Ribbon Cutting Event Marks Step Forward in Nation’s First Cargo-Oriented Development
A ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the environmental remediation of 40 acres of prime industrial land straddling Chicagoland’s Dixmoor and Harvey was held on Monday with dozens of stakeholders in attendance. U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr.; Illinois Rep. Will Davis; Dixmoor Mayor Keevan Grimmett; and Harvey Director of Planning and Community Development LaTonya Rufus spoke about the benefits of returning the site to industrial use: job creation, increased tax revenue for the towns, and a renewed sense of pride.
The political leaders also acknowledged the important contributions of CNT, the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association (SSMMA), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Land Resource Management Group to make the clean-up possible.
Site remediation is funded by $600,000 in zero-interest loans and grants from a loan fund capitalized by the EPA and managed by SSMMA, as well as a $200,000 direct grant by the EPA. The environmental contamination on the site, largely abandoned since the 1980s, has prevented redevelopment of what is a geographically desirable location. The site is located within two miles of two intermodal freight terminals, has direct railroad access to CSX and CN railroad lines, and is only a mile from an entrance to I-57.
Once remediation is complete, Dixmoor and Harvey will jointly issue a request for proposals for redevelopment of the site into an industrial-logistics park that could create hundreds of new jobs for the area. The site clean-up is a component of a comprehensive industrial and residential redevelopment plan for 42 municipalities in the south suburbs centered around the region’s extensive transportation assets.
CNT and SSMMA staff, the primary creators of the Green TIME Zone plan, were in Washington, D.C., in mid-December to advocate for additional federal funding to realize the plan and explain how this work could be a national model for industrial redevelopment around rail infrastructure.