Economic & Community Development Agency

Changing lives and making neighborhoods better






In June of 2018, the City of Kankakee adopted a visionary, dynamic and transformative plan for the Kankakee River and adjoining properties.

Considered by many experts as the highest quality river in the State, the Kankakee River boast superior water quality, uncommon moving and flat water recreational and ecologically diverse wildlife habitat.

Approximately 70 acres of publicly owned land is adjacent to the river with more expected as the City acquires flood prone homes along River Road. The Kankakee Riverfront plan envisions lighting on key bridges, streetscape enhancements, an extraordinary white water run, kayak/canoe launches, festival/entertainment venues, linear bike way / pedestrian walkways, pavilions, gardens, and enhanced landscaping.

More importantly, the Riverfront Plan cerates an opportunity for the development of adjacent multi-family, mixed use, hotel, restaurants and other development initiatives.



Completed in 2017, the $16M, 70-unit River Station Senior Senior Apartment development was a joint effort of the City of Kankakee, Mercy Housing Lakefront, the Kankakee County Housing Development Corporation and then-Presence St. Mary’s Hospital (now AMITA Health), with participation from the Kankakee Valley Park District and Community Foundation of Kankakee River Valley. The project aligns affordable living with accessibility and support for healthy aging.

INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY 14,600 SF mid-1800s stone building in view of the KankakeeRiver. Formerly a banquet hall and full-service restaurant. Within Kankakee River Valley Enterprise Zone and New Markets Tax Credit boundaries.

Included in the Kankakee Riverfront Master Plan are provisions and strategies for land use, economic development, design, financing and brand awareness based on detailed market, existing conditions and opportunity analyses. Prioritized uses include mixed use commercial,multi-family residential, varied recreational amenities and complementary business services.

By 2028, projected direct, indirect and induced economic impacts of the fully executed Kankakee Riverfront Master Plan include:

  • $2.3 million in new TIF tax revenue
  • Support of approximately 348 one-time, construction related jobs
  • Generation of approximately $66 millionof one-time, construction-related impact
  • Support of approximately 133 non-construction jobs
  • Approximately $12 million of annual recurring economicimpact

A cross-functional Riverwalk Implementation Team iscurrently working to execute on the KRMP document. TheCity of Kankakee has secured funding and begun propertyacquisition in the proposed Mill Race District.