Site and infrastructure work has begun on the first phase of a retail development for Pullman Park on 52 acres of vacant former industrial land on Chicago’s South Side.
U.S. Bank, state and city officials announced that financing is in place for the initial portion of the 174-acre multiphase project, and the state of Illinois announced a $4.6 million grant for the second phase of road and infrastructure improvements on Woodlawn/Doty Avenue between 103rd and 106th streets.
The U.S. Bank financing package will allow Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives (CNI), an independent nonprofit formed after U.S. Bank’s acquisition of Park National Bank, Inc., to complete site and infrastructure work required for the first phase of Pullman Park.
The initial phase includes about 400,000 square feet of retail at 111th and the Bishop Ford Expressway. Walmart, the first anchor tenant, will build a 148,000-square-foot full-service store once the site improvements are complete next year. The store is slated to open in early 2013.
Future phases will include neighborhood retail stores along 111th Street, housing development, a recreation center and a 10-acre park.
The infrastructure upgrades are paid for by a portion of federal disaster recovery funds received after flooding due to Hurricane Ike in 2008. Richard Davis, chairman, president and chief executive officer of U.S. Bancorp, announced that the bank will donate 2.3 acres of land to the city for the re-routing of Doty Road, and donate another 6.3 acres for future retail development and storm run-off.
Davis noted that U.S. Bank has extended more than $105 million in community development loans and made more than $74 million in investments throughout the Chicagoland area in the past two years.
Pullman Park derives its name from being part of the original town of Pullman, originally part of a lake that was filled in by railway car manufacturer George Pullman in the 1800s for a community centered around the Pullman Palace Car Co. The Pullman factory shut down in the 1980s and the property was used by Ryerson Steel for metal fabrication until 2008.