There aren’t many communities in the United States that can match the legacy and history of Chicago’s Pullman neighborhood. Located on the city’s South Side, the neighborhood is rich in history, dating back to the days of George Pullman, an engineer who built legendary railroad sleeping cars starting in 1881. Pullman envisioned an urban neighborhood that would better the lives of his workers, a community the Times of London once described as “the most perfect town in the world.” In recognition of its unique place in American history, former President Barack Obama designated the Pullman neighborhood a National Monument in 2015.
Although its days of making railroad cars have long passed, the Pullman neighborhood has witnessed one of the most significant urban revitalizations in the country during the last decade. These efforts have been led in large part by Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives (CNI), a group that was formed in 2010 to coordinate resources, economic development and neighborhood revitalization efforts in Chicago’s low-to-moderate income neighborhoods.
Private investment has been vital to bringing CNI’s vision to life. U.S. Bank has helped lead the way with private investments in the Pullman neighborhood, including affordable housing, a donation of land for a recreation facility and a commitment in a loan fund to help local small business owners. Since 2009, U.S. Bank has committed more than $84 million in contributions and donations to the Pullman neighborhood, an effort that has helped create new jobs, safer housing and economic revitalization.
“U.S. Bank’s strong commitment to Pullman has been critical to the economic renaissance we’re seeing in this historic neighborhood,” said David Doig, president of CNI. “U.S. Bank has been an outstanding partner every step of the way by providing much-needed financial support and development grants, and also through employee participation in the community.”
The Pullman neighborhood is vital to the fabric of our city, and we’re proud to be a part of its resurgence.
Most of this investment has been done through the U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation (USBCDC). For more than 25 years, the USBCDC and its predecessor institutions have worked closely with partners to strengthen communities by supporting development of affordable homes and commercial properties, and promoting community-enhancing businesses and clean-energy technologies.
With a comprehensive set of products and services, U.S. Bank focuses on bringing the whole bank to the customers and communities it serves. With its investments in the Pullman neighborhood, it did just that, with the USBCDC, its community department, regional bankers and many more participating in what has been a major success for everyone involved. The USBCDC led the way with investments, the bank’s community managers engaged local leaders, and its business lending group offered additional support.
“At U.S. Bank, we are deeply committed to the Chicago communities we serve,” said Marsha Cruzan, market president for U.S. Bank in Chicago. “The Pullman neighborhood is vital to the fabric of our city, and we’re proud to be a part of its resurgence.”
In total, the creation and subsequent investments from CNI and U.S. Bank have generated 1,200 permanent jobs and 135 affordable housing units throughout Chicago in neighborhoods such as Pullman.
This partnership is ongoing. As the Pullman neighborhood continues on the path to prosperity, U.S. Bank is actively pursuing additional investments in the neighborhood. With these future investments, the Pullman neighborhood is poised to attract even more jobs, and ultimately housing and retail development will follow.