Ground Broken for First BUILT in Cook Economic Development Project

President Preckwinkle, other dignitaries join in celebration in Franklin Park Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle joined a number of local and federal officials Wednesday in breaking ground for infrastructure improvements that are key to revitalization of the Cullerton Avenue Industrial Area in Franklin Park. The groundbreaking celebrates the start of the first project funded in Cook County under the BUILT in Cook loan fund. BUILT (Broadening Urban Investment to Leverage Transportation) is a HUD Section 108 Loan Guarantee program that allows the County to borrow money from private investors at reduced interest rates to promote economic development, stimulate job growth and improve public facilities. The Cullerton Avenue Industrial Area is home to 10 companies and employs more than 1,300 people, President Preckwinkle said. This loan of up to $4 million will be used to fund public improvements including street reconstruction, sewer and drainage work, and we anticipate 133 new jobs will be created. The project is an example of what can be done to promote economic development and job growth in our industrial communities. The Cullerton Avenue Industrial Area project is made possible by government at various levels and businesses working together to address infrastructure needs, where all are partners in project financing to keep and expand jobs in the Village, Cook County and the region, said  Franklin Park Mayor Barrett Pedersen. HUD's Section 108 Loan Guarantee Program is a powerful public investment tool to drive economic development in underserved areas, said Antonio R. Riley, HUD Midwest Regional Administrator. It will be a boost to the Franklin Park community and will provide employment opportunities for area residents. The Cullerton Avenue Industrial Area contains more than 2.3 million square feet of industrial space. The project is scheduled to be completed next year.