based on typical news reports I would never have imagined that was the case. I hope that the Mayor and the city continue working to share the information.


  11. - DeseDemDose - Tuesday, Sep 26, 17 @ 3:01 pm:

    53 Tower Cranes in he Great City of Chicago. Could you imagine where Illinois would be without the Koch brothers social climbing drag on Illinois Governor fabricating against insults non stop against our beloved State.


  12. - Ron - Tuesday, Sep 26, 17 @ 3:21 pm:

    TIF is not typically used for market rate projects. It is used for affordable housing, parks, community centers, transit, etc.

    Not sure why that proves it is not necessary. I am happy to have TIF eliminated as long as all the poverty pushes understand that their beloved project will have less money than they do now.


  13. - blue dog dem - Tuesday, Sep 26, 17 @ 3:26 pm:

    Ron. In southern illinois. TIF is used for shopping centers, micobrews, restraunts,saloons,orchards.


  14. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Sep 26, 17 @ 3:38 pm:

    blue dog, got it. I should be a bit more clear. TIF is used for things like you mention, but usually in long neglected areas of the city.


  15. - Blue dog dem - Tuesday, Sep 26, 17 @ 4:24 pm:

    Ron, columbia(one of the higherper capitas in the state), is using the TIF(sorry OW), willy nilly.


  16. - anon2 - Tuesday, Sep 26, 17 @ 6:42 pm:

    Since Madigan is to blame for any and all bad economic news, does he also get any credit for this good news?


  17. - Ron - Tuesday, Sep 26, 17 @ 10:01 pm:

    No, is Madigan a real estate developer?


  18. - theCardinal - Tuesday, Sep 26, 17 @ 10:08 pm:

    I’m have a visual of some politicos playing on floor with instead of Cranky the Cranes (thomas the tank engin) in a mock up of Chi-town. We saved Illinois with jobs and tall buildings for people to live on top of each other inspite of our poor education funding high debtand new taxes …Toot toot goes the steam whistle.


  19. - Ron - Wednesday, Sep 27, 17 @ 8:44 am:

    What poor education funding. Chicago spends over $15,000 per kid.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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