5 Projects That May Change Chicago's Far South Side Neighborhood Pullman

New development could bring jobs, residential construction, and greater access to public transportation to the Far South Side neighborhood of Pullman. See how these five projects would affect the neighborhood, designated a National Monument by President Barack Obama during his time in office.

Pullman Park

Pullman Park is a major mixed-use development already, led by Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives (CNI). The 180-acre project site, located at 111th Street and I-94, represents $250 million of new investment in the neighborhood, according to the project website.

A number of the project’s elements have already been completed. For example, the Pullman Park Wal-Mart is open for business, and Method Home Products employs 100 workers at its manufacturing facility.

At the beginning of this year, Whole Foods opened a 140,000-square-foot distribution center at Pullman Park, which generated another 100 jobs, according to Curbed Chicago.

Gotham Greens, a company that grows produce in urban areas, opened a 75,000-square foot rooftop greenhouse in Pullman in 2015. At the beginning of this year, the organization announced plans to open a second greenhouse—a 105,000-square-foot facility at Pullman Park. The new greenhouse is currently under construction, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The second Gotham Greens greenhouse is expected to cost approximately $12.5 million and bring 60 jobs to the neighborhood. Like its sister greenhouse, this facility will grow produce that will be sold in stores like Whole Foods. 

“We really wanted to be part of the economic revival of Pullman. Being urban means making a positive impact in the communities we serve and providing economic and job development,” Gotham Greens CEO Viraj Puri told the Chicago Tribune.

Artspace Lofts

CNI has another Pullman project on its plate. The developer is working with Artspace Projects to bring an $18 million, mixed-use development to the neighborhood, according to The Real Deal.

The Artspace Lofts development, planned for the corner of 111th Street and Langley Avenue, will feature 38 affordable residential units and 2,000 square feet of community space in three different buildings. The community space would include a studio, classrooms, and a public gallery.

The developers needed to clear several reviews to ensure the development met historic preservation guidelines, but CNI and Artspace Projects have now received permits to begin construction on the 32,000-square-foot development, according to the report.

The Real Deal pointed out that the project is of particular significance because it marks the first new housing to be built in the neighborhood in 50 years.

Red Line Extension

At the beginning of this year, city officials announced plans for a 5.3-mile extension of the CTA Red Line. The extension would cut through a number of Far South Side neighborhoods, including Pullman, Riverdale, Roseland, and Hegewisch.

The extension will be a costly project (up to $2.3 billion), but it would mean big changes for the Far South Side. Travel time to the Loop could be cut nearly in half, it could spur economic development, and it could promote the neighborhood’s status as a National Monument.

Though the Red Line extension could have a transformative effect on Pullman, it’ll take a while to come to fruition. Funding still remains a question, and even with financial backing, the project wouldn’t be expected to break ground until 2022, according to Bisnow.

A New Industrial Park

Last year, developer Ryan Companies announced a major proposal for Pullman: a 62-acre industrial park. The Pullman Crossings development could include up to 1.2 million square feet of industrial space, according to the project website.

The project, being developed in partnership with CNI, has easy access to I-55, I-294, I-80, and the Loop, making it an ideal spot for industrial development. The proposed development would not be far from the Pullman Park site. Making Pullman Crossings a reality will cost between $50 million and $90 million.

The development is expected to create thousands of jobs, although the final number will be determined by the types of tenants that set down roots in the industrial park. As time goes on, Pullman Park could become a mixed-use development with hotels and residential space.

"This is the culmination of a lot of our work to bring more jobs to the community. In the last 30 to 40 years this area has lost tens of thousands of jobs, which has been a source of the area's decline. Jobs are important in rebuilding the area,” Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives President David Doig told the Chicago Tribune.

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