CHICAGO — The mayor is promising to invest $750 million over the next three years into 10 South and West side communities. So, what does that mean for the people living in those neighborhoods? One place includes Roseland and its next-door neighbor Pullman on the Far South Side.
Businesses like Walmart, Method, Gotham Greens, Ross, Planet Fitness, a distribution center for Whole Foods, a small but locally owned food market and a spec building perhaps for a rumored Amazon Distribution Center have been lured to Pullman by 9th Ward Ald. Anthony Beale and his partner, David Doig, CEO of the non-profit Community Neighborhood Initiative.
“We go after these companies and these organizations to come on into our community. Take a chance on us," Beale said.
Its newest addition includes the Pullman Community Center, a $20 million combination sport facility, classroom and entertainment area.
Doig says this multi-million-dollar investment in the neighborhood has brought in thousands of new jobs for the Pullman community.
Yet, in nearby Roseland, there is one boarded up house after another. Lisa Swan said she is worried.
“It’s not a great site to see. And you know sometimes I think about safety whether it’s just criminal elements or overall safety elements as far as the house itself. And how long will it last be standing maybe a fire hazard," Swan said.
So, how will the city determine where to spend the dollars. and who’s going to benefit. Will the folks in the neighborhood see a difference?
Beale admits there are issues that need to be addressed.
“Yes, we do have challenges, I’m not going to tell you that we don’t, but we have huge success stories at the same time," he said.
Even with challenges ahead in Roseland and Pullman, hope remains that more investment will be the key to making a difference.