Laurino delivers final ‘State of the Ward’ talk at luncheon
by BRIAN NADIG
Investments in neighborhoods are not only good for the local economy but the overall financial health of the city, according to Alderman Margaret Laurino (39th).
The planned installation of the "Sauganash Gateway" sculpture near Peterson and Cicero avenues and the future opening of the Second City Meadery at 4465 N. Elston Ave. are two of the new investments coming to the 39th Ward, Laurino said at her "State of the Ward" luncheon on Feb. 5.
It was the alderman’s final address as she is retiring from the City Council in May.
Second City Meadery’s production facility and taproom is being regarded "by enthusiasts as the cultural crossroads where wine and beers meet. It’s made with honey, water and yeast," Laurino said in her prepared remarks.
"In Mayfair, White Linen Studio at Elston and Leland will be a collective space for artists to share their skills, craft and technique while creating beautiful art to showcase with exhibition space.
"There’s (also) a 7-Eleven/Mobil hybrid in the works to replace the Sunoco at Milwaukee and Devon, (and) Al Klairmont and Imperial Realty are doing a retail build-out to make improvements to their property at Peterson and Cicero," Laurino said.
Also in the works are a new roof and addition at Palmer School, the Edens Collection center with a Target and LA Fitness at 4635 W. Foster Ave. and a new Peoples Gas facility at Peterson Avenue and Pulaski Road, Laurino said.
"All of these projects share a common purpose. They enhance our quality of life, they keep Chicago moving forward, and they help sustain the city’s economy in certain and uncertain economic times," Laurino said.
"Without strong neighborhoods, we cannot have strong businesses. Families continue to invest in and make commitments throughout the 39th Ward. And this is the most meaningful measure of a community’s success."
Laurino said that she is looking forward to shopping and dining in the ward during her retirement. "I’m not moving. I’m just not going to be your alderman anymore," she said.
Laurino was appointed alderman in 1994 after her father, Anthony Laurino, retired after serving in that position for nearly 30 years.
Running to replace Laurino are former Cook County Department of Homeland Security chief of staff Samantha Nugent, Albany Park Community Center director of development Casey Smagala, 39th Ward Democratic Committeeman Robert Murphy and Chicago police officer Joe Duplechin.
The luncheon was sponsored by the Gladstone Park and Edgebrook-Sauganash chambers of commerce, the Albany Park Community Center, the Peterson Pulaski Business and Industrial Council and the Peterson Elston Business Association.
Laurino helped to establish several of these organizations.