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November 12, 2020

Bringing A Casino To Chicago Won't Mean Easy Money

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The city of Chicago faces a $1.2B budget deficit, and with the possibility of getting federal stimulus dollars in 2021 looking slim, the Lightfoot administration is casting about for new sources of revenue. The state legislature’s 2019 decision to expand Illinois gambling could provide the cash-strapped city a lifeline, and the mayor just began the process to finally establish a Chicago casino.

Before the city starts getting its share of gamblers’ losses, the mayor and her planning team need to decide where to place a gaming operation. Lightfoot has spoken of using a new casino as a way of pushing economic development in a deprived portion of the city, and that’s won her allies on City Council.

“I am behind building it with union labor, and getting good-paying jobs for our ward,” 10th Ward Alderman Susan Sadlowski Garza said.

Others say the entire strategy is flawed, and that a casino is unlikely to spur ancillary development or solve budget shortfalls.

Bringing A Casino To Chicago Won't Mean Easy Money

Neighborhood developers have proposed planting a casino in Garza’s Far Southeast Side area, as one part of a resort-style development that would include a hotel, a golf course and other tourist attractions.“There is no other place in Chicago that would offer these amenities,” she added. “It would not just be…

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Impact Investing Passes Its COVID-19 Trial By Fire

Can you do well at the same time as doing good? When you invest, do you have to sacrifice returns in order to have a positive social impact? Those are the big questions at the heart of impact investing, ones that a crisis like the coronavirus pandemic, which has hit real estate hard, throw into stark relief.

Those involved in real estate impact investing say the pandemic has brought to the fore both the resilience and the importance of impact investing. 

“Broadly speaking, in times of economic pain, issues of people and planet can often take a back seat as people focus on balance sheets that are shrinking and distress,” Nuveen co-Head of Impact Investing Rekha Unnithan told Bisnow. “Things that might only seem nice to have go on the back burner. But this time, issues of people and planet have continued in importance. People have realised that climate change doesn’t stop, pollution doesn’t stop and crises like COVID-19 have a disproportionate impact on lower-income communities.”

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