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The Chicago Southland Chamber of Commerce is pleased to present this Community Guide and Atlas as a service to our Chamber members and the business community of this great region. We trust that it will become a valuable and helpful tool in your business.

The Community Guide offers a comprehensive look at each of the 70 communities which make up the Chicago Southland as well as an overview of education al, cultural, recreational and shopping opportunities available in the area.

We have also included a special demographics sec tion offering information on each community including: Population, Median Family Income, Home Values and Median Age of Residents. Also included are figures on Total Employed and Municipal Revenues and the Percentage of Revenue derived from Taxes.

This information is invaluable to businesses and corporations considering relocation within the region or communities planning economic expansion and busi ness recruitment.

An additional business aid is the detailed Atlas portion including detailed street maps of each commu nity and the major roads and highways of the region.

The Community Guide and Atlas is designed to serve you in all your business needs and is part of the Chicago Southland Chamber's ongoing effort to pro mote and enhance the economic climate, business envi ronment and community image of the Chicago Southland region.



The more than 1,200 industrial companies in Chicago Southland attest to the area's viability. Many of the best known corporate names are present, including Clorox, Owens Corning, Signode, Turtle Wax, Bliss and Laughlin, Best Foods, Clark Oil, Mobil, LTV, and Ford.

The products made in Chicago Southland are as varied as are its 69 communities. They include auto parts, railroad freight cars, satellite dishes, steel tubing and pipe, college textbooks, air and hydraulic cylinders, specialty coatings and pigment dispersions, and many, many others.

The economic benefits and incentives of Enterprise Zones and Tax Increment Financing districts are successfully used by many Chicago Southland communities to attract new business and industry and to revitalize existing firms and commercial districts.

Business is advantaged in other ways, as well. Chicago Southland has about 250,000 square feet of floor space in five exposition centers, each ideally suit ed for trade shows and conventions. The area's colleges and universities have facilities for business meetings and special activities and several custom-tailor courses and programs to meet local employment needs.

The Chicago Southland Chamber of Commerce provides a variety of special services to business and industry. Through the Chicago Southland Management Institute (CSMI) it conducts a continuing series of work shops, seminars, and special events. CSMI is a cooperative venture involving the Chamber, Governors State University, Prairie State College, South Suburban College and Moraine Valley Community College.

Every important asset to business is present in Chicago Southland. Residents and companies enjoy good access to all transportation modes. Industry can draw from a work force of well-educated, well-trained people. There is plenty of space for expansion of facilities. New homes continue to be added to the area's stock of quality housing for people at all economic levels. Excellent school systems provide sound education programs. There is an abundance of recreation and opportunities to enjoy the arts. High quality medical care facilities dot the Chicago Southland area. And, shopping is ever convenient.

The more than 35 banks and savings institutions in Chicago Southland encourage business growth and provide a sound economic foundation. The annual production of crops and livestock from the Chicago Southland's vast farmlands also makes a significant contribution to the area's economy.

Chicago Southland communities offer the best home values to be found in the entire Chicago metropolitan area. Moreover, buyers find the widest possible choice in type, style, size, and price.

Diversity in housing is a key factor attracting new business and newcomer families to the area. In older communities like Blue Island, Frankfort, and Homewood, are elegant turn-of-the-century homes restored to their Victorian splendor. Often, these homes were designed by famed architects of their day.

A newer brand of elegance is found in the lavish executive-style homes in communities like woodsy Flossmoor and sports-oriented Olympia Fields. The fast growing Mokena and quiet Palos Park also display fine new homes for highly placed executives.

The "Parks" - Park Forest, Richton Park, and University Park attract young families with comfortable, affordable homes, as do Lansing, Matteson, and Orland Hills. Those who desire a secure, rural atmosphere look to Beecher, Lynwood, or Peotone.

Rapid growth has brought a great number of new, mid-priced homes to many communities in the Chicago Southland, among them Chicago Heights, Manhattan, Matteson, Orland Park, and Tinley Park.

The area has homes suited to every lifestyle. There are complexes of rental apartments wrapped around recreational amenities.

For those who enjoy home ownership without maintenance responsibilities, there are smartly styled condominiums and town homes. There are vast subdivisions of custom-built single family homes, as well as more economical single family designs.

The Chicago Southland communities not only offer the best home values available, but also are some of the best places to live and raise families.

The joys of shopping are everywhere in Chicago Southland, from the quaint shops of downtown Flossmoor and Frankfort to the climate-controlled comfort of enclosed malls in Orland Park, Chicago Ridge, Matteson, Calumet City, and Tinley Park.

Downtown business districts remain healthy and prosperous in most of the 69 communities of Chicago Southland. Often historic, the old buildings in downtown business areas are carefully restored. Shoppers browse through stores full of antiques and cozy boutiques that feature unique merchandise.

Many of downtown Flossmoor's fine shops occupy a block-size Tudor-style structure. Downtown Crete and Lemont entice shoppers with many antique shops and collections. In Frankfort's historic shopping district, shoppers often take time to enjoy the cuisine and atmosphere of several fine restaurants.

Orland Square in Orland Park is among the largest enclosed malls in Chicago Southland. The mall, with its 150 stores, including four major department store anchors, occupies 1,300,000 square feet of space. Nearly a million people shop regularly at Orland Square.

Once an outdoor shopping center, Calumet City's River Oaks is now totally enclosed and climate-controlled, encompassing 1,400,000 square feet. It, too, has four major department store anchors among its 90 stores. River Oaks attracts more than 500,000 regular shoppers.

