December 01, 2021

Seizing opportunity is our focus in 2022.  Our focus is on maintaining the opportunities we currently have, seeking new opportunities, and leveraging these opportunities for impact investment that benefits everyone in the City of Kankakee.

In 2017, Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that established the federal Opportunity Zone program, an incentive tool to encourage investment in regions most affected by economic disinvestment over time. Along with some pre-existing development incentive tools, the former Wells-Armstrong administration worked to create opportunity by adding more Tax Increment Financing (TIF) districts in the Riverfront, Downtown and East Court districts. A Historic Tax Credit District and a formal Riverfront Development Master Plan was also implemented. As the current Curtis administration continues this momentum of opportunity for the City of Kankakee, the community will begin to see the seeds of development break ground and spring forth multiple projects in 2022.  Kankakee is a City Rising to meet all its opportunities. 

This coming year we will see a decades-vacant warehouse turned into apartments, a brand-new apartment complex built next to the beloved Farmer’s Market space, a former historic bank converted into a small business and hospitality training center, the continued clearing and site planning for the first project of the transformational riverfront development.  All of these developments create opportunities for many new retail and service businesses to open in the City of Kankakee. 

Since May 2021, the city has received and accepted over 35 business license applications, issued over 721 residential construction & rehabilitation buildings permits, over 74 commercial building permits and over 24 industrial and institutional building permits generating over $225,000 for the City. Building permit fees vary based on size and scope of projects, but a safe estimation can be made that over one million dollars has been invested in the City of Kankakee properties since May 2021.

With this development snapshot of 2021 & 2022 I ask the City of Kankakee residents, business owners and property-owners, to consider what opportunities can you pursue to improve our homes, neighborhoods, businesses, parks, civil services and overall well-being of our community? Despite the long recovery from the pandemic, which will continue for some time, we are at an important moment for our city, one that will decide the future for the generations to come that will call Kankakee home. So, what opportunities will you chase in 2022?