Downtown Hyde Park



General Overview of an SSA

What is a Special Service Area (SSA)?

  • Locally-initiated, self-imposed tax
  • A geographic area, not an agency
  • Funds additional services beyond the City’s general services, within SSA boundaries
  • City grants taxing authority and appoints local SSA Commissioners
  • City contracts with service provider agencies to administer day-to-day SSA activities
  • Authorized by state statute, city ordinance, and DPD policies

The purpose of creating the Area is to provide special services within the Area, which may include, but not limited to: customer attraction, public way aesthetics, sustainability and public place enhancements, economic/business development, public health and safety programs, and other activities to promote commercial and economic development, which are referred to collectively as the “Special Services.”

Taxes apply to property owners, primarily commercial properties or mixed use properties, or any eligible PIN within the designated area.

Services Tax to be levied against the taxable property included within the Area for the provision of the Special Services not to exceed the annual sum of 2.100% of the equalized assessed value of taxable property within the Area.

The Services Tax are in addition to all other taxes provided by law and shall be levied pursuant to the provisions of the Property Tax Code, 35 ILCS 200/1-1 et seq., as amended from time to time.

The Service Provider.  Some or all of the proceeds of the proposed Services Tax are used by an entity other than the City of Chicago to provide the Special Services to the Area, which such entity will be a “service provider” under a “services contract.”

Special Service Area #61 - Hyde Park

Special Service Area #61, branded as Downtown Hyde Park Chicago, is a local tax district that funds expanded services and programs through a localized property tax levy within a specific footprint.  

SSA61 Map – Downtown Hyde Park Chicago includes only the areas contributing to the property tax levy. The business corridor is highlighted in red on the map of Special Service Area #61.  Any changes to the Special Service Area boundaries must be approved during the reconstitution process.


  • Established ordinance date November 26, 2013 for 10 years.
  • One of more than 50 active SSAs in the City of Chicago.
  • Includes specific PINs in the 53rd and 55th Street corridors connected by S Lake Park Ave.
  • Current associated property tax levy is up to 0.65%, with 0.95% cap.
  • Annual property tax receivable averages less than $300,000 for the SSA61 budget.
  • Service Provider is South East Chicago Commission.
  • City of Chicago Audits and Service Provider Agreements for SSA61 are public.
  • Initial reconstitution application has been filed with City of Chicago.

Hyde Park has a 53rd Street TIF District (currently approved through 2025) which is completely separate from Special Service Area 61, despite some overlap in the property boundaries. 

SSA#61-funded projects typically include but are not limited to: public way maintenance and beautification; district marketing and advertising; business retention/attraction, special events and promotional activities; auto and bike transit; security; facade improvements; and other commercial and economic development initiatives.

Please view the SSA61 Annual Reports for details.

The South East Chicago Commission is the local non-profit, Service Provider for Special Service Area 61. 

Rod Sawyer is the Program Manager for SSA61.

Choosing to Reconstitute

South East Chicago Commission (sponsor) has initiated the application process and submitted its feasibility study to reconstitute Special Service Area 61.  As of December 1, 2022, DPD has issued a Notice to Proceed through the designated steps and set up an SSA Advisory Committee. 

A professional consultant will be hired to assist the South East Chicago Commission and the SSA Advisory Committee. Consultant service is planned to begin Monday, January 30, 2023 to ensure passage of ordinance by City Council no later than October 2023.

The formal application for reconstitution must be submitted to DPD by June 9, 2023.

The City of Chicago determines the process to renew any Special Service Area.  The Department of Planning and Development provides the steps and the timeline.

Click to view the 2024 SSA Designation Steps

Click to view the RFP for Reconstitution Consultant.

Jourdan SorrellSouth East Chicago Commission 
James PoueymirouSouth East Chicago Commission
Michael McGarrySouth East Chicago Commission
Gregory GuttmanMAC Property Management LLC.
George RumseyComputer Resource Center
Angelica MarksUniversity of Chicago
Commercial Real Estate Operations
Shaka MitchellAnthos Training
Charles NewsomeKimbark Plaza
James NurssFirst Aid Comics
Wendy WilliamsUniversity of Chicago
Office of Civic Engagement
Eric ThompsonWintrust Bank/Hyde Park Bank
Joyce FeuerJoyce’s Events and Party Planning
Roger HuffCommunity
Peter CasselMAC Property Management LLC.

In September 2022, the Department of Planning and Development (DPD) released the 2024 application documents. SECC applied for reconstitution and included the required feasibility study.  

In December 2022, SECC was notified that the application was approved to proceed with the next steps in the process which include forming an SSA Advisory Committee and selecting a lead Consultant.

Click here to view the DPD 2024 Designation Timeline in detail.

A formal application must be submitted to DPD by June 9, 2023.

Department of Planning and Development (DPD):

  • DPD requires 2 community meetings to inform SSA stakeholders and collect feedback
  • Service Provider is required to brief associated aldermanic office(s)
  • Signatures of support are required from the owner(s)/contact person(s) representing 20% of the PINs within the proposed SSA boundaries by August 1st.  (A minimum of 10% must be achieved by June 12th).
  • Formal public hearing will be scheduled in the Fall.

Community Meetings

SSA #61 Hyde Park is currently in a renewal process of the Special Services Area (SSA) called Reconstitution. In this phase, the Reconstitution committee has planned two public meetings to inform you of the proposed new SSA for the next 10 years.

The public is invited to attend these meetings to learn more about SSA #61 Hyde Park Reconstitution:

  • May 9 at 12:00 on Zoom
  • May 16 at 5:30 in person

For additional information, please visit Downtown Hyde Park Chicago

SSA61 Annual Reports