* Gov. Rauner again bad-mouthed Chicago yesterday, bemoaning the city’s “failure of government in Chicago to reduce crime, to bring down the taxes and create more jobs.” But the Sun-Times noted this at the bottom of the story…
Despite Rauner’s claim that the city has failed to reduce crime, Chicago Police statistics in June showed the city has seen its 16th consecutive month of declining violence. The city saw 79 fewer murders and 270 fewer shootings in the first six months of 2018 compared to the same period in 2017, police said.
* And then there’s this…
A $169 million industrial complex is planned for the Southeast Side, according to NorthPoint Development, the Kansas City company that will build the project just north of Ford’s Torrence Avenue plant on the site of a former Republic Steel mill. […]
NorthPoint estimates the project will create more than 1,300 permanent jobs and says about 650 construction jobs will be needed for the duration of the project.
The 2.2 million-square-foot project is to include six industrial buildings, each ranging from 215,000 to 600,000 square feet, and would be the largest industrial park in Chicago, according to the mayor’s office. […]
Each of the six buildings would house one or more firms. Hagedorn said they are expecting 10 businesses to operate from the complex.
* And this…
A private equity firm plans to buy a smattering of brands, including the U.S. rights to Pillsbury baking products and the Funfetti brand, from the The J.M. Smucker Co. for $375 million, the Connecticut-based Brynwood Partners announced Monday.
To manage those brands, Brynwood intends to create a new company, Hometown Food Co., that will be headquartered in Chicago, said Henk Hartong, chairman and CEO of Brynwood Partners. The office will employ about 40 people, said Hartong, who declined to provide an exact location for the office until the lease is finalized.
“Chicago is the center of the universe for (consumer packaged goods),” Hartong said in an interview Monday. “We want to recruit the most talented management team that we can.” […]
Once final, this will be the largest deal yet for Brynwood, which is making a name for itself as a firm that acquires lagging businesses from food companies, also known as “corporate carve-outs.” [Emphasis added]
* And this…
By one count, more than 50 high-rise buildings were under construction as the year began. The pace of construction starts has slowed lately, but the booming redevelopment of downtown will be creating jobs in Chicago for years.
To civic boosters, this is good news. But for Mayor Rahm Emanuel, facing a tough re-election battle, the downtown construction boom is a political mixed bag. When construction cranes spring up like midsummer weeds in the 312 area code, a mayor with a reputation for favoring downtown at the expense of the neighborhoods will have some explaining to do. Lori Lightfoot, Paul Vallas and other mayoral contenders no doubt are laying plans to use the construction boom against the mayor. Even Emanuel’s energetic pitch for Amazon’s HQ2 and its bounty of 50,000 jobs has been criticized by opponents.
When the critique comes in, Emanuel will be ready to strike back, and one of his favorite counterpunches likely will be the Neighborhood Opportunity Fund. It’s a program that takes the downtown boom and turns it into cash for businesses on the South and West sides. Chicago’s building codes limit the density of construction projects. But under the program, developers can “purchase” the right to ignore the density caps downtown. […]
With 80 percent of the funds earmarked to those South and West Side neighborhoods, Emanuel will be able to use the program to parry thrusts from mayoral contenders claiming he has ignored the neighborhoods. He’ll also surely mention major investment in the Red Line and in CTA stations throughout those neighborhoods, while his opponents will wonder—with good reason—why he has not made more progress addressing crime or fixing the crises in Chicago Public Schools.
I’m not at all saying that everything is well in the city. At all. I’m just saying that this constant bad-mouthing is really getting old.