COOK COUNTY – In a short time since its inception in 2019, as a coalition formed by stakeholders throughout the Southland and in Cook County, the Southland Development Authority has initiated the transformation of the Southland through strategic public and private partnerships.

Our partners run the gamut from small business owners in our Business Growth Services program, to major manufacturers with local histories and national operations involved in our Metals Hub and the Illinois Manufacturing and Excellence Center and the Black Contractors, Owners, & Executives. We have also partnered with real estate developers, workforce development providers and financiers of commercial, industrial and residential property projects. 

Local leaders within the Cook County government and entities such as the Chicago Community Trust and the MacArthur Foundation have provided critical grant funding that has allowed the Southland Development Authority to begin to make hyperlocal investments in community engagement, innovative redevelopment, and property relief programs that will gradually revitalize blighted areas within the Southland’s communities, from downtown business districts to areas zoned for light industrial and manufacturing purposes. 

Our close relationships with our partner agency, the South Suburban Land Bank and Development Authority, and the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association, are also beginning to pay dividends as we locate areas for concentrated business, retail, real estate, and industrial projects in the south suburbs. 

The transformative power of development authorities that effectively utilize regional partnerships with public and private entities is evidenced by the success of the Greater Cincinnati Redevelopment Authority and the Menomonee Valley Partners. The latter of which, since its founding in 1999, has transformed the region from Wisconsin’s “most visible eyesore” to a national model in economic development, responsible growth and environmental sustainability. 

Like Menomonee Valley Partners, the Southland Development Authority has begun the process of engaging stakeholders, elaborating on our vision of transformative growth across all sectors and bringing partners and stakeholders into the fold to work in coordination. 

Through the targeted creation of family-supporting jobs, investment in the Southland’s dedicated workforce and simultaneous investment in housing and green buildings, there is a strong evidence that the approach adopted by the Southland Development Authority can replicate the success of our northern neighbors and reestablish the region as an economic leader in the Chicagoland area. 

As the Southland Development Authority applies its focus to breathing new life into the region’s manufacturing, metals machinery and equipment and transportation, distribution and logistics sectors, the positive impact will begin to be felt by residents and businesses alike in the coming years. 

About Southland Development Authority 

The Southland Development Authority is a nonprofit business organization launched in 2019 by business, civic, and political leaders from around the Southland who recognize the potential of the region’s people, businesses, infrastructure, and real estate. The Authority brings the resources and capacity necessary to achieve transformative and inclusive economic growth for the region. It focuses on investment in industry, workforce, housing, and communities.

We work steadfastly to connect Southland business owners, investors, and individuals with key resources to operate and thrive in the region, from equipping mid-size and small businesses in our Business Growth services Program with customized advice and consulting services, to helping local residents access the tools needed to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams. With a deep institutional knowledge of the Southland’s people, markets, and history and our multifaceted, experienced team, the Southland Development Authority is a powerful partner for any individual, business, or investor.

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