SPOTLIGHT ON: Burnside Industrial Corridor


As an economic power house Chicago is a city with a large talent pool and diverse industries. It is globally connected with the #1 most connected airport in the country – O’Hare International Airport.  On top of these strengths, one of the most valuable parts of Chicago is of the wide array of available land for industrial use.

Intent on leveraging this unique value proposition to accelerate industrial development in five targeted areas across the city, the City of Chicago created the Industrial Growth Zones program. The program addresses two primary issues that developers and business-owners cite as obstacles to site investment:

  1. Uncertain environmental conditions of available land
  2. Complex government regulations

The designated zones are in close proximity to domestic and international markets via Chicago’s world-class railways, airports, roads, and waterways, making them ideal for many industrial businesses, especially those in the food and distribution and logistics verticals. Most importantly this land is ripe for development.

The designated Growth Zones are located in five areas:

  • Lake Calumet Industrial Corridor
  • Burnside Industrial Corridor
  • Greater Southwest Industrial Corridor
  • Northwest Industrial Corridor
  • Roosevelt/Cicero Redevelopment Area

Through the program, business owners and developers have access to resources that allow site development to increase efficiency and cost-effectiveness. This includes access to an industrial concierge – a single-point-of-contact to guide them through every step of site development and business expansion or relocation in a zone.

Why Burnside Industrial Corridor?

Located on the southeastern side of the city, Burnside has an increasingly competitive commercial property market with vacancy rates falling from 21.1% in 2010 to less than 3% in 2018. The existing businesses in the area thrived and expanded within the growth zone, making it an area that retains businesses and continues to show promise.

The largest employers in the area include:

  • Kellogg Company
  • ITR Concessions
  • Nationwide Foods
  • Berglund Construction Company
  • Debacca Natural Foods

For prospective companies, the available sites in Burnside provide a flexible, cost-effective option for new or growing businesses, surrounded by a thriving industrial business community.


What companies are ideal fits for this area?

Food manufacturing and Transportation, Distribution and Logistics (TDL) companies are a great fit for this area. Approximately 27 percent of companies in Burnside are food manufacturers and another 23 percent are related to TDL industries. In Chicago, food manufacturing employment is growing rapidly at six percent compared to five percent nationally. In addition, distribution and warehousing employment is growing nationally (three percent) and in Chicago, along with a rise of e-commerce and “same day delivery” services.  These new expectations of consumer purchasing through e-commerce merchants are providing new opportunities for companies with a desire to locate in urban locations with closer proximity to the customer as well as access to a connected infrastructure and transportation systems that provide easy access to national and global markets.

What does Burnside offer?

Cost-Effective Relocation

  • Certain city-owned site allows for cost-effective land acquisition for development projects that deliver significant job creation.
  • Nearly $5 million in TIF and Enterprise Zone incentives have already been allocated with additional benefits likely through Chicago’s Opportunity Zones.
  • Through Chicago’s Industrial Growth Zone Program, firms also gain access to a dedicated concierge to serve as a single point of contact to expedite all permitting and governmental assistance.

Access to Transportation

  • Ideal for a variety of transportation needs, including product haul.
  • Located less than 1 mile from I-94/I-57.
  • Excellent transit access to the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) Red Line, Green Line, and Metra.
  • Served by several rail sites.

Highly-Skilled Workforce (industry-specific)

Chicago has a robust workforce pipeline for food & beverage manufacturing and TDL.

  • Chicago ranks #1 in the country in food manufacturing employment with an established workforce of 57,000 in the industry. Transportation and transit assets in Burnside provides premiere access to commuters across the metro area.
  • Access to the largest trucking workforce in the nation and the 2nd largest warehousing market with a combined TDL workforce of over 190,000 people in the Chicago metro.
  • Second largest manufacturing labor shed in the U.S.
  • Nearly $100 million in investment currently being deployed in higher education facilities to help produce the highly-skilled professionals needed to meet future manufacturing- and TDL-related workforce demand.

What does each site offer?

Site 1: 915 East 99th Street

  • City-owned 9-acre vacant lot available for immediate development
  • Less than half a mile from I-94
  • Supported by potential city and state funding to meet all customized road transportation needs
  • Ample parking surrounding the area to support a flexible and growing workforce
  • Recently completed CSI/ROR/RAP (environmental report) indicated no Historical RECs, Controlled RECs, de minimis conditions, Business Risk, or Vapor Encroachment Conditions (VEC); TOPO and ALTA survey also available
  • Located near potential food manufacturing partners
    • e.g., international meat processing firm, a local vegetable fats and oil company, and a snack-food division of Kellogg

Site 2: 825 East 99th Street

  • Former food manufacturing facility
  • Less than half a mile from I-94
  • Ample parking surrounding the area to support a flexible and growing workforce
  • 6b Tax Abatement eligible
  • C3-1 Zoning allows for commercial or manufacturing use

Site 3: Calumet Business Center

  • Available space ranging from 50,000 to 147,000 sq ft
  • Established industrial park with well-maintained roads and infrastructure
  • Offers build-to-suit opportunity as well as existing space
  • Less than half a mile from I-94
  • Ample parking surrounding the area

To learn more about the Industrial Growth Zone sites and business development opportunities please visit www.growthzones.com or contact Dennis Vicchiarelli at dvic@worldbusinesschicago.com.

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