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Biz leaders wringing hands over Emanuel departure

Thursday, Sep 6, 2018

* Greg Hinz

For Chicago business, the good times may be about to end at City Hall. Bigly.

The combination of a populist wave that could capture a majority of the City Council and Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s surprise decision not to seek a third term could halt a nearly-three-decade stretch under which mayors and docile aldermen occasionally made business groan with measures like a higher minimum wage and mandatory sick leave, but more often were a willing partner in trying to lure new growth and expansion. […]

“We’re at a real crossroads,” says Jack Lavin, CEO of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce. “The last two mayors (Emanuel and Richard M. Daley) knew that cooperating with business gets you (economic) growth. That growing Chicago could go away.”

“There’s nothing good I see on the horizon,” says Howard Tullman, ex-CEO of the 1871 incubator and the godfather of sorts of the city’s now rapidly expanding tech community.

Emanuel in particular was “unbelievably supportive,” Tullman said. And it paid off with “tens of thousands of new jobs,” many of them at companies such as Motorola Mobility, Gogo, ADM, McDonald’s, Walgreen, Kraft-Heinz and dozens of others that moved either their regional or world headquarters here or shifted large tech operations to the city, lured by large numbers of college graduates here.

* Tribune

Emanuel is known as a mayor who doesn’t hesitate to pick up the phone or get on a plane to lure businesses to Chicago and help home-grown companies thrive.

“There’s definitely uncertainty when a decision as unexpected as this is announced,” said SpotHero CEO and co-founder Mark Lawrence, who praised Emanuel for touting Chicago businesses both nationally and internationally.

Emanuel’s office facilitated introductions in Israel between SpotHero and Google mapping unit Waze, leading to the recent announcement that the companies, along with the city, are installing beacons along Chicago’s 5 miles of lower roads to help drivers navigate underground when GPS fails. […]

“I think there will be some breath holding and some postponing of some decisions for sure, because I think technology businesses are no different than any other business. They want to be sure there’s a certain stability and understanding of the business environment,” Tullman said.

* Bloomberg

Chicago’s fiscal picture improved under Emanuel, said Laurence Msall, president of the non-partisan Civic Federation, which tracks the city’s finances. He cited Emanuel’s move to end the borrowing for operations and selling bonds to pay off maturing debt.

“It will remain to be seen whether the next mayor will continue to embrace these practices or slip into such financial lapses,” Msall said. “It’s difficult to know who the next mayor will be or whether they will be able to match Mayor Emanuel’s persona and dedication to economic development. But many of the structural improvements that Mayor Emanuel can rightfully take credit for will continue beyond his administration.”

An adviser close to Emanuel said he thinks the announcement was made now so that candidates more to the mayor’s liking still had enough time to enter the race

* Crain’s

But that’s not the only big question for real estate investors as Emanuel heads for the exit. Developers now face uncertainty from a wide-open field of candidates to replace him and are left to wonder whether the city’s next mayor will be as friendly to them as its departing one.

The prospect of rent control could instill fear into investors that have made big bets on the city’s booming apartment market, while office landlords are about to lose one of the key pitchmen for the plethora of companies that have moved to the city and filled their spaces.

Then there’s the cloud over what Emanuel’s departure will mean for a series of large-scale development projects that are in the works, many of which were accelerated as prospective destinations for e-commerce giant Amazon as the Seattle-based company searches for a second headquarters location.

Emanuel’s successor will face landscape-changing decisions about the 53-acre Lincoln Yards project that developer Sterling Bay has proposed to completely redraw the North Branch of the Chicago River between Lincoln Park and Bucktown. Other tough calls will need to be made about the 78, Related Midwest’s 62-acre proposal along the river just south of the Loop, as well as the continued redevelopment of the Fulton Market District.

* Related…

* Exit Rahm: Emanuel’s successes are also less impressive than they might first appear. Chicago’s economic turnaround was part of a national boom. Other American cities have been rallying economically, too, and often at a faster rate. Tech is growing all over, and Chicago hasn’t cracked the elite club in venture-capital investing, remaining significantly behind the big four coastal centers (the Bay Area, Los Angeles, New York, and Boston). And unlike the other largest American cities, Chicago continues to see its population fall, as blacks flee in droves and Mexican immigration dries up.

* Mayor 1% Rahm Emanuel Will Not Be Missed in Chicago: But in the Windy City, he will always be remembered by many as Mayor 1%, symbolizing the arrogance and impatience of those who would shape society to celebrate entitlement, fame and wealth.

