Vienna Beef Move to Bridgeport Gets $5M City TIF Subsidy

By Casey Cora on June 13, 2013 7:06am 

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 Vienna Beef will soon move to the South Side from Bucktown.
Vienna Beef Moving to Bridgeport
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CHICAGO — Vienna Beef will receive nearly $5 million in city subsidies to move its sausage empire out of Bucktown and into Bridgeport.

The deal is tied to a jobs program and occupancy agreement at the property at 1000 W. Pershing Road, city officials said.

The city’s community development commission, a 15-member panel of mayoral appointees that authorizes TIFs, unanimously approved the incentives totaling $4.97 million at its Tuesday meeting. The measure is expected to go before the full city council later this month.

Vienna executives have said the city’s plan to unclog the busy Damen, Elston and Fullerton avenue intersection triggered the potential move. The reconfigured Elston Avenue would cut right in front of the company’s current front doors at 2501 N. Damen Ave.

A report issued to the commission indicated Vienna “has been courted to relocate to other states" but keeping it in the city "would continue a long tradition of manufacturing its globally recognized product in Chicago," according to ChicagoRealEstateDaily.com.

In exchange for the TIF money, Vienna agreed to employ 250 people at the site, and remain there for 15 years, ChicagoRealEstateDaily.com said.

If the deal is approved by the council, at least one of the businesses in the space, T & T Foodservice, would be forced to move. Co-owner Hazel Thomas said the food distributor has been in Bridgeport for three years. Company officials haven't figured out where they'll go next.

"We haven't gotten that far yet," she said.

A worker at C Meats and Deli, a small lunch counter in the front of the facility, said they "haven't been told anything yet" and declined further comment.

Ald. James Balcer (11th) and Vienna company officials did not return multiple calls seeking comment.

The Pershing Road facility once housed Best's Kosher's processing plant, which supplied hot dogs to the old Comiskey Park. Sara Lee bought the business in 1993 but shut it down in February 2009, according to WBEZ.

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