Crain’s quotes Howard Wial, executive director of the Center for Economic Development, on the relaxing of rules affecting inlying protected manufacturing districts. Wial says job statistics can be deceiving and the rules must be considered carefully to encourage high-tech manufacturing.
“It’s something to be concerned about, but it doesn’t by itself open the floodgates,” says Howard Wial, executive director of the Center for Urban Economic Development at the University of Illinois at Chicago. “I would expect that, especially on the North Side where there is market pressure, we’ll see more attempts to override the PMD zoning.”
UIC’s Wial says the job statistics can be deceiving because it’s unknown how many jobs might have been lost without PMDs. “If we don’t look carefully at the possibilities for these sites, we could be missing out on opportunities to preserve high-tech manufacturing not only in the city but in the region as a whole,” he says.