Food Desert Jobs


October 13, 2014 (Chicago)

For media inquiries contact:

Lisa Michelle 708.715.3228, or

Bruce Crosby 872.226.2942


Mayoral Candidate William Dock Walls introduces a Program to create Jobs and Eliminate the Food Deserts

This initiative entitled, Grocers Community Owned and Operated-is a Public-Private Partnership developed and presented by the Walls For Mayor Campaign, This Government Funded and Community Driven project will take four years to complete. It shall result in the creation of 20 Big Box Grocery stores, 60 mid-sized Neighborhood Markets, an estimated 5,000 Construction jobs, 15,000 permanent Grocery Store Industry jobs, and 30,000 residual, self perpetuating, private sector jobs.

Walls said, “Our goal is to bring relief to Chicago’s under-served communities. Specifically, we endeavor to significantly reduce Chicago’s comparatively high unemployment level and help eradicate the Food Deserts which persist and debilitate 27 of Chicago’s 77 Communities.”

The average cost of development and completion will be  Fifteen Million Dollars ($15,000,000) for the Big Box Grocery stores and Five Million Dollars ($5,000,000) for the mid sized Neighborhood Markets. The total program cost, including the purchase and preparation of the real estate, infrastructure development, building costs, and the purchase of equipment and goods,will be Six Hundred Million Dollars ($600,000,000).

Grocers Community Owned and Operated will be funded using the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) available in the targeted TIF district areas. Tax Increment Financing is a program governed by state law which authorizes municipalities to capture property tax revenues derived from the incremental equalized assessed value (EAV) above the base EAV that was established at the time the TIF district was created.

Currently, Chicago has 151 TIF Districts which will generate an estimated $376 million in 2014 revenue. $125 million of that $376 million will be used to fund this imitative.

This Chicago initiative will foster: Balanced Economic Development throughout all communities; Increased Employment opportunities; Outlets for products, goods and services provided by local entrepreneurs indigenous to the communities of concentration; and Increased Incremental Equalized Assessed values in the affected TIF Districts.