Pullman and Roseland Communities Celebrate Latest Milestone in their Revitalization

At the groundbreaking for the new 8-acre Pullman Gateway commercial center and the first Chick-fil-A on the South Side at 112th and Corliss Avenue. Pictured left to right are: Adrienne Baker, IFF, Managing Lending Director; Jason Hill, Chick-fil-A, Midwest Regional Director; 9th Ward Alderman Anthony A. Beale; David Doig, CNI, President; Commissioner Ciere Boatright, Dept. of Planning and Development; Reverend Charlie Dates, Salem Baptist Church; Reverend James Meeks, Hope Center Foundation, Founder. (Photo Provided).

Buoyed by a burgeoning retail landscape and the introduction of many new businesses over the past decade, the Pullman and Roseland communities today celebrated the groundbreaking of Pullman Gateway, a new 8-acre commercial center and its anchor tenant, the first Chick-fil-A restaurant on Chicago’s South Side.

The community celebration commemorated the first steps in transforming an unused parking lot and an abandoned off-track betting facility into the new Pullman Gateway. Once work is completed, the commercial center will feature the new 5,200-square-foot Chick-fil-A restaurant and house the CTA’s Red Line Extension offices. In addition to these developments, plans are underway to bring additional retail and dining options to Pullman Gateway.

“Today’s groundbreaking is the latest milestone in the ongoing revitalization of the Pullman and Roseland communities,” said 9th Ward Alderman Anthony A. Beale. “Pullman Gateway’s proximity to the Pullman National Historic Site and all the businesses and amenities located at Pullman Park and Pullman Plaza have made today’s exciting development possible.”

The new Chick-fil-A, one of America’s favorite restaurants, is being developed by Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives, a nonprofit community development organization, and Reverend James Meeks and his nonprofit community development organization, Hope Center Foundation. The site was previously acquired from a venture formerly owned by the Hawthorne Racecourse.

“By attracting the kind of development that residents have told us they need and want, we’re building a stronger, more vibrant community,” said David Doig, President of CNI.

“Chick-fil-A will be another welcome addition to our community, one that demonstrates what can be accomplished when businesses, organizations and residents share a real commitment to work together toward a brighter future,” said Rev. Meeks. “The transformation of historic Pullman from its neglected past into today’s growing neighborhood is truly amazing. And with the eventual extension of the Red Line, Pullman will only build on this momentum,” added Reverend Meeks.

Construction of the new Chick-fil-A is expected to be completed by the end of 2024. Once finished, the restaurant will create 125 new jobs, with 145 new construction-related jobs, offering dine-in, drive-thru, and carry-out services. The restaurant will join a growing culinary community that already includes Potbelly’s, Culver’s, and Lexington Betty’s Smokehouse, with more in development.

The Pullman and Roseland community is the site of many innovations over the past decade, including the first union-built green-roof Walmart; the first Method plant in the U.S. (currently an SC Johnson manufacturing and distribution center); the first Whole Foods Distribution Center in Illinois; the first Gotham Greens greenhouse outside of New York; the Pullman Community Center, the region’s largest year-round, indoor sports, and education facility; and the Pullman National Historic Site, the city’s first and only National Park. Altogether, more than $500 million has been invested in the community since 2014, which has created 2,000 jobs.

“Thanks to the tireless work on behalf of the community by 9th Ward Alderman Anthony Beale, CNI, the City of Chicago, Reverend Meeks and the Hope Center Foundation, Pullman has become a model for community renewal,” said Reverend Charlie Dates, Salem Baptist Church, a community partner.

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