Kick-Starting Growth

April 28, 2021
Written by: Jeanne Peck
On April 21st, CREW Chicago presented a thoughtful webinar titled "Kickstarting Growth-Chicago Real Estate as a Catalyst."  There, panelists Lisa Dziekan with World Business Chicago, Dr. James Gillespie with Sterling Bay's Prysm Institute, Chip Hastings with the City of Chicago and David Doig with Chicago Neighborhoods Initiatives shared their ideas on how our commercial real estate community can use various tools to grow Chicago's larger projects and smaller neighborhood projects.  The ultimate goal is a larger, more active and equitable economy in Chicago.  Robin Schabes, with the Chicagoland Opportunity Zones Consortium led the discussion.   Some of the ideas shared included Sterling Bay's funding an affiliated institute in the areas of Life Sciences, Tech and Healthcare (to grow entrepreneurs that are intended to be future tenants in its office buildings).  Another idea is the City of Chicago's SBIF program providing funding to grow small businesses and many tools offered by the Opportunity Zones Consortium from specific vendors/specialists to funding for projects in opportunity zones.  It was a well-attended event with almost 100 people registered and deep participation from public and private practitioners.