CITY HALL — Aldermen on Tuesday gave their OK to a class 6(b) tax incentive that would help a developer rehab an “industrial loft building” in the 11th Ward and lease it out to 11 other small businesses.
The application for the tax incentive (O2021-752) comes from Delaware-based Tara Management Co., who plans to lease the building at 1100 W. 37th St. to Bubbly Dynamics, operator of The Plant business incubator in Back of the Yards, who in turn would sublease out the rehabbed space to 11 small businesses, John Edel, president of Bubbly Dynamics, told aldermen Tuesday.
The incentive for Tara Management was one of two tax breaks aldermen approved Tuesday during the City Council Committee on Economic, Capital and Technology Development meeting. Additionally, a proposal from Ald. Gilbert Villegas (36th) to loosen restrictions on home businesses was held in committee and aldermen approved four appointments and reappointments to Special Service Area commissions.
Edel said Bubbly Dynamics focuses on repurposing “formerly vacant industrial properties” like The Plant at 1400 W. 46th St., which also serves as a “living laboratory” where research and experiments are conducted on “ways to make small businesses more environmentally and economically sustainable.” The Plant is home to businesses including Whiner Beer Co., Back of the Yards Algae Sciences, Bike a Bee and Packingtown Museum.
About half of the businesses operating out of The Plant currently are women-owned and about one-third are owned by people of color, Edel said.
Bubbly Dynamics’ intent to sublease the warehouse space on 37th Street has generated “a lot of interest already from potential tenants who would love to move in,” Edel told aldermen.
According to a presentation from Emmett Morrissey, financial planning analyst in the city’s Department of Planning and Development, the tax incentive would mean $185,638 in savings over the 12-year term. Additionally, Tara Management began renovations on the 17,235-square-foot in the fourth Quarter of 2020 and expects the project to be complete “mid-2021,” according to the presentation.
Morrissey said rehab efforts will restore the building to its original condition and address stabilization, masonry and window issues.
Bubbly Dynamics also operates Bubbly, or the Chicago Sustainable Manufacturing Center, out of a 24,000 sq. ft. building formerly home to the Lowe Brothers Paint warehouse, according to the Bubbly Dynamics website. Tenants include furniture manufacturers, “bike builders” and the Chicago Tool Library, the website shows.
Ald. Raymond Lopez (15th) heaped praise on Edel and The Plant, which is located in his ward.
“We really got a chance to see him take off to repurpose the old [Peer Foods meatpacking plant] in Back of the Yards community and create over 100 jobs in a factory that otherwise was dead and dormant and useless to the city of Chicago,” Lopez said. “The fact that John is here today doing what I know he does best in my community and expanding into Bridgeport, I think it’s a wonderful thing.”
Lopez said he is “very proud” of what Edel “has done with all the businesses and all of the first-time businesses that were created by giving them a space that they can call home” at The Plant.
Home business ordinance shelved
Villegas, chair of the economic development committee, held in committee his proposal (O2021-332) to loosen restrictions on home business, saying he hopes “to finalize some details in the ordinance” for it to be heard next month. The alderman said “time is of the essence” to pass his ordinance and he hopes to work with Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office to pass the measure “as there are tons of small businesses that can take advantage of this opportunity.”
Aldermen on Tuesday also unanimously approved a class 6(b) tax incentive (O2021-754) for Illinois-based ADCO Superior Properties LLC to build a 10,000-square-foot addition to an industrial facility at 4616-4624 W. Superior St. in the 28th Ward to store “warehouse goods for painting, drywall and wall coverings,” according to the proposal.
Special Service Area appointments and reappointments included in The Daily Line’s preview of the meeting were also approved.