Chicagoland Opportunity Zones Consortium

The Chicagoland Opportunity Zones Consortium is a partnership with the Director’s office located at CCLF. The Consortium operates on behalf of its partners throughout the Chicago region.

If you have investment opportunities, contact
Robin Schabes, Chicagoland Opportunity Zones Consortium Director,
phone: (312) 788-2493; email: [email protected].

The Chicagoland Opportunity Zones Consortium facilitates connections through matchmaking, education, and technical support to attract investments that create jobs, build wealth, and promote equitable development in Chicago and suburban Cook County, Illinois.

NEW EVENT! Register for Opportunity To Action Today!

Click here to register and join Bob Tucker, CCLF’s COO and Executive Vice President of Programs, Robin Schabes, Chicagoland Opportunity Zones Consortium Director, and Chicagoland leaders for Opportunity to Action: Opportunity Zones, a Pathway to Recovery, a series of free virtual convenings over four days for Chicagoland developers, investors, businesses, entrepreneurs, community-based organizations, public officials, and other economic development stakeholders interested in learning more about Opportunity Zones and their role in fostering equitable development and economic recovery throughout Chicagoland.

Opportunity to Action will provide attendees with the knowledge, tools, and partnerships for encouraging equitable development and community engagement and building wealth, jobs, and other economic opportunities in Chicagoland’s Opportunity Zones; virtual sessions will also showcase local strategies and national best practices for attracting responsible real estate development, investment, and business activity, as well as cultivating locally-led, community-driven real estate and business innovations.

Participants will be joined by Opportunity Zones and equitable development experts from across the country who will share first-hand experiences and expert insights on understanding and implementing the new tax incentive in a manner that positively improves lives and transforms place.

Opportunity to Action is hosted by Smart Growth America and the Chicagoland Opportunity Zones Consortium as part of the Consortium’s participation in SGA’s inaugural National Opportunity Zones Academy. Register for Opportunity to Action here.

Click here to read the June 23, 2020 article by WBEZ radio’s Natalie Moore on the work of the Chicagoland Opportunity Zones Consortium.

About The Consortium

Nearly 30 entities came together to create the Consortium, which seeks to achieve five core goals:
Attract Opportunity Zone Investments: Prioritize projects that lift up priorities outlined in community plans and further public and philanthropic community investment strategies.
Inform and Support Community Partners: Arm local communities with knowledge and support a range of developers and business owners across the spectrum of experience and sophistication.
Create Jobs and Build Wealth: Prioritize projects that create jobs for local community residents and that result in the local developer or business owner sharing in the financial upside and/or tapping into local vendors to spread neighborhood wealth.
Transform Communities through Equitable Development: Support comprehensive, racially equitable strategies by investing in local entrepreneurs and in commercial, industrial, retail, residential, and community facility real estate projects that benefit residents of all backgrounds.
Facilitate Lasting Partnerships: Connect community partners with impact investors and private actors who would invest in Chicago’s and suburban Cook County’s low-income neighborhoods.

Click below to download an overview of the
Chicagoland Opportunity Zone Consortium.

The Consortium represents 135 Opportunity Zones in the city of Chicago, primarily on the city’s south and west sides, and 48 Opportunity Zones in suburban Cook County, primarily in south and west suburbs. In addition to facilitating connections, the Consortium will work with investors and project owners to connect to local complementary funding sources opportunities, such as:

  • State of Illinois matching funds for infrastructure, utility, remediation and site prep for private real estate investments in Opportunity Zones;
  • City of Chicago INVEST South/West initiative, which will leverage $250 million in business development and infrastructure funding and build on more than $500 million in planned infrastructure improvements in 10 city community areas, most of which are located in Opportunity Zones;
  • Cook County will prioritize its Build-in-Cook program and tax-exempt bond programs in its 48 Opportunity Zones and craft an expedited approval process for property tax incentives applications. Additionally, targeted infrastructure investments have already been in plans through County’s South Suburban Economic Growth Initiative benefiting the Opportunity Zones in the region.

Click here to explore the Chicagoland Opportunity Zones Consortium’s Project Opportunities Portal.

Contact Robin Schabes,
Chicagoland Opportunity Zones Consortium Director,
phone: (312) 788-2493; email: [email protected].

Chicagoland Opportunity Zone Consortium members include: