CHICAGO — Despite years of opposition, the ribbon was cut Tuesday on a new million-square foot Target distribution facility on the city’s West Side.
Protesters gathered at the site along 33rd and Pulaski where the private ribbon-cutting ceremony was held by Hilco Redevelopment Partners.
The protesters say the West and South sides have been unfairly impacted by facilities like these, and that its become somewhat of an environmental dumping ground.
Their concerns include things like traffic congestion and poor air quality. They’re also critical of the almost $20 million in tax breaks Hilco received for this project.
The company pitched the community on the plans back in 2018 to replace the Crawford Coal plant. That construction project had a couple of setbacks with a worker killed in December 2019 after a fall.
In April of last year, the neighborhood was also blanketed in dust and smoke after the botched implosion of an almost 400-foot tall smokestack.
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Protesters on Tuesday want Target to break their lease, saying the facility could be put to much better use.
Following the botched implosion last year and after Illinois sued, Hilco agreed to pay out about $370,000 into a fund to support community health.