* Laquan McDonald was shot down by police, and he took the mayor’s career down with him: It is much easier to convince a developer to build a multistory office complex in the West Loop than to get the developer to consider a similar project in Woodlawn. Most developers are about making money, not reviving struggling neighborhoods.

* Rahm Emanuel denies Chicago is a ‘tale of two cities’: “No world-class global city has a failing central business district. It is not in our interest as a city to pit one side of the city against another. Our challenge is to make that central business district work for all parts of…Chicago,” Emanuel said.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

28 Comments »
  1. - Red Ranger - Thursday, Sep 6, 18 @ 4:30 pm:

    Rahm will be remembered as the Mayor that sacrificed the middle class in exchange for two Chicagos; one highly educated and semi-well off to very well off and one that is trapped in poverty and violence. Maybe that was a better choice than letting Chicago become Detroit pre-bankruptcy, but that is the fate of Chicago for the foreseeable future.


  2. - manboy - Thursday, Sep 6, 18 @ 4:33 pm:

    Here is where Rahm is missing it:

    “No world-class global city has a failing central business district. It is not in our interest as a city to pit one side of the city against another. Our challenge is to make that central business district work for all parts of…Chicago”

    I could give two ****s about Chicago being a world-class city. People are being killed every single day. People are hungry. People are cold. Becoming a world-class global city doesn’t fix that, and thats what most Chicagoans want.

    If you can do that while attracting Amazon… whatever that’s fine. But everyone always tells us that this time economic development is going to save us all, and people are still out here struggling and dying.


  3. - Kyle Hillman - Thursday, Sep 6, 18 @ 4:36 pm:

    I want stronger schools and safer neighborhoods. I guess that makes me an extreme leftist hell-bent on destroying Chicago businesses.

    When we get the next mayor the sun will still set in the west, pizza will still taste good, condos will still be built, and businesses will still make large sums of money.

    Give me a break with these Chicago media chicken little articles.


  4. - wordslinger - Thursday, Sep 6, 18 @ 4:44 pm:

    The Indispensable Man Theory (aka The White Guy).

    Do you think these Biz Wizzes backed Daley to the hilt all those years because of his sober fiscal stewardship and clean-as-a-whistle goo-goo administration?

    Don’t be scared, no one wants to date your sister.


  5. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Sep 6, 18 @ 4:58 pm:

    What Kyle Hillman just said.

    Republicans just gave multibillion- and now trillion-dollar corporations billions if not trillions of dollars over the long run through tax cuts. It’s past time to invest in areas that need help the most, those who are suffering in part because of the long-lived consequences of racism and marginalization. I want a mayor who will prioritize investing in these areas.


  6. - Not It - Thursday, Sep 6, 18 @ 5:05 pm:

    man boy - Crime rate has a direct correlation to unemployment rate.


  7. - wordslinger - Thursday, Sep 6, 18 @ 5:14 pm:

    –Crime rate has a direct correlation to unemployment rate.–

    Yet your comment doesn’t appear to be related to anything here.


  8. - Ok - Thursday, Sep 6, 18 @ 5:16 pm:

    I think Howard Tullman is a lot more worried about losing his influence than anything else.


  9. - Amalia - Thursday, Sep 6, 18 @ 5:24 pm:

    whether you live in the city or nearby suburbs, what happens in the city affects so no matter where you live, you have to care. while it is true that some violence is present in all parts of the city, the truth is, it’s pretty concentrated. and that’s on the gangs, and other criminals who commit most of the crimes, not the police. you can’t keep open all school buildings with just a few students in them no matter what the activists say. but you can get Whole Foods to move into Englewood, bringing jobs. Rahm’s going to be missed in many ways. not all ways, and in some ways he will certainly not be missed, but he tried really hard to get jobs into the city.


  10. - DeseDemDose - Thursday, Sep 6, 18 @ 5:33 pm:

    Murder and crime rate is lower in Chicago now than in the 70’s when the city was packed with factories and manufacturing.


  11. - 42nd - Thursday, Sep 6, 18 @ 5:52 pm:

    Toni Preckwinkle will be a massive job creator. If she can find jobs for the Berrios clan, she can find jobs for anyone.


  12. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Thursday, Sep 6, 18 @ 6:06 pm:

    ==Toni Preckwinkle will be a massive job creator.==
    Agree. Drove by the Cook County Hospital project she spearheaded and it is making progress. All those high salaried medical personnel will soon have a place to shop other than Lulu’s hotdogs.


