Nearly 200 years since its founding by George Pullman of the Pullman Palace Rail Car Company and despite noble efforts to revitalize the area, the Pullman neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago was still just on the edge of recovery and missing key elements of a stable neighborhood including a fresh foods grocery store and quality jobs.
The $17 million first phase of development of Pullman Park encompasses a 52-acre big box retail development that includes a 148,000 square foot Wal-Mart and 257,000 square feet of additional retail development. The entire build-out of the community is anticipated to take seven to ten years.
MBS Urban Initiatives partnered with developer Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives as well as US Bank, the City of Chicago and the State of Illinois, to bring New Markets Tax Credits to the Pullman neighborhood and to bring crucial retail and jobs into the area. Together with US Bancorp Community Development Corporation and RBC Community Development, MBS Urban Initiatives helped to commit more than $7.5 million of New Markets Tax Credit equity to the project. In addition, US Bank donated 8.6 acres of land and provided a $9.5 million loan to the developer, Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives.
Now, this access to fresh foods and affordable retail is being restored with the completion of Pullman Park, 174 acres of retail, residential and community space on a long-vacant remnant of the region’s industrial history. As part of the agreement between Wal-Mart and the City of Chicago, the permanent jobs created by the retailer will pay living wages and come with benefits, increasing the quality of the jobs brought by the development.