Historic Pullman continues revitalizing with new warehouse jobs on old steel factory site

In the historic Pullman Park neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois, massive new warehouses are the latest phase of 180-acre redevelopment of a former Ryerson Steel factory site. REVITALIZATION has previously featured revitalization efforts in Pullman, here and here.

Now, Minneapolis-based developer Ryan Companies and nonprofit community developer Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives (CNI) said multiple industrial buildings are planned for the redevelopment, totaling up to 1.2 million square feet on the land that’s immediately north of the Whole Foods facility.

Previous phases created revitalization in the form of new jobs the nearby Method Products soap factory, and both new jobs and local food production at the Gotham Greens rooftop greenhouse.

The rooftop farm. Photo credit: Gotham Greens.

Gotham Greens sits on top of Method’s South Side Soapbox, and is the world’s largest rooftop farm. Gotham Greens state of the art agricultural greenhouse facility on the roof of the plant that produces up to 1 million pounds of fresh, sustainably grown, pesticide-free produce annually. The produce is distributed to local Chicago retailers, restaurants, farmer’s markets and community groups.

When compared to conventional agriculture, Gotham Greens’ re-circulating irrigation methods use 10 times less land and 20 times less water and eliminate the need for pesticide use and fertilizer runoff, which is one of the leading causes of global water pollution. Gotham Greens employs 40 people.

While Pullman had suffered greatly from the loss of the steel and rail manufacturing industries that fueled its initial growth, CNI focused attention on the community’s assets: historic buildings; the availability of developable land; rail, air, road and water connections to both the Atlantic and the Pacific; and, of equal importance, an organized community that valued the past as a foundation for building toward the future.

One of Pullman’s many historic buildings. Photo courtesy of CNI.

CNI began its work in Pullman by listening. CNI undertook an extensive community planning process, attending more than 60 community meetings and hosting three planning workshops.

Community members identified key goals: 1) job creation; 2) access to groceries, retail amenities, and affordable housing; and 3) safe recreational spaces.

Today, CNI is the master developer of Pullman Park, a 180-acre mixed use site at 111th Street and I-94, where CNI has coordinated $130 million of new investment and created nearly 750 new jobs.

Pullman Park is providing new retail goods and services to Pullman, Roseland and the Greater Calumet Region, including a 150,000 square foot Walmart, featuring a full-service grocery; more than 70,000 square foot of new retail space anchored by a Ross Dress for Less, a Planet Fitness, and an Advocate Health Care.

Rendering courtesy of Ryan Companies.

See Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives’ Pullman Revitalization website.

See Chicago Tribune article by Ryan Ori.

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