Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Grocery store in Roseland and SSA in 34th Ward from Citizen Newspapers

In the neighboring 9th Ward there was a groundbreaking for a new grocery store near 115th & Michigan:

Ald. Anthony Beale led ground breaking ceremonies for an Aldi store at 115th St. & Michigan Ave. to cheers of over 60 people who braved the snow and cold this weekend.

“There’s good representation here today — residents, business people, community leaders,” observed Godfrey Lawson, president of the l00~ and Eberbart Block Club. “The neighborhood is coming back!”

Persistence and renewal were the themes of several remarks made at the event. Beale noted he had worked 11 years to address the ward’s “food deserts” and that Aldi would be one of two major grocery stores to open soon. “They will flu avoid with fresh produce, seafood and other items we lack,” said Beale.

According to Musa Tadros, president of Crown Commercial Real Estate and Development Inc., the 18,000 sq. ft. Aldi will anchor a 90,000 sq. ft. mini-mall.

He expects the real work on Aldi to begin in March, with doors opening by the fall. He indicated a bank, restaurant and other services emphasized by the community were being sought to complete the mall.
Then in the 34th there is talk of creating an SSA for that part of the far south side:
Business owners and community residents of 34th Ward crowded into the Sheldon Heights Church located on 11325 South Halsted Street on last week to discuss Special Service Area (SSA) #46.

SSA #45 and #46 are located in the 34th Ward.

The SSA Program is a mechanism to fund expanded services and programs through a localized property tax levy within contiguous industrial, commercial and residential areas, according to the City of Chicago’s website.

The town hall meeting last week was for both #45 and #46 where the debate centered around the calculation of the tax levy where #46’s tax increment is much higher than #45.

Arba L. Houlden, Jr. executive director of the Far South Community Development Corporation (FSCDC) explained that, “The voting constituents benefit from the SSA because a more attractive and safe business district attracts more viable and popular tenants to the Ward. This way residence don’t have to travel outside the Ward to other neighborhoods for goods that their community provides,” he stated.

SSA-funded projects could include but are not limited to security services, area marketing and advertising assistance, promotional activities such as parades and festivals, or any variety of small scale capital improvements which could be supported through a modest property tax levy.
It was noted that there are 43 SSAs city wide. Of those there are only 10 in black neighborhoods throughout the city and only 4 in Latino neighborhoods. And surely the discussion only mirrors what's being discussed about an SSA here in the 6th.

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