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Pilsen, Little Village, Back of the Yards

Target Set To Hire 2,000 Employees For Controversial Little Village Warehouse

Target will open its distribution center at the old Crawford coal plant site this summer. Jobs will start at $18 an hour.

Hilco Redevelopment Partners warehouse facility at 3501 S. Pulaski Road.
Mauricio Peña/ Block Club Chicago
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LITTLE VILLAGE — Target is expected to hire 2,000 employees for a controversial warehouse being built in Little Village, a company spokeswoman confirmed.

Target will open its distribution center at the old Crawford coal plant site, 3501 S. Pulaski Road, this summer. Hilco Redevelopment Partners is redeveloping the site into a massive distribution center, and the demolition of a smokestack at the site covered the neighborhood in dust last year.

The Chicago Tribune was first to report the news.

The Target warehouse will serve as a hub for shipping merchandise to the company’s retail stores. It’ll be the first of its kind in Chicago. Target owns other Midwest warehouses in Wisconsin and Indiana, according to the Tribune..

Target CEO Brian Cornell discussed hiring plans for the 1.3 million-square-foot warehouse at an event earlier this week, according to the report.

Hiring for the site has begun and jobs will start at $18 an hour, said Jacqueline DeBuse, a Target spokesperson. The company plans to host hiring events in Little Village in May.

After the botched implosion in April 2020, neighbors and activists called for Target to break its contract with Hilco, the site’s developer. Some residents also demanded the city rescind a $19.7 million in tax subsidies given to the developer.

After the implosion, the city hit Hilco with $68,000 in fines and state Attorney General Kwame Raoul agreed to a $370,000 fine to settle a lawsuit

City officials have passed several laws in response, including revoking tax incentives from developers who betray the trust of communities and increasing fines for environmental polluters — although those do not retroactively apply to Hilco or other developers who have run afoul of those regulations. The city is currently working to bolster implosion requirements.

A worker also plummeted 50 feet to his death at the site in December 2019.

Credit: Alejandro Reyes/YouTube
A drone video showed how the dust cloud spread from the Crawford demolition site and descended onto Little Village homes.

Hilco’s redevelopment plan angered residents who feared the distribution center would bring more diesel trucks and increase pollution in the neighborhood. 

Ald. Michael Rodriguez (22nd), whose ward includes the site, reassured residents that truck drivers going to and from the facility would be restricted from driving down residential blocks.

The century-old Crawford Power Plant was shut down in 2012 after community-led efforts raised concerns about the impact coal pollution was having on the health of Little Village residents. The company purchased the 70-acre site in the Little Village Industrial Corridor in 2017.

Read all of Block Club’s Crawford coverage here.

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