CHICAGO—Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Ninth Ward Alderman Anthony Beale, U.S. Bank and Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives held a conference Saturday to mark the beginning of development of the $46 million Pullman Park project, which sits on the former Ryerson Steel site along the Bishop Ford Expressway between 104th and 111th streets.

Plans for the Pullman Park development include up to 400,000 sq. ft. of big box retail – including Walmart, Ross Dress For Less and a Planet Fitness Health Club, as well as 50,000-75,000 sq. ft. of neighborhood retail new residential development; and indoor and outdoor recreational space. Late last year, the City Council approved $11 million in tax increment financing to support the completion of the neighborhood retail portion.  Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives has partnered with U.S. Bank to develop the project, which is also benefiting from state grants and federal New Market tax credits.

“Pullman is one of many, many neighborhoods that are unique and full of potential, and the city will play an important role in supporting their growth,” the mayor said at the meeting. “Economic development and a neighborhood’s success are reliant upon the support and strategic vision these ‘Opportunity Area’ plans provide. The city, in coordination with the private sector, has a vital role to play to help communities showcase and support their entertainment, economic and cultural assets. Only then will Chicago be able to live up to its potential as the global city that it should be.”

In addition to helping finance needed infrastructure improvements and the rehabilitation of Pullman Wheelworks, U.S. Bank donated land for future retail development, and employees are coordinating volunteer activities with the residents. Also discussed at the conference was the designation of the Pullman area as a national park.

“We’re proud to have been a partner in the development of Pullman Park from the very beginning of this project,” said Bill Fanter, senior vice president and regional manager of U.S. Bancorp. “We’re committed to ensuring that the revitalization of this community is successful and we’re ‘in it’ for the long haul.”