Central City Recovery Roadmap

Originally conceived by the 2020 “Forward Together” recovery report, the Central City Recovery Task Force consists of four subcommittees that are being led by a pair of established civic partners and staffed by CCAC members, including:

The Business and Commercial Subcommittee is co-chaired by Jack Lavin, president of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, and Kelly Welsh, president of the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago.

The Tourism and Culture Subcommittee is co-chaired by Mark Kelly, commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Event (DCASE), and Michael Fassnacht, interim president and CEO of World Business Chicago and chief marketing officer for the City of Chicago.

The Residents and Community Subcommittee is co-chaired by Bonnie Sanchez-Carlson, president and executive director of the Near South Planning Board, and Deborah Gershbein, president of the Streeterville Organization of Active Residents.

The Transportation and Mobility Subcommittee is co-chaired by Gia Biagi, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT), and Dorval Carter, president of the CTA.

Organized by CCAC members in consultation with the Department of Planning and Development, the four Subcommittees met regularly to analyze the problems facing the Central City and to identify solutions.   As the project progressed common themes shared by the four Subcommittees were identified and explored in more detail.  Serving as technical support staff, CCAC members met and communicated daily throughout the project to provide additional leadership and also wrote the final report as well as a detailed Implementation Matrix with 90 different actions.  

The initiative is led by the office of Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot with support from DPD, other City of Chicago agencies, and the CCAC.

Goals & Outcomes

  • Advance Recovery Task Force recommendation, with immediate + coordinated actions for the 2021 re-opening period - achieving a splash for Chicago 

  • Establish strategies and actions to maximize the Central Area's recovery post-pandemic 2021-24

  • Connect Central City growth with Chicago's neighborhoods and ongoing initiatives (i.e. We Will, Invest South West)

  • Identify actions and projects that could benefit from Federal investment 

  • Summarize actions, ideas, initiatives, and implementation strategies in a Final Report

Project Scope

Early task force meetings have focused on amplifying transit safety initiatives and transit service options to build rider confidence; strategies to help reactivate vacant storefronts and the public realm; market Chicago's assets to attract expanding and relocating businesses; convene and prepare the arts, culture, and tourism sectors for a strong reopening; and provide additional community amenities and educational options to retain families in the central area.

The initiative is led by the office of Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot with support from DPD, other City of Chicago agencies, and the CCAC.

Information Presentation

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Participating Firms

  • Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture

  • bKL Architecture

  • Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner

  • Chicago Title Insurance Company

  • Compass Commercial

  • d'Escoto, Inc.

  • HOK

  • Jenner & Block

  • Lamar Johnson Collaborative

  • Newmark Knight Frank

  • Perkins & Will 

  • Sam Schwartz Consulting

  • SB Friedman Development Advisors

  • Solomon Cordwell Buenz

  • SOM

  • Sterling Bay

  • The Habitat Company

  • Wight & Company