Mayor Rahm Emanuel today announced that 14 acres of wooded land along the north branch of the Little Calumet River in West Pullman would be donated to the City and transferred to the Chicago Park District under a proposal introduced today to City Council.
“This project will preserve open space in West Pullman while supporting the area’s ongoing renaissance,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Thanks to ArcelorMittal for donating this land and I look forward to getting started with preserving it for generations to come.”
Through an agreement with its current owner, ArcelorMittal steel company, the property known as Mittal Woods would be preserved as habitat for migrating and breeding birds and other wildlife common to the area. The land, which includes a variety of wetlands, is adjacent to the Major Taylor Bike Trail located near 128th Street and South Stewart Avenue.
The Pullman and West Pullman neighborhoods have been undergoing a historic renaissance. Last week, Mayor Emanuel joined Whole Foods Market to open the company’s new 140,000 square foot distribution center in the Pullman neighborhood. The new distribution center employs 100 people and allows the natural and organic grocer to better serve its 26 Chicagoland locations as well as an additional 34 locations across the Midwest and Eastern Canada. The center relocated from Indiana.
The new center is among more than $225 million in public and private projects moving forward in Pullman, including: the community’s 2015 designation as a National Monument by the U.S. Park Service for its historic affiliation with industry, land use planning and workers’ rights; the 2015 construction of Method Products’ first U.S. factory and Gotham Green’s rooftop greenhouse; the 2014 construction of the $135 million Pullman Park retail development.
Other recent public-private projects in West Pullman include the $52.5 million Kroc Community Center on 119th Street, the $11.1 million Maple Park Market retail space on 115th Street, and the $19.1 million Hancock House senior housing project on Emerald Avenue. Additionally, the Small Business Improvement Fund has granted more than $175,000 of TIF funds toward three neighborhood commercial projects over the last two years.
The acquisition and transfer was approved by the Chicago Plan Commission in November of last year.
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