The store location that opened the floodgates to Wal-Mart's entry into Chicago could soon change the Pullman neighborhood's economic outlook.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Monday discussed plans for converting the open field behind U.S. Bank on 111th Street into Pullman Park, a new retail center with Chicago's first Super Walmart at the helm.
The 700,000-square-foot center, including Walmart, will create 700 construction jobs right away and another 1,000 permanent jobs when the store opens in June 2012.
When the Super Walmart location was approved last year, City Hall hoped it would change the area's vast food desert into a thriving urban economy. That's what Emanuel is banking on too.
[The project] is incredible for the community," Emanuel said, "on neighborhood retail, big-box retail, residential development and community development."
"The fact that we don't have a grocery store we can go to in our community is criminal," said Ald. Anthony Beale (9th).
The state of Illinois will give Chicago a $4.6 million grant for the second phase of the project.