  13. - City Zen - Thursday, Sep 6, 18 @ 6:08 pm:

    Looking forward to the Hillman’s Grocer and Grandson of Man’s Community Bank grand openings in South Austin.


  14. - Anonymous - Thursday, Sep 6, 18 @ 6:20 pm:

    - grand openings in South Austin. -

    You see lots of those kinds of openings under Rahm? I must have missed them.


  15. - Langhorne - Thursday, Sep 6, 18 @ 6:43 pm:

    Wow. A strong mayoral advocate for his community gets results. While i was reading this, a rauner commercial was running, that says “vote for me, but if the other guy wins, LEAVE. “. Reminds me of national lampoon, “buy this magazine, or the dog gets it.”


  16. - City Zen - Thursday, Sep 6, 18 @ 7:01 pm:

    ==You see lots of those kinds of openings under Rahm?==

    I didn’t see them under Rahm or Daley or Washington or Byrne or Bilandic or Daley again…

    But we don’t need them, We have those two experts above with grand notions of how a business should run. I say leave it up to them.


  17. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Sep 6, 18 @ 7:38 pm:

    The people running the businesses want their businesses to prosper. If their approach helped high-crime/low-income neighborhoods, they wouldn’t have the magnitude of problems they have today. These neighborhoods still suffer today from the long-lived consequences of racism. As Royko said a long time ago, Lake Forest kids aren’t out in the streets, shooting each other up (nor are those in Winnetka, Kenilworth or other like places).

    Again, we gave multibillion/trillion-dollar corporations massive tax cuts, with no strings attached. This will cost us billions if not trillions of dollars over the long run. We have a multimillionaire governor who caused massive damage to the state in his zeal to extort workers into weakening themselves. He tells us corporations won’t invest in us unless we agree to diminish workers’ rights. But we can give blank government checks to billionaires and not make big government investments in the most vulnerable communities? That’s very wrong, and we need leaders who will commit to changing this.


  18. - wordslinger - Thursday, Sep 6, 18 @ 8:01 pm:

    –Looking forward to the Hillman’s Grocer and Grandson of Man’s Community Bank grand openings in South Austin.–

    I take it you’re on board with the Containment Strategy.


  19. - Joe Biden Was Here - Thursday, Sep 6, 18 @ 8:45 pm:

    Shows ya who he was working for….


  20. - Anonymous - Thursday, Sep 6, 18 @ 8:58 pm:

    People, one of youse is about to become Governor. Breathe.


  21. - City Zen - Thursday, Sep 6, 18 @ 9:13 pm:

    ==I take it you’re on board with the Containment Strategy.==

    Not if the Russians love their children too.


  22. - Jon - Thursday, Sep 6, 18 @ 11:13 pm:

    So sick of hearing about this guy. I have a feeling this isn’t the end, but the beginning of whatever he’s going to go for next. Death, taxes, and politics I suppose…


  23. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 6:10 am:

    Businesses come to Chicago to make money. They will still come here to make money no matter who is the mayor.


  24. - Pick a Name - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 7:47 am:

    Grandson of Man has no idea, no clue how businesses operate and how they favorably impact communities. Chicago has been run by Dems for 50-75 years. If you want to find the source of the problems, look there first.


  25. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 7:53 am:

    ===Chicago has been run by Dems for 50-75 years. If you want to find the source of the problems, look there first.===

    Then why hasn’t a Republican ran… and won?

    If it’s been such a failing run, it shoulda been easy for a Republican to win. Heck even NYC has had Republican and Independent mayors.

    Why hasn’t a Republican ran and won?


  26. - NorthsideNoMore - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 7:58 am:

    Business community probably should be relieved a bit, buy also apprehensive about the next shakedown or the pc term “cost of doing business in chi town”…but hey now the mayor can watch the videos before settling millions in lawsuits unlike in the past 7 years so theres that.


  27. - Downstate - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 8:14 am:

    I hope the next mayor works with Pritzker and the GA to implement an income tax for citizens and workers in Chicago. This will help alleviate the funding shortage for CPS, police pensions, etc.

    We downstate breathlessly await the results of such an experiment.


  28. - wordslinger - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 8:49 am:

    –Chicago has been run by Dems for 50-75 years.–

    LOL, that’s a ballpark figure. Your historical insight might be more credible if you could narrow that rather broad range of recent history.

    No need to estimate, if your studies include 20 seconds on the google. We’re not talking the Pleistoscene Period.


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