A third enclosed mall is Evergreen Plaza, in Evergreen Park. It contains 1,200,000 square feet of space and has two department stores as anchors. Close to a half million people shop there on a regular basis. Matteson's Lincoln Mall also has 1.2 million square feet of space, with three department store anchors. More than 350,000 shoppers frequent Lincoln Mall. Chicago Ridge Mall, in Chicago Ridge, has three anchoring department stores and 130 other shops, boutiques, services, and restaurants. The mall covers 850,000 square feet and regularly draws more than 400,000 shoppers.

The main thoroughfares of Chicago Southland communities are dotted with dozens more shopping centers. As new residential developments spring up, so, too, do new shopping centers. Frequently, the new centers are architecturally designed to harmonize with nearby homes.

The schools of Chicago Southland aim for excellence in providing the education and training necessary for continued growth of the area's business and industry. As a result, many earn state and national recognition for excellence and serve as models for other Illinois schools.

The 69 communities of Chicago Southland fall within 65 school districts. The Rich Township High School District is typical of the area's schools. It serves Matteson, Tinley Park, Country Club Hills, Chicago Heights, Olympia Fields, Park Forest, and Richton Park. The district's Rich South High School, located in Richton Park, is a recipient of the U.S. Department of Education's Award for Excellence. Rich Township's three high schools offer gifted and talented programs, vocational education programs, special education pro grams, advanced placement courses, a daily tutorial period, and summer school classes. Seventy eight percent of the racially balanced district's graduates go on to some form of higher education. Other award-winning districts include Arbor Park (serving Oak Forest), Beecher, Evergreen Park, Flossmoor, Rich, and Summit Hill (serving Frankfort and Mokena).

Parochial systems and private schools in Chicago Southland communities offer parents an alternative to public education. Programs equal the quality found in the public schools, but have a religious foundation.

Chicago Southland high school graduates have top quality institutions of higher education nearby. There are five community colleges, four four-year colleges and a regional university in and near the area.

Moraine Valley Community College, in Palos Hills, is the sixth largest community college in Illinois. The college awards associate degrees in arts, science, and applied science and in such career pro grams as parks and recreation, electrical, culinary art, and telecommunication electronics. It also offers short-term certificate pro grams. The college operates a satellite site in Worth.

A full range of academic degree programs and nearly 40 career programs are offered by Prairie State College, Chicago Heights. The college has satellites in Matteson and Homewood.

South Suburban College has its main campus in South Holland and a satellite site in Oak Forest. It offers close to 50 career programs and a full range of academic degree programs. More than 80 percent of students attend classes part-time.

Governors State University is a regional university serving the entire Chicago Southland from its main campus in University Park and branch facilities in Homewood and Orland Park. The university complements the area's two-year community colleges by providing only the final two years toward a bachelor's degree. It also offers master's degree programs.

Joliet Junior College, in Joliet, and Kankakee Community College, Kankakee, attract students from nearby Chicago Southland communities such as Lockport, New Lenox, Momence, and Peotone. The two colleges offer academic and career associate degree and certificate programs.

College of St. Francis, in Joliet, is a private, four year, liberal arts college. It offers bachelor's and master's degree programs and provides off-campus educational opportunities at sites in Burbank, South Holland, Oak Forest, Kankakee, and Evergreen Park.

The aviation programs of Lewis University, Romeoville, set it apart from all other colleges and universities in the Chicago metropolitan area. In addition to aviation, the university offers more than 40 degree pro grams.

Students in the Orland Park area have access to courses leading to bachelor and graduate degrees at St. Xavier University's branch facility. The university's main campus is in Chicago. Keller Graduate School of Management also has a branch in Orland Park.

Chicago Southland students can readily commute to such well-known institutions as Illinois Institute of Technology, Northern Illinois University, the University of Illinois - Chicago, DePaul University, and Loyola University.


All four transportation modes critical to success in business exist in the Chicago Southland. Eight interstate highways criss-cross the area. Both freight and passenger rail service is readily available in most communities. Many have a direct link to Calumet Harbor and Lake Michigan for shipping to world markets via the St. Lawrence Seaway. Chicago's two major airports are conveniently reached from Chicago Southland communities.

Interstate Highways 55, 57, 80, 90, 94, 294, 355, and 394 can be accessed within Chicago Southland. Fast, comfortable Metra commuter trains provide frequent daily service to the Loop and Pace bus services transports residents between Chicago Southland communities. In addition, the area has ample freight rail service and Amtrak passenger service is also available.

Midway Airport and O'Hare International serve the area with passenger and freight service via major airlines.

Phase I engineering work is well underway on a third Chicago area airport to be located in the Peotone area. The South Suburban Airport site is scheduled to open in the year 2001. When complete, the airport will serve 2.5 million people living within 45 minutes of the location. The initial phase of construction will develop two 12,500 foot runways and a 40-gate terminal building.

Senior citizens and the handicapped have access to special Pace bus transportation. Interstate bus service is also available. Several limousine services serve the Chicago Southland area and regularly scheduled bus transportation to Midway and O'Hare International Airports is available.

Sixty-nine cities and villages in the south and southwestern area of Chicago make up the region known as Chicago Southland. They are in Cook and Will counties in Illinois, as well as Lake County, Indiana. The area is bordered on the east by Indiana, while the westernmost communities are just across the Illinois & Michigan Canal and Interstate 55. Most of the communities are within 35 miles of the Loop.

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