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Economic Development

Developing New Ideas

Oak Forest provides a strong environment for residential, commercial and industrial development. The city continually strives to enhance its economic vitality and superior quality of life by ensuring top-notch development and redevelopment, protecting its natural resources, supporting its business community and maintaining attractive neighborhoods. The city also works closely with the Oak Forest-Crestwood Area Chamber of Commerce, which serves more than 200 local professionals, businesses, organizations and government entities on economic development efforts.

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Highway to Chicago
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On the Move

The City of Oak Forest enjoys a unique geographic location with convenient access to both a Metra station and Interstate highways, something many other communities in Chicago cannot replicate. Residents are just 20 miles from the heart of Chicago's Loop and, with multimodal transportation options so close to home, spend less time commuting and more time doing the things that are most important to them.

Commuters and shoppers alike can take advantage of access to downtown Chicago and all points in-between on the Metra trains that depart regularly from the newly constructed state-of-the-art commuter station at 159th Street and Cicero Avenue. Home to the Rock Island line, the Oak Forest Metra Station provides a direct, 35 minute connection to Chicago's LaSalle Street station in the heart of the Loop. The station is served by four commuter parking lots with more than 1,000 parking spaces. The Pace bus system also shuttles commuters to and from the station with convenient morning, afternoon and evening routes.

There's the convenience of several nearby interstates, with two I-57 interchanges that connect you to I-80 and I-294 in minutes. Oak Forest also is served by U.S. Route 6 and state routes 43 (Harlem Avenue) and 50 (Cicero Avenue). Twelve miles up Cicero Ave. you will find Midway Airport and by using the new interchange at I-57/I-294 you can get to O’Hare Airport in under 40 minutes.

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Business Development

Supporting What Works

The City of Oak Forest is dedicated to supporting and encouraging quality development and redevelopment to enhance the economic vitality of our community.

Understanding that the backbone of a thriving economy is existing business, Oak Forest created the Business Retention and Expansion Program to gather information to help the city better support business expansion, job retention, job creation, and increased investment in the community. Additionally, the Façade Assistance Program is a grant provided by the city to local businesses looking to update, remodel or reconstruct their business/property.

Oak Forest's industrial and commercial areas are connected to our new state-of-the-art network by UrbanCom - giving them access to the level of broadband required to be effective in today's global marketplace.

Collaborative incubator space with access to the UrbanCom network has been created at the company's headquarters to encourage high-speed start-up companies. The space also provides access to a demo room with monitors, data center and video conferencing. For more information, please contact UrbanCom.

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Convenient Commutes

Located at the I-57 & I-80 interchange, Oak Forest is within 30 minutes of downtown Chicago whether you are driving or taking the train. Cicero Avenue and 159th Street/U.S Route 6 provide two major commercial districts through the heart of our community.

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