SSA / Bid Projects

PLACE has assisted numerous Chicago business districts with the process of creating and reconstituting their Business Improvement Districts, known as Special Service Areas (SSAs) in Chicago. By designing a consistent process that meets City of Chicago submittal requirements, we are able to accomplish multiple objectives: submit successful creation/reconstitution applications, build capacity of local organizations to manage their business districts, and generate support and knowledge within the community for this powerful community economic development tool.

Our initial step with these projects is to assist, as needed, with the creation of an Advisory Committee of stakeholders to guide deliberations on the specifics of the SSA (boundaries, tax rate, tax rate cap, budget, services provided, etc.) and to take the results of their discussions to the larger community in the form of recommendations. We advise our clients to include both champions of the SSA concept on their advisory committees as well as naysayers who will help be a barometer for skeptics in the community.

By analyzing PIN information on all properties, PLACE helps clients project potential revenue scenarios and calculate necessary tax levies to accomplish their work plan objectives. By the end of the process, the advisory committees are well-versed regarding in the specifics of an SSA as a tool, having developed a vision for the SSA, been familiarized with property data and EAV analysis, explored boundary options, reviewed the results of needs assessment surveys distributed throughout the community, prepared a budget and work plan, and identified key metrics to track the effectiveness of the SSA. In order to move forward with approvals from the City, PLACE assists clients with the collection of signatures of support in a variety of ways from strategizing on meeting the 20% City policy requirement, to designing online and other tools for collecting signatures, and, in some cases, assisting with door-to-door visits to obtain declarations of support.

Partial List of Projects since 2006: