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New Retail Corridor Coming To Englewood As City Moves Vehicle Fleet South

By  Andrea V. Watson and Heather Cherone | February 28, 2017 2:19pm 

 A state-of-the-art facility housing 10,000 city vehicles and pieces of equipment, along with 200 staff jobs, are coming to Englewood.
A state-of-the-art facility housing 10,000 city vehicles and pieces of equipment, along with 200 staff jobs, are coming to Englewood.
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Flickr/Arvell Dorsey Jr.

ENGLEWOOD — There's not just a huge new city facility and 200 jobs coming to the Englewood neighborhood, there's also a brand new retail corridor that will also bring jobs, city officials announced Tuesday.

The city's Department of Fleet and Facility Management is moving from the banks of the North Branch of the Chicago River near Goose Island to a large site in Englewood at 245 W. 69th Street.

As part of that move, which is several years away, the city plans to sell off a nearly 5 acres on Wentworth Avenue to be privately redeveloped as a retail corridor, city officials announced Tuesday during an event in the neighborhood.

“We'll have a new retail corridor which we haven't had — ever,” said 6th Ward Ald. Roderick Sawyer.

When plans become concrete, Sawyer said he will host community meetings to keep the people informed.

"Once we start getting that information we will be setting up meetings for the community to get their input and they can have better understanding of what's going on,” he said.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the move of the fleet management center is another good thing for Englewood, highlighting the more recent additions such as Chipotle and Whole Foods. The facility will house more than 10,000 city vehicles and pieces of equipment, such as snowplows and garbage trucks.

“This relocated facility will double down on the progress we have made in Englewood while helping improve city government’s operations and efficiency,” Emanuel said. “By making community investments in areas that need them, we can deliver long-term economic benefits to the entire city of Chicago.”

The new facility will be built on a 12.5-acre city-owned site near the Dan Ryan Expy., officials said.

Headquarters are now on city-owned land at 1685 N. Throop St. that will be put up for sale Wednesday.


Through a bidding process, funding will be generated for industrial and modern infrastructure development in Englewood, the North Branch corridor and other areas, city officials said.

The bid process is being coordinated by Cushman & Wakefield on behalf of the city. A bid due date has not been established.

Sawyer said funds from the sale will be used to build the new state-of-the-art facility. All 200 of the jobs will be relocated to Englewood.

“It's a good thing for the community and the neighbors,” he said, adding that the city wants to bring a training center to the area as well.

“New jobs that bring skilled labor and paychecks to Englewood will foster even more improvements that improve lives and neighborhood livability,” Sawyer said.

The new facility will yield an estimated savings of about $500,000 a year due to modernization efficiencies and a reduced building footprint, city officials said.

“The relocated 2FM facility will not only save the city significant operational costs, but provides a new location that will be custom built to meet the needs of our operations while generating an economic impact in the Englewood community,” said Fleet Management Commissioner David Reynolds said.