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CHICAGO, IL, Nov. 30, 2023 – The South East Chicago Commission (SECC) announced that Special Service Area No. 61 (SSA #61), also known as Downtown Hyde Park Chicago, received approval by Chicago’s City Council for its 10-year reconstitution, continuing its service January 1, 2024 through December 31, 2034.

SSA #61 is currently one of fifty-seven (57) local commercial tax districts in Chicago that provides essential micro-local services. It was conceived in 2013 with the strategic mission to enhance and maintain a vibrant, accessible, and inviting neighborhood commercial district that reflects Hyde Park’s culture, serves local stakeholders and supports economic growth in the community.

“SECC has been a thoughtful and careful steward of the SSA since its inception. We are honored to be the SSA #61 Service Provider with the opportunity to continue investing in the community and rallying for the businesses and property owners, stated Diane Burnham, SECC Executive Director. “The recognition of Downtown Hyde Park has been remarkable and the district has truly become a destination that welcomes local neighbors and visitors from around the world to experience the diversity of Hyde Park’s businesses, people and places.”

The SSA #61 footprint includes the 53rd Street and 55th Street business corridors connected by Lake Park Avenue, while the impact is proving to extend throughout the neighborhood. With leadership from the SSA Commissioners, SECC has established a proven track with measurable success implementing business beautification projects, marketing small businesses, promoting Shop Local campaigns, collaborating on community safety initiatives, sponsoring special events, and producing community engagements like the Hyde Park Farmers Market.

“The business owners who serve as Commissioners oversee the SSA #61 budget to maximize the impact on the business district. From colorful banners and bike racks to beautiful landscaping and public art, we’ve tried to make the neighborhood more appealing and attractive. With the approval, now we look forward to the improvements planned for the Metra viaducts on 53rd and 55th Streets,” said George Rumsey, Hyde Park business owner and SSA #61 Commissioner.

As the sponsor for reconstituting Special Service Area No. 61, SECC led the renewal process and collaborated with stakeholders to determine the process, boundaries, and vision. Upon receipt of the application and feasibility study, the City of Chicago Department of Planning and Development issued an official “Notice to Proceed” in December 2022. As a result, the SSA Advisory Committee was formed, and Teska Associates, a community planning, landscape architecture, and engagement services firm, was hired via RFP process to help navigate the stages and requirements for approval.

“Hyde Park’s business districts are an integral part of the stability required for economic growth in the region. In the coming years, we will continue improving existing conditions and enhancing the SSA business corridors with a focus on public art, infrastructure development and accessibility of the area,” stated Roderick Sawyer, SSA #61 Hyde Park Program Manager.

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About South East Chicago Commission

The South East Chicago Commission (SECC) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that works to facilitate and support economic development within the Southeast lakefront communities of Hyde Park, Kenwood, Oakland, Washington Park and Woodlawn and to foster collaboration and coordination among businesses, organizations and institutions to promote the creation of jobs, investment and economic vitality.


About Special Service Area No. 61

SECC serves as the official Service Provider for Special Service Area No. 61. Branded as Downtown Hyde Park Chicago , SSA #61 is comprised of the 53rd and 55th Street corridors connected by Lake Park Avenue. Special Service Areas, known as Business Improvement Districts or BIDs in other cities, are local tax districts that fund expanded services and programs through a localized property tax levy within contiguous areas.