With the vernal equinox and Spring upon us, it behooves us to look at the opportunities ahead.
First, the Chase Bank Building downtown will be restored with historic tax credits. It will become the headquarters for roughly 18 OSF hospitals and a further testament to the strong commitment of the Sisters of the Third Order to our great city. When retrofitted, it will house 750 OSF employees who will be a stone’s throw from our neighborhood.
Great things are happening! I see a vibrant corridor of opportunity stretching from Western and Main and extending to the new OSF development as well as Warehouse District.
Many additional high paying union jobs will be created during the retrofit stage, complementing the work at Bradley’s Convergence Center site.
A built out NEW Bradley student housing development at Main and Garfield will enhance the vibrancy of West Main as we approach the Main and Sheridan intersection and result in even more jobs! A new cross signal will soon be installed to help residents and shoppers cross a very busy and vibrant West Main Street and facilitate a safe crossing for the Central Illinois Ballet students.
The work on West Moss Brownstones is commencing, and we will have a new Douglas A. MacArthur Bridge by November.
On a different note, we must again beat back the reckless and grossly irresponsible recommendation
to close the Science Lab on North University. Two hundred government scientists must be allowed to continue their life saving research. Working with our Congressional and Senatorial delegations, we can win this battle again.
We also have a new Acting Police Chief. Loren Marion III has assumed the position, and I will continue to work closely with him to assure that he has a complete understanding of some of our security challenges.
I wish all of you the best and will see you soon.