Riverdale first to benefit from year-long technical assistance from ULI Chicago and Campaign for Sensible Growth - Metropolitan Planning Council

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Riverdale first to benefit from year-long technical assistance from ULI Chicago and Campaign for Sensible Growth

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Looking to strengthen Riverdale’s stock of affordable housing within a broad and ambitious redevelopment plan that includes TIF districts and industrial redevelopment, the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Chicago and Campaign for Sensible Growth will convene a two-day technical assistance panel (TAP) on Aug. 20 and 21, 2003 at the Riverdale Village Hall.

The panel will bring together real estate, planning and development experts to provide unbiased, pragmatic advice on the Village of Riverdale’s efforts to identify development options for the Pacesetter neighborhood, and is intended to help the Village develop a housing plan that includes the revitalization of the community. “TAPs are a rare and valuable opportunity for municipalities and neighborhoods to access the insight and advice of a broad range of community development professionals,” says Charles Hill, panel chair and former executive vice president of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago. Rux Currin, chair of ULI Chicago, adds “ our experts connect housing, transportation and community livability solutions. Their recommendations form the base of a customized action plan for the community.”

Riverdale’s case presents a unique opportunity. For the first time, the panel will continue to work with the community for one year in order to monitor progress and guide implementation. The Village will also convene a blue ribbon committee that includes U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-Ill.) to help identify and secure federal resources to assist in the project. Key to the success of the project will be interviews with Riverdale residents, business leaders and community leaders. According to Riverdale Mayor Zenovia Evans, “achieving quality housing options for all of our residents is extremely important for the health of our Village.”

The Campaign and ULI have partnered on TAPs throughout the region for the past three years in diverse communities — including Park Forest earlier this summer, and Richmond, Hanover Park and Highland Park. A panel of experts in fields ranging from transportation and land use to law and finance is convened in each community to take a close and educated look at the situation. Based on interviews with residents and public officials, and on-site investigations, the panels present recommendations in a public session at the end of the second day.

Riverdale Village Board officials have presented specific questions to the TAP. They include what role the Village should play in the redevelopment effort, how to identify and secure financial resources, what social services will be needed to address the needs of residents of Pacesetter, and how can redevelopment enhance the stability of the local school district.

The Urban Land Institute is a national, nonprofit education and research institute that is supported by its members. Its mission is to provide responsible leadership in the use of land in order to enhance the total environment. ULI Chicago consists of more than 800 ULI members living and working in the Chicago region. One of the first ULI District Councils formed, today it is one of the largest in the nation.

The Campaign for Sensible Growth is an action-oriented coalition of nearly 200 government, civic and business leaders in northeastern Illinois' six counties (Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will) working to promote economic development while preserving open space, minimizing the need for costly new infrastructure and improving the livability of our communities.

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WHAT: Technical Assistance Panel in Riverdale

WHEN: Media availability can be arranged on Aug. 20. Members of the working media are invited to the final presentation to the community at 3:00 p.m. on August 21, 2003

WHERE: Riverdale Village Hall, 157 West 144 th Street

WHO: ULI Chicago/Campaign for Sensible Growth

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