This document is the culmination of an innovative, two-year effort to develop an integrated and mutually reinforcing set of strategies and initiatives to drive growth in four contiguous Chicago neighborhoods: Chatham, Auburn Gresham, Avalon Park and Greater Grand Crossing. The plan reflects a new, replicable approach to neighborhood growth planning, embedded in the context of regional economic opportunities. Chapter I lays out the economic foundations of the plan, and is followed by a rigorous market analysis, articulation of the plan’s 16 strategies and an outline of the lead implementation initiatives and institutional infrastructure.

Chicago TREND (Transforming Retail Economics of Neighborhood Development) combines innovative predictive analytics, deal brokering and financial products to support “retail on the leading edge” of emerging neighborhood markets. The new initiative – including partnerships with ICSC, Nielsen, Econsult Solutions and leading retailers and developers – aims to enable retailers, developers, investors and neighborhoods to better target particular types of retail to specific changing neighborhoods offering retail opportunity that will help drive the neighborhood change. The initiative is led by Lyneir Richardson. To discuss potential retail development and partnership opportunities, please contact him at lrichardson@chicagotrend.com.

Chicago TREND (Transforming Retail Economics of Neighborhood Development) combines innovative predictive analytics, deal brokering and financial products to support “retail on the leading edge” of emerging neighborhood markets. The new initiative – including partnerships with ICSC, Nielsen, Econsult Solutions and leading retailers and developers – aims to enable retailers, developers, investors and neighborhoods to better target particular types of retail to specific changing neighborhoods, offering retail opportunity that will help drive the neighborhood change. The initiative is led by Lyneir Richardson. To discuss potential retail development and partnership opportunities, please contact him at lrichardson@chicagotrend.com.

MyHomeEQ, a joint venture of RW Ventures and CNT Energy, officially debuted in the Chicagoland market as part of Energy Impact Illinois (EI2), a CMAP-led initiative for more energy-efficient buildings.  As the online energy tool component of EI2, MyHomeEQ makes it easy for homeowners to learn about and improve the energy efficiency of their homes.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, DuPage County Chairman Dan Cronin and the Chief Executives of Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will Counties convened on September 29, 2014 to announce the launch of an unprecedented regional collaboration to improve Chicagoland’s economic competitiveness through exports. The culmination of collaboration among county, city, regional and national partners, Metro Chicago Exports will expand exports by the region’s small and medium-sized businesses by engaging high-potential firms with export opportunity, and providing “concierge” services to link them to appropriate service providers and funding.  RW Ventures is a principal partner and advisor in design and implementation of the initiative.

Prepared by Kansas City Neighborhood Alliance and Bob Weissbourd (when at Shorebank Advisory Services, Inc.), this Start-Up Business and Implementation Plan describes a project to open a loan production office and engage in other activities to support emergence of a private sector market of “ma-pa” rehabbers to revitalize the private housing development market in a targeted neighborhood of Kansas City.