Residents hope new project in Pullman, including 1st S. Side Chick-fil-A, will help revitalize area

Thursday, May 9, 2024
Residents hope new development in Pullman will help revitalize area
Chicago residents are hoping a new development near the Pullman national monument, including a Chick-fil-A, will help revitalize the area.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Residents are hoping a new commercial center will help revitalize Chicago's Pullman neighborhood.

On Thursday, crews broke ground on the South Side's first Chick-fil-A restaurant.

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The development is in the shadow of the iconic clock tower of Pullman National Historic Park. It's also about a half-mile from the historic Pullman train campus.

The new investment in the area includes a new restaurant on what was an old parking lot.

"This specific location was never improved beyond the use that started more than 25 years ago, so today has been a long time coming," said Ciere Boatright, a commissioner for the Chicago Department of Planning and Development.

"Chick-fil-A is just thrilled to be a part of this Pullman Gateway development and to have our first store open on the South Side of Chicago," said Jason Hill, Chick-fil-A Midwest regional director.

Plans for the southwest corner of 111th Street and the Bishop Ford Freeway are the direct result of attention coming to Pullman and the adjacent Roseland neighborhood, with the national park designation of the Pullman monument.

"It's exciting to see the Roseland-Pullman community continue to move forward," said Rev. James Meeks, with the Hope Center Foundation.

Meeks, whose former church was built as a modern anchor in the community, now is focused on job training with the Hope Center Foundation, which is a partner of the Pullman Gateway project.

"With this Chick-fil-A coming, with the jobs, with the jobs we are able to give to the young people, and with the renaissance other businesses coming in, we hope that young people can see this and can see someone cares about this community. And, if somebody cares, maybe they'll care," Meeks said.

"It's fantastic; this has been an excellent job well done, and it's long coming," Pullman resident Mike Shymanski said.

"To go shopping, to invest in our own community, I'm just excited to have more places where we can foster more community," Pullman resident Kayla Knazze said.

Tracy Murray moved to Pullman after the monument designation.

"I'm looking forward to everything walkable, or I can ride my bike down here. I'm just right around the corner from here. I'm happy," Murray said.

While the new businesses have been focused in the area along 111th, east of the train tracks, residents are eager for the economic growth to expand to more of Roseland, west of the tracks.