The development of the U.S. Steel South Works site will be one of the largest taking place in the Midwest and it is the last undeveloped lakefront property in Chicago.
About the U.S. Steel South Works Site
- Covers an area larger than twice the size of the Loop (600 acres)
- Will be the largest local new source of jobs
- $184 million in public funds committed to the development, including $119 million in TIF funds
- Is estimated to be a $4 billion project. The development of the U.S. Steel site has the capability to bring massive economic development to southeast Chicago, and restore the region’s economic stability with employment opportunities, affordable housing, and increased revenue.
Coalition for a South Works CBA
The Alliance of the SouthEast coordinates a Coalition of 40+ community organizations, schools, churches, businesses, and block clubs that are working to get a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA). A CBA is a legally binding, written agreement between developer/s and members of the community. Our CBA includes provisions to ensure that the development benefits local residents and businesses in the surrounding neighborhoods, including:
- Local hiring policies, fair wages, employment training programs, and support of MBEs/WBEs/DEBs during construction phases of development.
- Affordable housing that is attainable to families incomes in the current, surrounding community,
- Access to, training in, and support of technology initiatives in the Community;
- Environmental safeguards, amenities, and transportation plans that protect human safety and local wildlife, preserve open space, maximize use of land through duration of the project, and preserve the character of arterial streets;
- Creation of a Community Center for education and betterment of local residents; and
- Creation of a Community Board to ensure CBA compliance through duration of Project.
We need to work together to ensure that the families that built this community can stay in this community and have access to the largest local source of jobs.
According to a Coalition for a South Works CBA survey of southeast side residents:
More than half of the respondents said that the development of the U.S. Steel site should benefit the surrounding community
Note: Respondents were allowed to choose more than one benefit to the community.
- Average number of years that families have lived on the southeast side: 32.6years
- 105 respondents said that someone in their household at a member of a trade union
*There were 428 respondents, which included residents from South Chicago, East Side, Calumet Heights, South Shore. Note: Respondents were allowed to choose more than one benefit to the community.
Preserving the rich history and diversity in southeast Chicago
A CBA is necessary to preserve the rich history and diversity in southeast Chicago. Many of the residents that used to work in the steel mills have stayed in the community. Many families have generations of family members that have been in the community for 20, 30, 50, or even more than 70 years. They should not be displaced as property taxes and rents increase due to the development.
The development of the U.S. Steel site would be the largest local source of jobs. Moreover, it is located on land that is currently owned by U.S. Steel, the former employer of many families in the area. Even after the steel mills closed, families stayed in the area. There must be priority given to hiring local residents for local jobs that will soon be generated by the new development.
The southeast side is unique in its diversity, which should be preserved and celebrated. It was originally settled by European immigrants first came to the area to work in the steel mills and as a result of the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893. The region is also the oldest Mexican establishment in Chicago. Our Lady of Guadalupe is the oldest Mexican parish in Chicago and one of the largest, active churches with a Latino constituency on the southeast side. The southeast side also has a large African American population as well as a sizable Caribbean population.
South Chicago also has the most mom and pop stores in Chicago, an emerging green initiative with new housing and businesses, and an activist institutional base that is working to revitalize the neighborhood.
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