Orland Park Seeks Economic Development Commissioners

Orland Park Seeks Economic Development Commissioners
Posted on 03/01/2014

Economic development continues to be a priority for the Village of Orland Park as Mayor Dan McLaughlin revised an existing village board committee and created a new seven member village commission.

“Each of the village trustees chairs a committee of the village board,” McLaughlin said. “Trustee Jim Dodge has chaired the board’s Technology and Community Outreach Committee for the last few years and we’re changing that up to again focus on economic development,” the mayor explained.

Dodge’s newly named committee is the Economic Development Strategy and Community Engagement Committee.

“The village’s retail base is very strong and Orland Park has one of the lowest vacancy rates in the Chicago area,” McLaughlin said. “We’re now focusing on the I-80 Corridor and other office and non-retail areas,” he said.

“The village board participated in a series of workshops where we created the village’s strategic plan. Broadening economic development in the village and building on the village’s existing strengths is one of the board’s key priorities,” Dodge said. “The mayor has asked me to make a concerted effort to accomplish this village board objective and I’m looking forward to working with both the advisory board and our new village board committee,” he said.

The village’s board’s strategic plan includes building on the community’s existing strengths with the creation of a business retention program helping existing businesses and industries. The board called for the development of strategies to attract more professional services to the village including medical and professional offices.

In the I-80 Corridor, the board’s plan is to create a zoning district to attract new non-retail businesses and to complete a targeted industry study to determine the best industries and businesses to bring to the corridor.

“We’re going to look at the types of industries we want to attract and how zoning changes could help companies come to Orland Park,” Dodge said. Pre-recession tenants of Orland Park’s I-80 Corridor include St. Xavier University, The Horton Group Insurance and American Technical Publishers.

“We need to diversify the village’s tax base. We have a great retail base but now we need to again target light industrial and corporate headquarters,” Dodge said. “Orland Park has everything these companies need and it’s our job to make sure they know this,” he added.

The economic advisory board will work with the board’s newest committee.

The Economic Development Advisory Board is a separate village commission comprised of seven area people willing to volunteer to help with the village’s economic development efforts.

“I’m looking for business oriented people who can help with the village’s economic development initiatives,” McLaughlin said. “We want to attract corporate type businesses bringing advanced jobs to the village,” he said.

“We’re looking for people who will come up with ideas and will be able to help us execute them,” Dodge said.

Those interested in volunteering to serve on the village’s Economic Development Advisory Board are invited to send a letter of interest with a current resume to the Mayor’s Office at the Village of Orland Park; 14700 South Ravinia Avenue; Orland Park, IL 60462.