Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Wow! No 3rd Term for Mayor Rahm Emanuel

Just like that, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, has decided to not seek a third term.  It's a pretty surprising development that has apparently caught many off guard (via Chicago Tribune):
In a stunning decision, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Tuesday morning that he will no longer seek a third term in office, signaling the end to what has been a tumultuous – and at times transformative – eight years in office.
While Rahm certainly could have handled a variety of issues better (we all could!) we viewed the Mayor in a positive light and have a hard time imagining someone else having the ability to "sell" the city as well as he did.  He was a champion of a vibrant downtown core and as far as we could tell a friend of the South Loop.  Back in 2015 we even found out he was a big fan of the architecture in Printers Row.

The impact of the surprising news won't truly be known for awhile.  One major question is the impact on the city's bid for Amazon's HQ2 - which if successful could mean massive development for one of the South Loop's most prominent vacant lots owned by Related Midwest.  Crain's and the Chicago Tribune both had articles that immediately discussed the potential ramifications.  Here is a pertinent blurb from the Tribune's article:
Dennis Donovan, principal at site selection consultant Wadley Donovan Gutshaw Consulting, said Emanuel is known for being an aggressive pitchman. “I don’t know anybody who could do it better,” he said. “He made it known Chicago was open for business.”
Donovan doubted Emanuel’s announcement would give a company like Amazon cold feet. Companies planning major projects like HQ2 are concerned about bigger-picture issues, like whether the city has enough talented workers to fill their ranks. “You can deal with a mayor that’s anti-business. You cannot deal with a subperforming labor market,” he said.

A city’s political leadership is only one factor a company like Amazon would consider in deciding where to build a major project like HQ2, said John H. Boyd, principal of The Boyd Co., a Princeton, N.J.-based corporate site selection consultancy. “Executives are very sophisticated. They understand politics is fluid and there’s no such thing as a mayor for life,” he said.

But having a high-profile “salesman-in-chief” like Emanuel can be very powerful when a city is in the process of courting a major project like HQ2, Boyd said.
So maybe the impact isn't a make or break, but at best it won't hurt Chicago.  In our opinion it certainly isn't helping.

Regardless, should be an interesting election and we are curious to see who will emerge as the next leader of our great city.

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