President Preckwinkle Announces BUILT in Cook Loan Fund
President Preckwinkle today announced that Cook County received approval from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for a $30 million loan guarantee program to finance four types of sustainable development. They are: transit-oriented, mixed-use developments within a half-mile of passenger rail; cargo-oriented projects near freight rail lines and terminals; mixed-use hospitality/service sector projects near transit lines and business development loans. “The BUILT in Cook fund will allow the County to be an active participant in financing business expansion, retaining businesses and producing jobs in the County,” President Preckwinkle said. Economic growth and job creation have been an important focus of my administration and this program can be a powerful tool to drive economic development.” Also known as the Section 108 Loan Pool, BUILT (Broadening Urban Investment to Leverage Transportation) in Cook will allow the County to borrow money from private investors at reduced interest rates to promote economic development, stimulate job growth and improve public facilities. Such public investment is often needed to inspire private contributions, to provide seed money, or to simply boost confidence that many private firms and individuals need to invest in distressed areas. “This loan guarantee is a powerful tool to help President Preckwinkle spur economic growth and create jobs,” said HUD’s Midwest Regional Administrator Antonio R. Riley. “The funding helps for-profit businesses carry out economic development, benefitting low- and moderate-income residents and will create new jobs.” BUILT in Cook has some important guidelines, including: Development and/or business growth loans must benefit low- and moderate-income residents by making at least 51 percent of jobs created with BUILT in Cook financing available to low- and moderate-income workers; Financing is limited to 15% of the total development cost or $2 million, whichever is less; Potential borrowers include: developers, businesses and/or individuals; Project underwriting will be done in collaboration with private lenders. BUILT in Cook is another in a series of economic growth plans implemented by President Preckwinkle. Others included rolling back the sales tax, creating the Cook County Land Bank Authority, establishing the Council of Economic Advisors and releasing the Partners in Prosperity report on regional economic development.