Construction of new high rise to also benefit under served communities, Emanuel says

CHICAGO --    Ground broke Wednesday for what will one day be the third tallest building in Chicago, The Vista Tower.

The dichotomy of the new 95-story historic lakefront residential high rise and the soon-to-open Whole Foods in a blighted South Side community couldn’t be more glaring.  The Vista Towers will cater to the wealthiest Chicagoans while the Whole Foods is offering residents in a food desert an opportunity to eat better.

Mayor Emanuel says the  Vista Towers, created by famed architect Jeanne Gange, will produce revenue that will help revitalize communities like Englewood.

“When this building’s up it’s going contribute property taxes and income so we can make a series of investments around the city of Chicago,” he said.

Several years ago, Mayor Emanuel saw that a Whole Foods was being built in a poor neighborhood in Detroit.  He called the company’s CEO and asked how could he get one in Chicago.

The grocery store at 63rd and Halsted will anchor a mall that was once an area of abandoned buildings.  Now there’s mostly new construction.

Whole Foods has worked for three years with the community to cater affordable food and products.  They’ve also promised to hire as many residents from surrounding communities as they can.  A job fair in late July brought out over 900 residents for 90 positions.

Whole Foods markets in poor neighborhoods in Detroit and New Orleans are exceeding expectations.  There are plans to build new stories in Jackson, Mississippi and Newark, New Jersey.

Englewood Whole Foods opens September 28th. The Vista Tower will be built on East Wacker Drive, near Lake Michigan and is set to open in two years.