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Urban Land Institute Chicago releases “Elevate State” report with recommendations for a vibrant State Street

Posted  3 months ago

Press contacts: Ariella Gibson | Marketing and Communications Manager, Chicago Loop Alliance | Ariella@ChicagoLoopAlliance.com | 708-543-4002

Swasti Shah | Director of Community Engagement, Urban Land Institute Chicago | Swasti.shah@uli.org

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | Dec. 7, 2023

CHICAGO – Today, Urban Land Institute Chicago (ULI Chicago), with support from the City of Chicago Department of Planning and Development and Chicago Loop Alliance, releases the final “Elevate State” report with recommendations to reenergize and enhance State Street from Wacker Drive to Ida B. Wells Drive. The report presents the findings from convening a multi-disciplinary panel of real estate professionals and cultural leaders to recommend strategies to establish State Street as a vibrant, mixed-use district, for Chicagoans and visitors, in the heart of the city. View the full report recommendations here.

The report presents more details on recommendations that the ULI Chicago panel first presented at a community meeting on August 16, 2023 at the Harold Washington Library, including elements aimed at improving State Street and addressing unique challenges and efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change.

“We look forward to supporting Chicago Loop Alliance and the city in implementing the panel’s recommendations to elevate State Street as Chicago’s Great Street, a place for world-class cultural, learning, and entertainment experiences that are uniquely Chicago.” said Mark Kelly, ULI Chicago Panel Chair and former Commissioner, City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE). “A thriving State Street is essential for the vibrancy and long-term health of the downtown and the city.

Key recommendations include:

  • Creating space to host special events
  • Encouraging adaptive reuse, including new residential
  • Reimagining the streetscape to enhance safety and shape visitor experience
  • Embracing State Street’s connectivity through public transit, multimodal transportation and walkability, currently garnering a perfect transit score of 100/100 by WalkScore
  • Capitalizing on the three anchors of the street – arts and culture; retail; and education
  • Utilizing Chicago Loop Alliance’s role as sole service provider for State Street SSA #1-2015 and the ability to expand its reach through Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) pending Illinois congressional and Chicago City Council approval.
  • Expanding geographic boundaries of the LaSalle Central Area TIF to include State Street.

Since the August community meeting, Chicago Loop Alliance began integration and execution of several key strategic opportunities, such as the recent Enteractive State installation along State Street throughout October. As the organization is primed for managing the experience of State Street visitors, Chicago Loop Alliance also incorporated a variety of recommendations into their new five-year strategic plan, which will be released in mid-December.

“State Street is an invaluable corridor for Chicago and serves as a representation of the mix of uses available to major throughfares beyond motor vehicles,” said Michael Edwards, President and CEO of Chicago Loop Alliance. “The Elevate State plan provides sufficient evidence that successful, innovative programming like Sundays on State, as well as the dynamic mix of sectors present along State Street, will drive the Loop forward as a world-class downtown. To address the concerns and needs of Chicagoans, we aim to advance the way that downtown streets like State Street are utilized and occupied for the benefit all users.”

Central City Recovery

The ULI Chicago TAP for State Street was convened as part of the City of Chicago’s downtown recovery planning efforts, which resulted in the "Central City Recovery Roadmap" plan in June 2021.

About Chicago Loop Alliance
Chicago Loop Alliance (CLA)’s mission is to lead the community by creating and supporting inclusive programs that attract people and investment to the Loop. CLA is a membership organization as well as the sole service provider for Special Service Area #1-2015, and the Chicago Loop Alliance Foundation produces free public art projects and events. For more information, visit LoopChicago.com.

About ULI Chicago
The Urban Land Institute (ULI) is a global, member-driven organization dedicated to advancing the Institute’s mission: shape the future of the built environment for transformative impact in communities worldwide. ULI Chicago, a District Council of the Urban Land Institute, has over 1,500 members in the Chicago area representing all aspects of the real estate industry, including developers, property owners, investors, architects, planners, public officials, real estate brokers, appraisers, attorneys, engineers, financiers, and academics. ULI Chicago’s Technical Assistance Panel (TAP) program allows local communities and government agencies an opportunity to access strategic advice from development experts that they could not obtain through any other process. Through its TAP program, ULI Chicago convenes a multidisciplinary team of ULI-members and partners to address complex land use challenges and help sponsors find creative, practical, and implementable solutions.

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