The development of the U.S. Steel South Works site will be one of the largest developments taking place in the region and it is the last lakefront property in Chicago.
About the U.S. Steel South Works Site
- Covers an area larger than twice the size of the Loop (600 acres)
- Was formerly an LEED certified, ultra-green, high technology development
- Will be the largest local new source of jobs
- Is estimated to be a $4 billion project
The development of the U.S. Steel site has the capability to bring massive economic development to Southeast Chicago, and restore the region’s economic stability with employment opportunities, affordable housing, and increased revenue.
The Alliance of the SouthEast coordinates a Coalition of community organizations, schools, churches, and block clubs, that are working to get a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA). A CBA is a written agreement with the developers of a major site and the community. Our CBA includes provisions to ensure that the development benefits the surrounding neighborhoods, including:
- education, job training, and employment programs that prioritize the hiring of local residents
- affordable housing (rental and home ownership) available to local residents,
- tax relief for long-time residents
- environmental protections and a transportation plan that avoids displacement
We need to work together to ensure that the families that built this community can stay in this community and have access to the largest local source of jobs.
According to a Coalition for a Lakeside CBA survey of southeast side residents:
More than half of the respondents said that the development of the U.S. Steel site should benefit the surrounding community
Note: Respondents were allowed to choose more than one benefit to the community.
- Average number of years that families have lived on the southeast side: 32.6years
- 105 respondents said that someone in their household at a member of a trade union
*There were 428 respondents, which included residents from South Chicago, East Side, Calumet Heights, South Shore. Note: Respondents were allowed to choose more than one benefit to the community.
Preserving the rich history and diversity in southeast Chicago
A CBA is necessary to preserve the rich history and diversity in southeast Chicago. Many of the residents that used to work in the steel mills have stayed in the community. Many families have generations of family members that have been in the community for 20, 30, 50, or even more than 70 years. They should not be displaced as property taxes and rents increase due to the development.
The development of the U.S. Steel site would be the largest local source of jobs. Moreover, it is located on land that is still owned by U.S. Steel, the former employer of many families in the area. Even after the steel mills closed, families stayed in the area. There must be priority given to hiring local residents for local jobs that will soon be generated by the new development.
The Southeast side is unique in its diversity, which should be preserved and celebrated. It was originally settled by European immigrants first came to the area to work in the steel mills and as a result of the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893. The region is also the oldest Mexican establishment in Chicago. Our Lady of Guadalupe is the oldest Mexican parish in Chicago and one of the largest, active churches with a Latino constituency on the SouthEast side. The Southeast side also has a large African American population as well as a sizable Caribbean population.
South Chicago also has the most mom and pop stores in Chicago, an emerging green initiative with new housing and businesses, and an activist institutional base that is working to revitalize the neighborhood.
If you are interested in being added to our mailing list regarding the development of the Southworks site and related upcoming events, training, or job opportunities, please fill out the form below.