Community assets are those built, natural, cultural and institutional elements that most define a neighborhood. They are anchor institutions, identity markers and community stabilizers. As such, they help guide local capital investment decisions.
Midway Airport is a core economic driver, serving 20.5 million passengers in 2013 and supporting thousands of jobs, but the area also has five industrial corridors and a direct link to downtown via the CTA Orange Line. Retail corridors struggle with vacancies, but maintain many strong blocks, in part thanks to new Mexican-oriented businesses. There are hundreds of small shops along Archer Avenue, 63rd Street, Pulaski Road and other streets, and larger shopping centers near the Orange Line stations. The Ford City Mall at Cicero and 76th Street, one of Chicago’s first enclosed malls when it opened in 1965, still draws from across the Southwest Side and suburbs, with 130 stores and a 14-screen cinema.
The Midway planning district, with its diverse neighborhoods, growing population, and solid housing stock, has strong assets to build on as it looks to the future. The airport itself is working at full capacity, serving as one of Southwest Airlines biggest hubs and also now connecting to international destinations in the Caribbean and Latin America. Thanks to the airport, industrial districts, and transportation-related businesses, the Midway district supports almost 55,000 local jobs, of which more than 8,000 are held by local residents. [Excerpted from Summary of Assets]